MoEF&CC clarifies its 22nd Dec. 2014 notification

23rd May 2022 sk.Mishra.ea@gmail.com

New Delhi: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has issued a clarification with regard to applicability of EIA Notification 2006. Basically the clarification defines educational institutions.

As per the Ministry's statement, the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education has not specified any definition of the term "educational institutions". However, the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 under the Environment Protection Act, 1986 defines "educational institutions" means a school, college, university, professional academics, training institutes or other educational establishment, not necessarily a chartered institution and includes not only buildings, but also all grounds necessary for the accomplishment of the full scope of educational instruction, including those things essential to mental, and physical development.

The Ministry's Order dated 19th May 2022 has clarified that the exemption provided for educational institutions vide Ministry's 22nd December 2014 notification shall be applicable to all educational institutions covered under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.

United Global Call to Act on Land Degradation and Drought Concludes UNCCD Abidjan Meeting

21st May 2022

A united global pledge to boost drought resilience and invest in land restoration for future prosperity on Friday concluded the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

This two-week meeting on the future of land management drew nearly 7,000 participants, including Heads of State, ministers, delegates from the UNCCD’s 196 Parties and the European Union, as well as members of the private sector, civil society, women, youth leaders and media.

Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD Executive Secretary, said: “Meeting against the backdrop of multiple global challenges, including the worst-in-40-years drought in Eastern Africa, as well as food and economic crises fuelled by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and conflicts, countries have sent a united call about the importance of healthy and productive land for securing future prosperity for all.”

Highlights among the new commitments:

  • Accelerate the restoration of one billion hectares of degraded land by 2030 by improving data gathering and monitoring to track progress against the achievement of land restoration commitments and establishing a new partnership model for large-scale integrated landscape investment programmes;

  • Boost drought resilience by identifying the expansion of drylands, improving national policies and early warning, monitoring and assessment; learning and sharing knowledge; building partnerships and coordinating action; and mobilizing drought finance.

  • Establish an Intergovernmental Working Group on Drought for 2022-2024 to look into possible options, including global policy instruments and regional policy frameworks, to support a shift from reactive to proactive drought management.

  • Address forced migration and displacement driven by desertification and land degradation by creating social and economic opportunities that increase rural resilience and livelihood stability, and by mobilizing resources, including from the diaspora, for land restoration projects;

  • Improve women’s involvement in land management as important enablers for effective land restoration, by addressing commonly encountered land tenure challenges by people in vulnerable situations, and collecting gender-disaggregated data on the impacts of desertification, land degradation and drought;

  • Address sand and dust storms and other escalating disaster risks by designing and implementing plans and policies including early warning and risk assessment, and mitigating their human-made causes at source;

  • Promote decent land-based jobs for youth and land-based youth entrepreneurship and strengthen youth participation in the UNCCD process; and

  • Ensure greater synergies among the three Rio Conventions, including complementarities in the implementation of these treaties through nature-based solutions and target-setting at the national level.

In addition to the decisions, three declarations were issued during the COP, namely (1) The Abidjan Call issued by the Heads of State and Government attending the Summit, (2) Abidjan Declaration on achieving gender equality for successful land restoration and (3) The COP15 “Land, Life and Legacy” Declaration,.

Several reports were also launched during COP15: (1) Drought in Numbers 2022, (2) Southern Africa thematic report (3) study on Differentiated Impacts of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought on Women and Men (4) Sand and Dust Storms Compendium and et al.

UNCCD’s COP15 is the first Conference of the Parties of the three Rio Conventions taking place in 2022, ahead of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change COP27 and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity COP15.

Future meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the UNCCD and its subsidiary bodies will be held in Saudi Arabia (COP16 in 2024), Mongolia (COP17 in 2026), and Uzbekistan (Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention in 2023).

Let's make ‘Clean Air For All’ a participative mission: Union Minister Bhupender Yadav in Chennai

21st May 2022

New Delhi: “It’s time to make ‘Clean Air For All’ a participative mission. The air quality improvement efforts have shown positive trends in achievement of better air quality in cities across the country. But if we wish to achieve what we aspire, ‘Jan Bhagidari’ or participative governance holds the key.” This was stated by Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav in Chennai today during the inauguration of Sensitization cum Review Workshop – National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) and XV-FC Million Plus Cities Challenge Fund (XV-FC MPCCF) of Southern region comprising Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Kerala, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep, Pondicherry, Daman and Diu and Dadar and Nagar Haveli.

Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister for Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Siva . V. Meyyanathan, Secretary of Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, Leena Nandan, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Forest, Government of Tamil Nadu Supriya Sahu, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, Naresh Pal Gangwar participated in the inaugural ceremony of the 2 day regional workshop organised by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

Speaking on the occasion Minister Bhupender Yadav appreciated the state mentioning that Chennai, Madurai and Trichy, the 3 million plus cities' air quality is within the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. He also praised the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board for the initiative of E- Commute program, under which all the officials of the board commute to office every Wednesday through non fossil fuel driven vehicles.

In another revolutionary step, he asserted that India leapfrogged to BS-VI standard and the adoption of its norms for fuel and vehicles is one of the landmark policy decisions towards combating air pollution.

“Under NCAP, 132 non-attainment cities have been identified across the country based on the Air Quality data from 2014-2018. The list is a heterogeneous mix of cities of all sizes and types and in southern India we have 13 such cities from Andhra Pradesh and 4 each from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana”, he added.

Bhupender Yadav recalled the Prime Minister’s commitment to ensure clean air to all people by improving the air quality in around 100 cities through holistic approach.

The Minister appealed to the young population to become active agents in the mission to improve air quality by adopting sustainable lifestyles, appropriate behaviours and attitudes and become change agents of the society. He expressed confidence that with the coordination, collaboration, participation and sustained efforts of all stakeholders, the objectives of NCAP in addressing the issue of air pollution in a comprehensive manner will be achieved.

Bhupender Yadav calls BRICS Countries for cooperation to explore Solar energy, industry transition, infrastructure and climate resilience

21st May 2022 sunita.mishra.ea@gmail.com

New Delhi: Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav participated in the 8th BRICS Environment Ministers Meeting, on Friday. The meeting was held virtually under Presidency of People’s Republic of China. The theme of the Meeting was “Foster High-Quality BRICS Partnership, Usher in a New Era for Global Development”. Ministers and delegates from Brazil, Russia and South Africa also participated in the Meeting.

BRICS is the acronym coined to associate five major emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs.

Addressing the Meeting, the Minister mentioned about the significance and important role of the BRICS Nations while combatting the global environmental and climate change challenges. Bhupender Yadav highlighted historical responsibility of developed countries for consuming the carbon budget; equity at all scales in climate action and sustainable development; lifestyle and curbing unsustainable consumption, in mitigating climate change; Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC); national circumstances and priorities; Climate Justice; and fulfilment of commitments made by the Developed Countries on climate finance and transfer of technology.

Highlighting India’s Climate Actions, the Union Environment Minister stated that BRICS led initiatives should be country-driven and voluntary in approach, and underlined the need for international cooperation and multilateralism.

During the discussion on Join Hands to Facilitate Green and Low-carbon Development, the Minister stated that existing BRICS initiatives can also contribute towards promoting sustainable and low-carbon development. Solar energy, industry transition, infrastructure and climate resilience are areas, where BRICS Countries may explore cooperation.

Notable that the BRICS have a combined area of 39,746,220 km2 and an estimated total population of about 3.21 billion, or about 26.7% of the world land surface and 41.5% of the world population. Four out of five members are among the world's ten largest countries by population and by area, except for South Africa which is twenty-third in both.

The Joint Statement for the 8th BRICS Environment Ministers Meeting was adopted in the Meeting after hectic deliberation among the BRICS Nations.

With NGT intervention, TMC completes refurbishment work of existing 1 MLD STP, Maha Govt. pays 1 Cr interim compensation

19th May 2022 sk.mishra.ea@gmail.com

New Delhi: Dr. Kiran Ramdas Kamble & Anr. sought intervention of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for failure of the Municipal Council Trimbak and other concerned authorities of the State of Maharashtra in preventing discharge of Municipal waste into river joining Godavari, in violation of judgement of the Supreme Court in Paryavaran Suraksha v. UOI, (2017) 5 SCC 326.

In the Original Application No. 544/2019, the applicants stated before the NGT that the situation remains so grave that living beings are forced to drink contaminated water with potential for water associated diseases at times leading to deaths, in flagrant violation of Constitutional mandate and binding directions of Supreme Court and even the NGT, with no coercive action against such serious violators.

The applicants had mentioned about the appaling attitude of the authorities, which was against human rights. This was found to be so though Trimbakeshwar is holy place of great significance, attracting devotees from all over the world, besides being the origin of river Godavari and lifeline of Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

With the intervention of the Green Court in the matter, it was reported that The Trimbak Municipal Council completed the work of refurbishment of the existing 1 MLD STP through Maharashtra Suvarn Jayanti Nagaratthan Mahabhiyan (District Level). Now, the STP is working as per standards.

