Monday, 22 May 2017


Although provisions for environmental regulation and legal action have existed in India for some time in the form of the Factories Act and the Indian Forests Act, rapid industrialization and urbanization found these Acts to be inadequate. It was, therefore, necessary to have a uniform National Law covering broad environmental problems endangering the health and safety of people as well as the protection of flora and fauna. Consequently, India, which participated in the 1972 United Nations' Stockholm Conference on Human Environment, decided to implement the decisions of the Conference related to pollution, preservation and protection of the environment. Pollution control to preserve the environment is universally practiced mainly through the development of environmental protection standards, their implementation and taking legal action against violators. The environmental protection standards are essential to ensure that the pollutants discharged from the industry into then environment are within the capacity of the environment to assimilate them through natural purification processes.
In India, the first organization that attended to the need for developing and promoting standards for environmental protection was the Bureau of India Standards (BIS). The BIS laid down environmental protection (EP) standards even before any legislation in this regards was conceived. However, the BIS standards are only recommendations and are not legally binding.
The first legislation came into existence in 1974 specifically to protect the water component of the environment. This legislation, referred to as the Water (Pollution Prevention and Control) Act was followed in 1981 by the Air (Pollution Prevention and Control) Act. The Environment (Protection) Act of 1986, an umbrella Act covers all facets of the environment, while the Public Liability Insurance Act of 1991 has been designed to provide immediate relief to the person (s) affected by accidents occurring while handling hazardous substances.
A list of these Acts and Rules and Global Initiatives applicable to Fertiliser Industry is given below:
Acts & Rules
1. a. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, Amendment Act 1988
b. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act 1977, Amendment Act 1991 & 1992
2. Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, Amendment Act 1989
3. The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
4. Notification of Rules under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
a. The Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986 and Subsequent Amendments
  1. Environment Protection Standards for Nitrogen Fertiliser Plants
  2. Environmental Protection Standards for Phosphate Fertiliser Plants
  3. Ambient Noise Standard for Different Areas
  4. National Ambient Air Quality Standards
  5. Ambient Air Quality Standard for Ammonia
b. The Hazardous Wastes (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008
c. The Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules, 1989, Amendment Act, 1994 & 2000
d. The Environment (Protection) Second Amendment Rules, 1992 - Environmental Audit
e. The Environment (Protection) Amendment Rules 1993 - Wastewater Generation Standards
f. The Environmental Impact Assessment Notification 2006, Amedments2009
g. Chemical Accidents (Emergency Planning, Preparedness and Response) Rules, 1996
h. The Environment (Protection) (Second Amendment) Rules, 1998 - Emission Standards for Gas based Power Station
5. Environmental Policy Statements by the Government of India
  1. Environmental Policy Statements for Abatement of Pollution, 1992
  2. National Environmet Policy 2006
  3. Policy Statement for Siting of Industry, 1980
6. Other Environmental Acts, Ordinances and Directions
  1. Factories Act, 1948 and its Amendments, 1987
  2. Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991, as Amended
  3. The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010
  4. Notification on Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and Regulating Activities in CRZ
  5. Direction Issued by Government of India in Respect of Fly Ash
  6. Comprehensive Environmental Assessment of Industrial Clusters, 2010
7. Environmental Legislations, Guidelines, etc. Expected in the Future
  1. Revised Environmental Protection Standards for Fertiliser Industry
  2. Environmental Statement - Revised Proforma (Form V)
  3. Technical EIA Guidance Manual and Terms of Reference (TOR) for Fertiliser Sector
  4. Notification on E - waste (Management and Handling) Rules,
8. International Agreements and Legal and Regulatory Framework on Environmental Issues
  1. Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, 1987
  2. Basel Convention on Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste, 1989
  3. United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), 1992
  4. Kyoto Protocol, 1997
9. Voluntary Initiatives
  1. Charter on Corporate Responsibility for Environment Protection (CREP), 2002
  2. ISO 14000 (Environmental Management System)
  3. 'Global Reporting Initiative
  4. Responsible Care
  5. Product Stewardship
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974

This Act is designed for prevention and control of water pollution and for maintaining or restoring the wholesomeness of water. Under the 1974 Water Act, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), a statutory body, was set up at the national level. State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) at the state level were also established. This Act provides that the SPCB, in consultation with the State Governments, lay down, modify and annul standards for streams, sewers and land. This is mandated because water is a State subject and the SPCBs can prescribe stricter standards if the receiving body so demands. Also the SPCBs shall advise the State Governments about the suitability of any location for carrying out industrial activity that is likely to cause pollution. The CPCB has laid down Minimal National Standards (MINAS) for major sectors of the industry including fertilizers. The SPCBs follow these standards or make more stringent standards if the situation warrants.
