ENVIRO ANNOTATIONS

Telangana Govt. in violation EIA Notification

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New Delhi: In the 29th meeting of the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of River Valley and Hydroelectric Projects was held on 15th June 2022 under the Chairmanship of Dr. K. Gopakumar, it was confirmed that Gouravelli Reservoir project involves violation.


According to the EAC, the project situated in Siddipeta District of Telangana will be appraised as per the Standard Operating Procedure for identification and handling of violation cases under EIA Notification, 2006 mentioned in OM dated 7th July 2021.


The matter was in National Green Tribunal (NGT) Southern Zone, Chennai. In its final order dated 10th February 2022, the NGT stated that since the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has taken cognizance of the alleged violations said to have been committed by the State of Telangana and initiated proceedings under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 by issuing show cause notice, there is no necessity for the Tribunal to proceed with the matter and leave open the regulators to take appropriate action against the project proponent. In this case Government of Telangana is the Project Proponent.


Telangana Govt. has been asked for submission of fresh application seeking approval for Terms of Reference. Further details to be published in our print edition dated 29th June 2022.

ZSI celebrates 107th Foundation Day on 1st July

New Delhi: Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) is going to celebrate its 107th ZSI day in the city on 1st July 2022 in presence of Union Minister for Environment & Forest and Climate Change Bhupendra Yadav, Union Minister of State for Environment & Forest and Climate Change Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Secretary, Union Ministry of Environment & Forest and Climate Change Leena Nandan. This was informed by Dr Dhriti Banerjee on Tuesday in a press conference. ZSI, the storehouse of almost six and half million faunal specimens will be celebrating the 107th year of foundation with the theme ‘Jeevan Dhara’ or ‘Flow of Life’.

Sharing future plans, the ZSI Director announed that ZSI proposes to venture into trans-boundary faunal diversity exploration in the neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar in collaboration with Armed Forces and Paramilitary agencies of the Indian Government. It also proposes to venture into the deep sea mission of the Ministry of Earth Sciences and Taxonomic Application as part of Access and Benefit Sharing by breakthrough research in association with CSIR, ICAR, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Biotechnology and identifying potential pollinators and agricultural pests. She also propounded that ZSI proposes exchange programmes for BRICS countries as well as partnership between SAARC nations and also through Bay of Bengal Programme (BOBP) Inter-Governmental Organisation.


Dr Banerjee also elaborated on the programmes of the 107th ZSI Day and stated that the volume on Animal Discoveries and Plant Discoveries-2021 will be released on that date with the Union Minister to distribute prestigious E K Janaki Animal Awards to three distinguished Taxonomists of the country. This apart, the Minister will also release ZSI publications like Faunal Diversity of Bio-geographic zones of India, Deccan Peninsula, Faunal Diversity of Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh, Faunal Diversity of Satkosia-Baisipalli Wildlife Sanctuaries, Satkosia Tiger Reserve, Odisha and Birds of India and Botanical Survey of India (BSI) publications like The Wild Orchids of Goa, Flora of India-Vol 9 and Algal Flora of Jharkhand, based on the field researches conducted by both ZSI and BSI over the past five years. Besides, a website depicting 15 lakh species of butterflies will be launched on that day, she stated.


Dr Banerjee spoke about the organisation signing MoUs internationally with Natural History Museum, London, Natural History Museum of Paris and International Barcode of Life Consortium in order to give impetus to the pursuit of academic excellence. At national level also ZSI has signed MoUs with 25 Central and State universities across the country, she stated. On the 107th Foundation Day MoUs will be signed between ZSI and University of Burdwan and West Bengal State University, she said. She also disclosed that in near future ZSI is interested to sign similar MoUs with Kalyani University and University of North Bengal.


Dr. Banerjee also deliberated upon ZSI’s formulations to kill mosquito vectors in aquatic stages. She said, such an invention developed several botanical essential oil formulations for eco-friendly control of mosquitoes which may be used with conventional insecticide applicators and by hand held applications. According to Dr Banerjee, Automated Surveillance System for mosquitoes and other insects are the recent innovations by ZSI.

Japan influencing G7 to do away with Zero Emission Vehicle Target?