The District Collector, Nashik has finalized the ozonization technology for augmentation of sewage treatment and restoration of water quality of the river at Trimbakeshwar.

As directed by the NGT, the State Government of Maharashtra also deposited a sum of Rs.1 Cr as interim compensation with the District Collector, Nashik on 15th November 2021.

The Green Tribunal observed that action has been taken, by the State Government, against some of the erring officers. The NGT Principal Bench on 18th May 2022 has directed that gap in generation of effluents and treatment capacity is proposed to be bridged by installing pre-fabricated STP and taking temporary measures. The NGT Bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Chairperson further noted the statement of State Government that no untreated sewage will henceforth be discharged into the Godavari.

Disposing the matter, NGT Principal Bench directed that the compensation deposited may be utilized by the Collector, Nashik for restoration of environment in accordance with the District Environment Plan. It was also directed that further, steps be taken to ensure connectivity to the STP to fully utilized its capacity. Plan be prepared for utilizing the treated water for secondary purposes, consistent with the directions of the Tribunal on the subject.

The Central Pollution Control Board has been asked to verify compliance status as on 30th November 2022.

Cabinet approves Amendments to the National Policy on Biofuels, 2018

19th May 2022

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the Amendments to the National Policy on Biofuels -2018. The “National Policy on Biofuels - 2018” was notified by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on 4th June 2018 in supersession of National Policy on Biofuels, promulgated through the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, in 2009.

According to a release from the government, the main amendments approved to the National Policy on Biofuels:

  • to allow more feedstocks for production of biofuels,

  • to advance the ethanol blending target of 20% blending of ethanol in petrol to ESY 2025-26 from 2030,

  • to promote the production of biofuels in the country, under the Make in India program, by units located in Special Economic Zones (SEZ)/ Export Oriented Units (EoUs),

  • to add new members to the NBCC.

  • to grant permission for export of biofuels in specific cases, and

  • to delete/amend certain phrases in the Policy in line with decisions taken during the meetings of National Biofuel Coordination Committee.

The existing National Policy on Biofuels came up during year 2018. This amendment proposal will pave the way for Make in India drive thereby leading to reduction in import of petroleum products by generation of more and more biofuels. Since many more feedstocks are being allowed for production of biofuels, this will promote the Atmanirbhar Bharat and give an impetus to Prime Minister’s vision of India becoming 'energy independent' by 2047.

EAC Industry 2 Sector Okays Reliance EC bifurcation

18th May 2022 sk.mishra.ea@gmail.com

New Delhi: The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for Industry Sector 2 projects has recommended a proposal for amendment (bifurcation) in the Environmental Clearance (EC) granted by the Ministry on 30th March 2010 and subsequent amendments to it for the project Petroleum and Petrochemical complex in multi products Special Economic Zone in District Jamnagar in Gujarat in favour of Reliance Jamnagar Infrastructure Limited which was further transferred in the name of Reliance Industries Limited on 18th October 2011.

There were 4 ECs taken into consideration. Split original EC wherein RIL will retain EC issued on 3rd June 2020 without the Gasification Unit and grant a separate EC in the name of Reliance Syngas Limited (RSL), for which NCLT has given approval, for Coke Gasification.

Due to the expansion/ bifurcation, several EC conditions are stated to be not applicable to RSL, for which no explanation given.

Haryana releasing reduced water in Yamuna, causing Water Scarcity in Delhi, says Sattyender Jain

17th May 2022 sk.Mishra.ea@gmail.com

New Delhi: In light of the declining water level in the Yamuna, Water Minister Satyendar Jain has said that Wazirabad and Chandrawal Water Treatment Plants are currently running at a fraction of their peak capability. He alleged that the Haryana government has reduced release of water in the Yamuna River. Due to the Haryana government's insufficient water release, the water level at Wazirabad barrage has dropped from its typical 674.5 feet to this year's lowest level of 669 feet.

The Minister said that Wazirabad barrage is most important water sources for North and West Delhi.

Delhi being a landlocked city, Rivers coming from neighbouring states make up the capital city's majority of the water supply. Some water comes into Delhi from the Punjab's Bhakra Nangal Dam. The majority of the water supply comes from Haryana via the Yamuna, which enters Delhi 15 kilometres before the Wazirabad Barrage. The Wazirabad Barrage, a unique form of dam with a series of enormous gates, was constructed on the Yamuna River in North Delhi in 1959. Wazirabad Barrage's water level has dropped to an all-time low of 669 feet this year. In this regard, the Delhi Jal Board has repeatedly demanded that the Haryana Irrigation Department rectify the situation, but the Haryana Government has paid no attention to the issue.

