Environment friendly eradication of invasive inspect pest

8th August 2022 Sunita.Mishra.ea@gmail.com

One of the most devastating insect pests infesting fruits and vegetables in Mexico has been eradicated in the state of Colima, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The Colima outbreak was detected in April 2021 in the Mexico’s largest port, Manzanillo. It posed an immediate risk to crops, including guavas, mangoes, papaya, and oranges.

According to UN, if not managed promptly, it would have been a significant blow to Mexico's trade across the sector overall, which generates over more than $9.2 billion, annually in exports as well as millions of local jobs.

In cooperation with IAEA and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), scientists there was able to use a UN-developed nuclear-based sterile insect technique (SIT) to eradicate the medfly, more commonly known as the fruit fly.

As per one UN communication, when medfly females lay eggs in ripe fruit the quality of products can be impacted, making them inedible and unfit to be sold. Scientists released more than 1,450 million sterile male flies in Colima with the environmentally-friendly SIT insect pest control method, that uses irradiation to sterilize insects. When the males mated with wild females after their release, no offspring were produced – eventually leading to eradication of the insects.

CAQM revises GRAP for Delhi-NCR

8th August 2022 sk.Mishra.ea@gmail.com

The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) on 5th August 2022 has revised the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) for NCR including NCT of Delhi. The revised GRAP shall come into force with effect from 1st October 2022.

According to the revision, the GRAP is now classified under 4 different stages of adverse air quality in Delhi. Stage - I to be accounted with Delhi air quality in Poor AQl category range of 201 - 300. Stage - ll to be considered when Delhi AQI shall be under Very Poor category in the range of 301 -400. AQI in the range of 401 - 500 has been categorized as Severe Category with AQI 401-450 and Severe+ when AQI goes above 450. With Delhi AQI in the range of AQl 401 -450 shall be treated as Stage - lll and it shall be Stage - lV when Delhi AQI goves above 450.

CAQM has mandated that actions under Stages ll, lll ond lV of the GRAP shall be invoked at least 3 days in advance of the AQI reaching to the projected levels of that stage, based on the dynamic model and weather/ meteorological forecast to be provided to the Commission by IMD / IITM on a day-to-day basis.

NGT Orders RSPCB for imposition of Rs. 5 Lakh per month environmental compensation charges from Rathi Special Steel

4th August 2022 sk.Mishra.ea@gmail.com

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) to allow Rathi Special Steels Ltd. (RSSL) to resume its functioning Unit at plot no. SP-29 & F-20-24, RIICO Industrial Area Khushkhera, District-Alwar, initially for a period of one week. After testing the air quality of the running unit if no emission beyond permissible limit is found and other environmental norms are also complied, unit may be allowed to continue but under strict monitoring and supervision by RSPCB. However, since on and after 11th February 2021 when direction of Tribunal granting indulgence with regard to prior EC to be obtained by the units like RSSL, expired, yet the company continued to function, NGT has imposed environmental compensation of Rs. 5 lakh/month for the period of violation i.e., for the period unit has run, on and after 11th february 2021 till date. If appellant decides to resume its production as permitted above, the same amount of compensation shall also be paid for the period unit continued to run without EC.

RSSL is engaged in manufacturing and trading of thermo-mechanical treatment (TMT), reinforcement steel bars and low carbon billets. It is manufacturing the product with brand name of ‘Rathi Shaktiman Construction Steel Bars’. The company has in-house capacity of producing mild steel billets as raw materials for producing steel bars. ‘Rathi Shaktiman Excel’ (another brand name of product) is hot rolled from steel billets and subjected to programmable logic controller (PLC) controlled online thermo-mechanical treatment in three stages, which include quenching stage, tempering stage and cooling stage. Under quenching stage, water spray is used as a cooling treatment to hot ribbed bar at controlled temperature and pressure. Rathi Shaktiman Excel has double rib pattern. Rathi Shaktiman Thermax is available in a range of sizes. RSSL is manufacturing Rathi Shaktiman Excel at its manufacturing plants in North India. Company has steel rolling mill at Khushkhera, Alwar district, Rajasthan.

NGT, in its order dated 12th February 2020 passed in Gajubha Jesar Jadeja vs. Union of India & Others, OA 55/2019(WZ), took a view that rolling industries had to obtain EC. The Tribunal granted time to obtain EC, but, during this period, industries were allowed to operate.

The Green Court has directed Competent Authority under EIA 2006 to take a final decision on the application for EC submitted by appellant within 3 months.