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Japan is pushing to remove a target for zero-emission vehicles from a G7 communique expected this week, reports Reuters. G7 leaders are meeting in the Bavarian Alps for a summit where climate change figures on the agenda.


Japan is an influential member of the Group of Seven rich nations. According to Reuters, the pressure from Tokyo comes as the Japanese auto industry has faced scrutiny from green investors who say it has been slow to embrace zero-emission vehicles and lobbied against regulations that would encourage quicker transition to the technology.


Reuters had reported last week that Toyota Motor Corp's head lobbied the Japanese government to make clear it supported hybrid vehicles as much as zero-emission battery electrics.


Japan has proposed removing a reference to a "collective goal of at least 50% zero-emission vehicles by 2030", according to a draft of the communique reviewed by Reuters.


It's also stated that Japan had separately pushed to remove a goal for all new car and van sales in G7 countries to be "zero emission vehicles" by 2035, in the G7 climate ministers' communique in late May. Ultimately the 2035 target was not included in the final statement, which pledged instead to achieve a "highly decarbonised road sector by 2030" by "significantly increasing" zero-emission vehicle sales.


Japan has the view that automakers should not be limited to specific technologies and needed to keep a range of options towards reaching a goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.


According to article published in Nikkei Asia, though electric vehicles emit no tailpipe carbon, it is estimated that producing them and their batteries generates nearly twice as much carbon dioxide as making gasoline automobiles.

For gasoline vehicles, carbon dioxide is generated when petroleum is extracted from oil fields, when the crude is refined into gasoline, and when the gasoline is burned by the autos.


But electric vehicles contribute to emissions because they are powered mainly by electricity generated from plants that burn fossil fuels. Such power stations account for nearly 80% of Japan's electricity generation.


The shift to electric vehicles will require an overhaul of power sources.

Toyota, the world's biggest automaker by sales, has said fossil fuels, not internal combustion engines, are the problem. As well as the hybrids it popularised more than two decades ago with the Prius, it also champions hydrogen technology, although that has so far not caught on the way battery-electric cars have.


According Retuters, Energy and climate think-tank InfluenceMap has rated Toyota the worst among major automakers for its lobbying record on climate policy, which includes public statements and interaction with governments.

Modi in Munich

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Nardendra Modi arrived in Munich to attend the G7 summit. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has invited India as one of the partner countries besides Argentina, Indonesia, Senegal, and South Africa.


During the three-day summit from 26th June to 28th June at Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps, leaders are expected to discuss global issues including environment, energy, climate, and food security.


Prime Minister Modi has stated that “During the sessions of the Summit, I will be exchanging views with the G7 counties, G7 partner countries and guest International Organisations on topical issues such as environment, energy, climate, food security, health, counter-terrorism, gender equality and democracy. I look forward to meeting leaders of some of the participating G7 and guest countries on the sidelines of the Summit.”


Strong alliances for a sustainable planet - that is one of the most important goals of the G7 Summit under the German presidency. Germany must become climate neutral by 2045.


Federal Chancellor Scholz gas said on 22nd June 2022 “The G7 will send out a clear signal for increased climate protection, enhanced international cooperation and greater global solidarity.”


Chancellor Scholz put it, the Russia - Ukraine war must not lead “us as the G7 to neglect our responsibility for global challenges such as the climate crisis and the pandemic. On the contrary: many of the goals we set ourselves at the beginning of the year have become even more pressing as a result of the change in the global situation.”

The G7 leaders are also expected to discuss options for tackling rising energy prices and replacing Russian oil and gas imports.


“Progress towards an equitable world” – this is the goal Germany set itself on taking over the G7 Presidency at the beginning of the year, laying out five areas of action to guide the work of the G7.


Germany has already launched a number of initiatives under its Presidency and is seeking to achieve the following outcomes at the G7 Summit:

  • a global alliance for food security,

  • a pact to combat future pandemics,

  • a common position among democracies on the defence of open societies,

  • an open, cooperative Climate Club that promotes climate-friendly business and reduces competitive disadvantages.


The summit takes place at the castle resort of Schloss Elmau at the foot of Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze - the same venue as when the country last hosted the G7 annual meet-up in 2015. Then too, Russian aggression against Ukraine dominated the agenda a year after Moscow's invasion of Crimea.