Govt. notifies Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary as India's 52nd Tiger Reserve

17th May 2022 Sunita.Mishra.ea@gmail.com

New Delhi: Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary is now notified as the 52nd Tiger Rreserve of India. It is Rajasthan’s 4th Tiger Reserve, after Ranthambore, Sariska and Mukundra.The Reserve has a Core Area of 481.9073 Square Kilometer (Sq. Km.) and Buffer Area of 1019.9848 Sq. Km. Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) gave its nod on 16th May 2022.

Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav has stated that "The 52nd Reserve of India will conserve biodiversity and bring in ecotourism and development to the area."

The Minister also communicated that "The newly notified tiger reserve includes the tiger habitat between Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in the northeast and Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve on the southern side and facilitates dispersal of tigers from Ranthambore Tiger Reserve."

Bhupender Yadav stated in a message "The floristic diversity of this new tiger reserve makes it an important area for research and education. Historic and cultural sites like Bhimlat, Ramgarh palace would encourage eco tourism and provide employment opportunities to local communities."

WTO Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions on 17th - 18th May 2022

14th May 2022 sk.mishra.ea@gmail.com

New Delhi: Trade and Environmental Sustainability Structured Discussions (TESSD) will hold meetings of its Informal Working Groups on 17th and 18th May 2022. The meeting will be held in hybrid form.

According to a communication from World Trade Organization, presentations to be made by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on trade related challenges and opportunities for developing countries in the renewable energy sector to achieve climate objectives, by World Bank on measuring carbon pricing and carbon content of production and transport, by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) on the Industrial Deep Decarbonisation Initiative (IDDI), and the challenges and opportunities for developing countries in decarbonizing their manufacturing industry and participating in low-carbon markets, on 17th May 2022.

Presentations are also scheduled on 18th May 2022 by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and representatives of IKEA, Mercedes Benz Group, Ragn-Sells and TrashCon that would provide a business perspective on opportunities and challenges with regard to trade-related aspects of the circular economy, by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on possible vertical and horizontal approaches for circular trade - in which trade-related challenges and possible solutions for improving e-waste recycling, as well as what trade policy can more broadly do to support the momentum towards a global circular economy are to be discussed, by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to discuss OECD Inventory of Support Measures for Fossil Fuels, methodologies for evaluating FFS, as well as existing information and information gaps relating to FFS, and by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) with an overview of the joint UNEP-FAO-UNDB report (A Multi-Billion-Dollar Opportunity: Repurposing agricultural support to transform food systems) on agricultural support measures in the context of environmental sustainability.

Members are likely to discuss on various questions including the following ones:

  • How can trade in environmental goods and services aid in achieving environment and climate goals?

  • What are important considerations regarding supply chains, technology, services, and technical and regulatory elements?

  • What challenges and policies impede the ability of developing countries and LDCs to engage in and maximize benefits from trade in environmental goods and services and how can these be addressed?

  • What trade-related climate measures and policies, including regulatory requirements, are Members pursuing, and what are related objectives, design characteristics, and potential trade implications?

  • What are the challenges facing MSMEs globally, and for developing countries, with regard to the design and use of trade-related climate measures and policies, and how can these be addressed?

  • How can the environmental effects and trade impacts of relevant subsidies be identified?

  • What information exists to better understand these impacts and where are there information gaps?

UltraTech Cement proposal gets stuck with CEPI Score


11th May 2022, New Delhi: The Expert Committee for Industry 1 Sector projects has returned proposals of UltraTech Cement Ltd. with a note on 14 points. The project in the name of Dala Cement Works was initially started by Jaiprakash Associates Limited, which could not commence the production within the EC validity due to the court case related to forest land. To read more on EAC Industry 1 Sector and Coal Mining sector subscribe to EA.

HSPCB, CPCB, MoEF&CC Joint Committee Report to NGT silent on non-compliances in Ireo Hospitality matter


11th May 2022, New Delhi: The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB), on 4th May, filed an Action Taken Report (ATR) before the Principal Bench of the national Green tribunal (NGT). Subsequently, on 6th May, the Tribunal came out with its Order in the light of ATR. Taking a deep look into the Joint Committee Report, it gives a clear picture to be selective in highlighting certain points, while remaining silent in several points which are significant in terms of compliance requirement. To read more subscribe to EA.