Expressing dissatisfaction over RSPCB, the NGT Principal Bench has stated that "Unfortunately, role of RSPCB in this case, is also dubious. Though things were made clear long back, RSPCB also knew that appellant’s unit had to obtain EC, no effective action was taken on its part except of simply issuing some letters. No strict action was taken though it had enough powers under the Statute. We have no hesitation in observing that RSPCB has miserably failed as a Statutory Regulator to take such steps as and when necessary for implementation of environmental laws."

Access to clean and healthy environment a universal right

29th July 2022 sk.Mishra.ea@gmail.com

The UN General Assembly adopted a historic resolution on Thursday, declaring access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, a universal human right. The resolution, based on a similar text adopted last year by the Human Rights Council, calls upon States, international organisations, and business enterprises to scale up efforts to ensure a healthy environment for all.

Last October, for the first time, the United Nations body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world, passed a resolution recognising access to a healthy and sustainable environment as a universal right. The text, originally presented by Costa Rica, the Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia and Switzerland last June, and now co-sponsored by over 100 countries, notes that the right to a healthy environment is related to existing international law and affirms that its promotion requires the full implementation of multilateral environmental agreements.

It also recognises that the impact of climate change, the unsustainable management and use of natural resources, the pollution of air, land and water, the unsound management of chemicals and waste, and the resulting loss in biodiversity interfere with the enjoyment of this right - and that environmental damage has negative implications, both direct and indirect, for the effective enjoyment of all human rights.

The recognition of the right to a healthy environment by these UN bodies, although not legally binding— meaning countries don’t have a legal obligation to comply— is expected to be a catalyst for action and to empower ordinary people to hold their governments accountable.

Three main interlinked environmental threats that humanity currently faces: climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss - all mentioned in the text of the resolution. Each of these issues has its own causes and effects and they need to be resolved if we are to have a viable future on Earth.

The consequences of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, through increased intensity and severity of droughts, water scarcity, wildfires, rising sea levels, flooding, melting polar ice, catastrophic storms and declining biodiversity.

Meanwhile, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is the largest cause of disease and premature death in the world, with more than seven million people dying prematurely each year due to pollution.

Finally, the decline or disappearance of biological diversity - which includes animals, plants and ecosystems - impacts food supplies, access to clean water and life as we know it.

EAC Industry-1 seeks Govt. Institution report on Ratnamani Metals and Tube manufacturing process

27th July 2022, New Delhi

The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for Industry Sector-1 Projects, chaired by Rajive Kumar, IFS (Retd.), has sought a report prepared by any reputed government institution or government undertaking institution to examine the process of Ratnamani Metals and Tube Ltd., located at Vastrapur, Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

The Institutions has to report on whether process adopted in the industry falls under the purview of Primary or Secondary Metallurgy process or not as per provision of the EIA Notification, 2006 and

Technical Guidelines issued under thereon.

Based on the submission of the report, the EAC may give its opinion whether the process requires prior EC under EIA Notification, 2006 and amendments thereof.

The industry is involved in manufacturing and export of Carbon steel, Stainless-Steel Pipes and Tubes. Gujarata Pollution Control Board has interpreted that for making of Pipe/tubes, it is mandatory to seek prior Environment Clearance, taking a view that such activity I falling under metallurgical process Para 3 (a) Metallurgical Industries (ferrous & non-ferrous) of the EIA Notification 2006. Subsequently, the company approached the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change seeking expert opinion, or clarification.

NCR Districts attain only nearly 54% of Plantation Target

23rd July 2022, New Delhi

The National Capital Region (NCR) Districts of Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi have achieved plantation target of around 54% as on 20th July.

According to a government communication, continuing its efforts to abate air pollution in the NCR through enhanced green cover and large-scale plantation, the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR & Adjoining Areas (CAQM) has been reviewing the progress of plantation in the NCR districts of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan and NCT of Delhi. As against the revised plantation target of 3,34,56,541, the NCR Districts of Haryana, Rajasthan, U.P. and NCT of Delhi have achieved plantation of 1,81,90,447, i.e., an achievement of more than 54% as on 20th July.

The plan for the year 2022-23, mandates enhanced plantation targets as compared to the previous year and State Governments of Haryana, Rajasthan, U.P. and GNCTD have set increased plantation targets for the year 2022-23. As on 20th July 2022, NCT of Delhi has done 8,38,416 plantations as against the plantation target of 35,06,900; NCR Districts of U.P. has done 1,52,36,379 plantations as against the plantation target of 1,87,39,565; Haryana (NCR) has done 17,06,152 plantations as against the target of 1,01,56,447; and two NCR districts of Rajasthan have done 4,09,500 plantations as against the target of 10,53,629. The percentage achievement, as compared to the revised target, as on 20th July by NCR Haryana, NCR Uttar Pradesh, NCR Rajasthan and NCT of Delhi is 16.7%, 81.3%, 38.8% and 23.9 % respectively.