The G7 was founded in 1975 as a forum for the richest nations to discuss crises such as the OPEC oil embargo.


It became the G8 after Russia was admitted six years after the fall of the Soviet Union. But Moscow was suspended in 2014 after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine.


The G7 consists of Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, Canada and the USA. The European Union is also represented at all G7 meetings. The Presidency rotates between members on an annual basis. Germany takes over the Presidency from the UK in 2022 and will be succeeded by Japan in 2023.

Delhi Govt. organizing fair to promote single-use plastic alteratives

New Delhi: Delhi Government has decided to hold a three-day fair at Thyagaraj Stadium from 1st July to 3rd July 2022 in order to raise awareness of alternate options to single-use plastics (SUP).


Delhi Government Environment Minister Gopal Rai has stated that single-use plastic has been a significant factor in fostering pollution. To stop the usage of single-use plastic items in such circumstances, an awareness campaign is required. In order to promote various alternatives against single-use plastic, the government has planned to hold a 3-day fair at Thyagaraj Stadium from 1st July through 3rd July.


Companies, entrepreneurs, and organisations producing related to single-use plastic alternatives are expected to participate in this fair. The platform would also offer scope for sharing single-use plastic alternative products with the consumers. Single-use plastic alternatives like pottery, cloth, bags made of paper and jute, crockery made of biodegradable items are to be displayed. In addition, things made from recycled plastic such as trays, vases, stands, photo frames etc., compostable products, compostable food packaging materials, home decor items will also be included in this fair. Entrepreneurs working on other alternatives to single use plastic can log on to the website of Environment Department www.environment.delhigovt.nic.in for registration.


Environment Minister Gopal Rai has appealed to all the citizens of Delhi to join hands with the government to encourage and promote start-ups/entrepreneurs producing other single use plastic alternatives and to make Delhi a plastic free city for citizens. Encourage them to use the alternatives of SUPS.

Green Court disposes 904 cases in the First Half of 2022

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The National Green Tribunal (NGT), often called the Green Court of India, has been marching ahead in continuing its adjudication on environmental issues. It has been expeditiously dealing sensitive environmental issues with pronouncing workable orders. The Tribunal has been progressive and up-to-date on current and likely to come issues insisting and motivating Governing Institutions to gear up to deal with the situation with the main agenda on environmental protection as well as paving way to the developmental activities enabling government to move the nationally launched programs.


The Tribunal received 495 applications during January to May 2022 and disposed of 904 including current and carried forward matters. The Principal Bench under Chairperson, Justice Adarsh K. Goel has disposed of 607 matters, which is an average of more than 4 cases per day.


The Chairperson in an extraordinary move, introspected the matters registered with its Zonal Benches at Pune, Kolkata, Chennai and Bhopal and took up those matters which have been under consideration before 2017 and could not reach to their finality. In the process, with Joint seating of the Principal Bench with the concerned Zonal Benches presided by Justice Adarsh K. Goel, as many, 297 matters have been disposed of.


The Tribunal kept its watch on public receipts having grievances not getting attended by the concerned institutions, also took up in the light of their importance.


The NGT Principal Bench during the period dealt issues and passed orders in a wide range of matters which include, Accidents and Casualties, Constitution of National Fly Ash Mission, performance audits of State Environment Impact Assessment Authorities (SEIAAs), settling the pending issue on granting environmental clearance (EC) to Inland Waterways Project on Ganga, quashing the EC granted to a High rise Residential building in the sensitive Delhi ridge area, Sahibabad drain encroachment removal, halting of further development in the Shimla Planning Area, 2041, stopping slaughterhouse operation in Delhi without meeting with consent conditions and achieving ZLD.

Accidents and Casualties: The Green Court dealt with many industrial and other accidental matters, which have caused environmental concerns and fatalities. Incidents were related to Virudnagar firecrackers, Tamil Nadu; Chikkaballapur mine explosion, Karnataka and et al. In all such matters, the Tribunal directed to take remedy so such incidents don’t recur. Directions were also to the effect of compensating deceased and injured.