NBWL Standing Committee recommends 4 Irrigation projects and 1 road project from Haryana


New Delhi: Five projects from Haryana, seeking Wildlife Clearance, got recommendation from the Standing Committee of the National Board for WildLife in its 67th Meeting on 25th March 2022. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change.

Four irrigation proposals seeking use of forest land from Haryana’s Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary were recommended by the Standing Committee. The proposals involved use of 21.47 hectare (ha) of forest and private land from Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary and its ESZ for construction of earthen dam at Chikan. And, for use of 23.03 ha of forest land from Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary and 0.45 ha from its ESZ for construction of earthen dam at Kansli, Haryana. The third proposal for use of 20.37 ha of forest land from Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary and 20.3 ha (20.19 ha forest and 0.42 ha private land) from ESZ of the sanctuary for construction earthen dam at Khillanwala, Haryana. Another proposal for use of 42.83 ha of forest land and 0.12 ha private land from Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary and 0.03 ha forest land and 0.78 ha private land from ESZ of the sanctuary for construction of Ambawali Dam for Irrigation purpose, Haryana.

The main purpose of all the projects were noted to be irrigation. It was also noted that the projects will provide water to the wildlife in the sanctuary and improve underground water regime in the area.

Among various other conditions, it was mandated that in case of all the four proposals the cost of mitigative measures in the form of Conservation Plan will be at least 2% of the total project cost. The User Agency will have to deposit the entire Conservation Plan cost along with the Conservation Plan in the O/o Chief Wildlife Warden, Panchkula for approval.

The Standing Committee also recommended the proposal for use of 8.757 ha of forest land from Khol Hai Raitan Sanctuary and 0.703 ha from its ESZ for widening of road from Sector-32 Panchkula to Morni Road for a distance of 17.7 km. In this case, the amount to be deposited towards the Conservation Plan cost was not specified. It is specified that the User Agency will submit the Conservation Plan as per MoEF&CC, New Delhi letter F.No.1-20/2014 WL (Pt.) dated 28th October 2015, before starting the work and will implement the Conservation Plan in a phased manner. The user agency will deposit the Conservation Plan cost with Deputy Chief Wildlife Warden, Panchkula.

Three other proposals from Haryana were deferred for the next meeting. Application for diversion of 21.29924 ha from Sultanpur National Park for SGT University (Medical College cum Hospital and Research Institute) at Budhera Village in Gurugram; 2.96 ha Affordable Group Housing Colony Project at Dhorka Village, Sector-95, Gurugram by Sternal Buildcon Private Limited; and Construction of an Affordable Group Housing in Dhorka Village, Sector-95, Gurugram, of Signature Infrabuild Pvt. Ltd. on a land measuring 2.069 ha; deferred for various reasons, primarily for the want of information pertaining to biomedical wastes.

5th October declared as National Dolphin Day

New Delhi: Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupendra Yadav informed that Standing Committee of the National Board for Wild has recommended to celebrate October 5th as National Dolphin Day every year as a historic step in creating awareness for conservation of Dolphins. The Minister stated that generating awareness & community participation is integral for conservation of the indicator species. He chaired the 67th meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wild Life here today.

The Standing Committee discussed several important policy issues and the proposals for wildlife clearances forwarded by the State Governments and the Union Territory administrations.

Healthy aquatic ecosystems help in maintaining the overall health of the Planet. Dolphins act as ideal ecological indicators of a healthy aquatic ecosystem and conservation of the Dolphins will, therefore, benefit the survival of the species and also, the people dependent on the aquatic system for their livelihood. The Ministry has been taking up several activities for the protection and conservation of Dolphins and its habitats. Considering that generating awareness amongst the people on the benefits of conservation of Dolphins and participation of people in conservation efforts is imperative, the Standing Committee recommended that every year 5th of October shall be celebrated as National Dolphin Day.

The Standing Committee also considered 46 proposals for wildlife clearance and recommended several projects of public importance and essential for improving livelihood of local communities such as providing electricity in remote villages in Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh, drinking water supply to villagers in Karnataka. Projects of strategic importance such as road and border outpost in the Union Territory of Ladakh were also recommended during the meeting.

The Standing Committee recommended four proposals for construction of earthen dams in the State of Haryana to improve irrigation facilities. These dams will also recharge ground water in the Sanctuary which will benefit the wildlife habitat.

The Standing Committee also recommended road project under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana in the State of Uttarakhand in order to provide connectivity to remote villages with appropriate animal passage structures.

A Project for harnessing the geothermal energy for power generation and other direct heat applications by drilling through rocks overlying the geothermal reservoir in Ladakh was also recommended in the meeting with appropriate mitigation measures.