Polluting outlets

Published: Wednesday 15 August 2001

retail petrol outlets have been identified as sources of atmospheric air pollution by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board ( tnpcb ). A tnpcb directive states that hydrocarbon vapours are emitted into the atmosphere from the large underground tanks of these outlets during storage. It is also emitted at time of their refilling and while vehicles' fuel tanks are being filled. These activities cause environmental pollution as they increase ambient hydrocarbon levels, which can cause cancers and respiratory problems. The board has now made it mandatory for the outlets to recover and recycle back the vapours into the gasoline storage tanks. The outlets would be required to get a clearance from tnpcb for abatement of air pollution under section 21 of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, to continue their operations. Officials of the national oil companies have, however, termed the directive as "a measure to mop up revenue for tnpcb.

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