National Fly Ash Mission: The Tribunal directed Constitution of National Fly Ash Mission to ensure that Thermal Power Plants utilize fly ash as per the set targets.


SEIAA Performance Audit: While observing irregularities in issuance of environmental clearances by the State Authorities, the Tribunal directed the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to undertake performance audits of all the State Environment Impact Assessment Authorities and take remedial actions.


Paving way for EC to Inland Waterways Project on Ganga: The Tribunal featured in a successful settling of the pending issue on granting EC to the flagship project on Inland Waterways Project on Ganga with Authorities to act according to Supreme Court India directives.


Quashing EC to high rise building project in Delhi University area: Tribunal quashed the EC granted to a High rise Residential building in Delhi coming up near the educational institution and in the command area of the sensitive Delhi ridge.


Drains Encroachment Removal: While emphasizing need to maintain basic purpose of storm water drains, the Tribunal directed the concerned authorities at Ghaziabad (UP) to remove encroachments from the both sides of Sahibabad drain and specified that both sides of the drains be demarcated for no activities except greenery.


Shimla Development: The Tribunal set aside and halted further development in the Shimla Planning Area, 2041 which was contrary to the directives given by the Tribunal.


Delhi Slaughterhouse case: The Tribunal directed DPCC for not allowing slaughter house to be operated in Delhi not meeting with consent conditions and achieving zero liquid discharge,

The NGT through joint sitting with the concerned Zonal Benches passed direction in many more important matters and some of them may be listed as below:


Noise Emission Standards for Vehicle: The NGT considered the actions already taken relating to monitoring of noise from vehicles, inclusion of standards in type approval at manufacturing stage, etc. and hence no further directions were given.

Periyar River (Kerala): The Green Tribunal directed that the polluted river stretches of Periyar River be taken up for restoration of water quality as per the action plan which would include containing industrial pollution control, insisting zero liquid discharge and not discharging untreated sewage into the river and action plan to be monitored by the Chief Secretary.

Ulsoor Lake Bengaluru: The Green Court has directed fir the completion of remaining works for improving the water quality of the lake, modernizing abattoirs, reducing fecal coliform bacteria and providing suitable aeration devices.

Coastal – Marine Ecology protection at Digha – Shakarpur in West Bengal: National Green Tribunal observed that many commercial activities and hotels have come up in the CRZ area as well as not in accordance with Coastal Zone Management Plan. The Tribunal insisted on getting environmental compensation and a Committee to ensure that hotels operating in violations need to be closed down.

Pulicat Lake: While preserving the Pulicat lake from destruction, the Tribunal constituted an expert committee, which would ensure the surrounding of Pulicat lake do not harm and revised ESZ Notification which may thereafter be finalized in accordance with law.

Panje wetland: While dealing the issue of construction, obstruction of flow of water in Panje wetland bounded by the villages Panje, Phunde, Dongari and Bokadvira, Navi Mumbai, the Tribunal directed that preventing water logging during the period of high tides for maintenance and restoration of flap gates and ponds as well as necessary steps for protection, conservation and management of the wetland need to be followed. The Joint Committee will be free to permit any protective measures during monsoon to prevent flooding. There is no bar to desilting, subject to necessary approvals of the statutory authorities without adversely affecting the mangroves and the tidal flow.

Alongside, NGT also addressed a wide range of issues like (1) Maintaining indoor air quality at public places, (2) micro plastic endangering environmental health and (3) tapping issues on algal blooms in oceans as well as oil spills, and (4) Himalayan eco fragile areas in context of development and protection and maintaining eco sensitive zones and wildlife protection.

In the latter part of the year, the Tribunal has scheduled inviting Chief Secretaries to provide progress on implementation of works on municipal solid and sewage management and both these issues are monitored by the Tribunal as these matters transferred from Hon'ble Supreme Court. #NGT

Manufacturing of Phosphoric Acid and Sulphuric Acid doesn't require EC

New Delhi: Manufacturing of Phosphoric Acid and Sulphuric Acid, as standalone or within the existing premises of the project/activity for which prior Environment Clearance (EC) has already been granted, does not require prior EC.