The NCR States of Haryana and Rajasthan and GNCTD need to gather further momentum and were directed to expedite the plantation drive to achieve their respective targets and send an updated status as on 31.07.2022 by early August. The Commission has also taken an initiative to engage various major stakeholders including from Universities, Higher Education and Research Institutions to push the plantation drive in the National Capital Region.

The plantation progress will be reviewed again by the Commission with the NCR States and NCTD in August.

FAO report highlights need to gauge animal health impact on emissions

22nd July 2022

Animal health is important to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but greater investment is needed to evaluate the impact, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and partners said in a report published on Thursday.

“This report marks a breakthrough in highlighting the importance of animal health and guiding countries towards a much more granular approach in evaluating its role and how it needs to be incorporated into national commitments to help mitigate the climate crisis,” said Maria Helena Semedo, the FAO Deputy Director-General.

FAO considers animal health vital for sustainable livestock production. Not only are animal products a source of high-quality food, they also are a source of income for many small farmers and animal holders, significantly contributing to livelihoods and economies in many developing countries.

Diseases affecting animals - as well as how long they live and how productive they are - have a significant impact on emissions. However, no standardized method currently exists to measure progress so that improved animal health can be included in national climate commitments.

The report highlights that data on feed for different categories of animals and manure management systems are also critical as these have a strong influence on emission factors.

Recommendations contained in the report include establishing a data collection and maintenance system, while the capacity of governments and partners should be enhanced in calculating emissions and accounting for impact throughout the value chain.

Standalone Re-rolling units, Cold rolling units need EC

22nd July 2022

On 20th July 2022, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has directed all the standalone re-rolling units or cold rolling units, which are in existence and in operation as on the date of the notification dated 20th July 2022, with valid Consent to Establish (CTE) and Consent to Operate (CTO) from the concerned State Pollution Control Board or the Union territory Pollution Control Committee, as the case may be, shall apply online for grant of Terms of Reference (ToR) followed by Environment Clearance. #EIA #MoEF To get such updates Subscribe to Enviro Annotations.

Volkswagen says ramping up the battery supply chain is challenging

Enviro Annotationssk.Mishra.ea@gmail.com

On Wednesday, the EU countries have clinched deals on proposed laws to combat climate change, backing a 2035 phase-out of new fossil fuel car sales and a multibillion-euro fund to shield poorer citizens from CO2 costs. Now, from 2035 selling of internal-combustion engine cars would be impossible.

As per an article by Ilona Wissenbach and Jan Schwartz, Reuters, after more than 16 hours of negotiations, environment ministers from the European Union's 27 member states agreed their joint positions on five laws, part of a broader package of measures to slash planet-warming emissions this decade.

"The climate crisis and its consequences are clear, and so policy is unavoidable," EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans said, adding that he thought the invasion of Ukraine by top gas supplier Russia was spurring countries to quit fossil fuels faster.

The climate proposals aim to ensure the 27-country EU - the world's third-biggest greenhouse gas emitter - reaches its 2030 target of reducing net emissions by 55% from 1990 levels.

On 23rd June 2022, Business Times had reported a statement by consultant Alix Partners that Electric Vehicle (EV) sales could reach 33% globally by 2028 and 54% by 2035, as demand accelerates in most major markets. EVs accounted for less than 8% of global sales last year.

The Indian automobile industry is the fifth largest in the world and is expected to become the third largest by 2030. As per India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), the Indian EV industry is expected to expand at a CAGR of 36%. NITI Aayog aims to achieve EV sales penetration of 70% for all commercial cars, 30% for private cars, 40% for buses and 80% for two and three-wheelers by 2030. This is in line with the goal to achieve net zero carbon emission by 2070. Over the last three years, 0.52 million (5.2 Lakh) EVs were registered in India. But, a major chunk of this figure is of 3-wheelers and 2-wheelers.

According to Reuters, auto major VW believes that the most challenging topic is not ramping up the car plants, but ramping up the battery supply chain.

VW has said it will stop selling combustion engine cars in the region by the target date, but some carmakers further behind in the race to develop electric vehicles (EVs), such as Toyota may struggle to meet it.

Major carmakers have been racing to secure battery cell supplies, but finding enough battery raw materials may be a bigger problem.

Failure to obtain adequate supplies of lithium, nickel, manganese or cobalt could slow the shift to EVs, make those vehicles more expensive and threaten carmakers' profit margins. #EV #volkswagen #Reuters #Niti

Green Court disposes 904 cases in the First Half of 2022


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