Notable that manufacturing of synthetic organic chemicals are covered under the schedule 5(f) of the EIA Notification 2006 and require prior EC. However, Office Memorandum dated 8th June 2022 issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) describes Phosphoric Acid and Sulphuric Acid as inorganic compounds. Therefore, manufacturing of Phosphoric Acid and Sulphuric Acid is not covered under the extant provisions of the EIA Notification, 2006 as amended from time to time, and shall not require prior EC.


The OM further states that in case, the Phosphoric Acid plant and/or Sulphuric Acid plant which are set up within the existing premises of the project/activity for which prior EC has already been obtained, it shall be ensured that inclusion/expansion/modernization of the said plant shall not result in increase in the production level of the project beyond the sanctioned capacity stated in the prior EC.


Consent to Establish/Operate from the concerned State Pollution Control Boards/State Pollution Control Committees as per Air Act, 1981, and Water Act, 1974 shall be required for manufacturing Phosphoric Acid and Sulphuric Acid. #EIA #EC #Acid

NGT Principal Bench Observes Young Builders EC Vitiated

Published in our Print Edition dated1st June 2022

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) Principal Bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Chairperson has stated that Environmental Clearance (EC), to Young Builder Pvt. Ltd., has been granted without proper evaluation, project cannot be allowed without such proper evaluation about its sustainability or otherwise in the light of available data, a case is made for interference by the Tribunal.

Deliberating on existing air and noise levels the NGT Bench stated that “We may also note at this stage that the precarious condition of air and water pollution in Delhi has drawn attention of various institutions like Niti Ayog which has projected a dismal picture.” It further stated that existing air and noise levels do not permit any further additive load in the area, particularly a high-rise building having adverse impacts on environment, including potential for fire incidents, adverse impact on microclimate due to wind funneling and turbulence around their bases, generation of particulate matter because of heavy machinery and equipment and waste management. There will be unmanageable impact on traffic density and adverse impact on flora and fauna and groundwater regime of nearby pristine Ridge.

University of Delhi through its Registrar, North Campus, Delhi had filed Appeal No. 17/2021 under Section 16(h) of National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 assailing EC dated 21st May 2021 issued by Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change in favour of Young Builder Private Limited for construction of group housing project with built up area as 1,37,879.64 square meter at 1 , 3 Cavalry Lane and 4 Chhatra Marg, Near Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station, New Delhi. The project comprises 5 number buildings/blocks with a total 446 flats. Maximum height of the building permitted by the above EC is 145.3 meter.

In its 268 page Order dated 31st May 2022, the NGT Bench has also emphasized Young Builder’s improper justification with regard to micro climate changes, as heat would be generated from such large construction including air conditioners that will be operational in high rise buildings. NGT has observed that green cover would not reduce the formation of heat islands because trees would take maximum cover up to one to two floors which is the height of the tree but the buildings are more than 40 floors. Hence heat generation from these structures and mitigation measures are not mentioned. NGT has further outlined that micro climatic conditions also include the vehicles that would be owned by the residents. Their movement and emission that would occur in confined place has not been studied.

NGT Hearing against Waste Management co. Ecogreen Energy postponed for 7th time in a row

30th May 2022 sk.Mishra.ea@gmail.com

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal has rescheduled hearing in the matter of Poonam Yadav versus Ecogreen Energy Pvt. Ltd. & Ors. for the 7th time. Now, it's scheduled on 8th August 2022. So far, the matter pertaining to Original Application No. 172/2021 was given only one hearing on 19th July 2021.

Poonam Yadav, in her application, has raised the issue of failure in maintaining environmental Read more

“Jurisdiction of Green Tribunal is not dependent on MoEF&CC’s decision alone”: NGT Principal Bench

25th May 2022 sk.Mishra.ea@gmail.com

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has stated that “Jurisdiction of this Tribunal is not dependent on MoEF&CC’s decision alone”. The NGT stated this while hearing a review application by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), on 24th May 2022. MoEF&CC has filed a Review Application No. 14/2022 to review the Tribunal’s Order dated 6th April 2022 in the matter of Original Application No. 136/2020 pertaining to Veterans Forum for Transparency in Public Life versus State of Himachal Pradesh & Ors. Read more