The control of water pollution through legal provisions is achieved through the "instrument of consent system". While establishing an industry or any other activity resulting in the discharge of waste water, the promoter must obtain consent to establish from the respective Pollution Control Board. After the industry is established, consent to operate must be obtained; this is granted after verifying that the conditions under which the consent to establish was issued have been fully complied with. Already established industries, local bodies and agencies are also required to obtain the consent from the respective board for the discharge of effluents including sewage. The consent regulates what and how much can be discharged and prescribes a time bound program for installation of wastewater treatment plants to comply with the prescribed standards. Penalties and procedures are prescribed for failure to comply with the directives or for the violation of various provisions of the Act.
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Act was passed in 1988 to overcome the difficulties associated with implementation because of administrative and practical constraints. Through this amendment, operation, process, treatment and disposal systems were brought into the ambit of the legislation and more stringent penalties for offenders were prescribed. The Amendment Act also stipulates that the permission of the Pollution Control Boards should be obtained even before the siting of an industry. Further, the Amendment Act vested power to the Boards to give directions for closure, prohibition or regulation of any industry / operation or process including the stoppage or regulation of electricity, water supply and other services. Individual citizens were also given the right to initiate legal action against any polluting industry.
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977
To provide revenue to the Central and State Boards for the enforcement of the regulations, the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess (Assessment) Act was enacted in 1977 levying a water cess. The water cess payable varies depending on the purpose for which the water is consumed such as domestic consumption, industrial cooling, boiler feed, processing by which water gets polluted or whether pollutants are biodegradable or not easily biodegradable as prescribed in the Schedule to the Water Cess Act. Further, this Act prescribes that the installation of a plant for treatment of effluent, including sewage, shall entitle any person or local authority liable to pay cess under the Act to a rebate of 70% of the cess payable. The Act and the Rules thereunder describe the procedure for furnishing cess returns, assessment of cess, granting of rebates, crediting process of cess to the Government of India and penalties for non payment of the cess. The Water Cess Act was amended in 1991 and 1992. In the amended Act, the rate of cess to be charged and the rebate to be given were revised. The rebate of 70% of the cess payable because of implementation of sewage / effluent treatment facilities has been reduced to 25%. Furthermore, the Act and the rules stipulate that the consumer is not entitled to the rebate in water cess if water consumption exceeds the maximum consumption limits specified in the Schedule for various categories of industry or fails to comply with the provisions of the Water Act (1974) or any of the standards laid down by the Central Government under the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986.
The Act was further amended in March, 2003. As per the amendment, the Act was made applicable to all industries and not to any specific industry listed in schedule 1. Power was vested to Central Government to exempt any industry from levy of water cess taking into consideration the raw material used by the industry the nature of manufacturing process employed, source of the water, nature of effluent receiving bodies and the production data including water consumption and the location of the industry. The nature of water cess levied was also enhanced by 100%.
Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
This Act provides for the prevention, control and abatement of air pollution and for the preservation of air quality. The powers and function of the Board, the penalties for contravention and provisions of the Act and procedures to be followed have been presented. Under the provisions of this Act, the CPCB shall lay down the standards for the quality of air and devise means to prevent, control and abate pollution without any need to consult the State. State Boards shall lay down the standards for emission of air pollutants in consultation with the Central Board and will act under the direction of Central Board. The State Board will also advise the State Government about the suitability of any location for establishing any industry that is likely to cause pollution. The CPCB has laid down standards for emission of air pollutants into the atmosphere from industrial plants, national ambient air quality standards and ambient air quality standards for ammonia. Other provisions and procedures laid down in this Act are similar to those of the Water Act of 1974. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Act of 1987 was enacted to overcome the practical difficulties in implementing the provisions of the Air Act of 1981. In addition, in the amended Act, noise is also included in the definition of air pollutants and the provisions of the Act are made applicable to all industries. The original Air Act was applicable only to the industries specified in the Schedules.
The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
This Act is an umbrella act and provides for the protection and 251 improvement of the environment and prevention hazards to human beings, other living creatures, plants and property. As per this Act, the Central Government has the authority to prescribe Environmental Protection Standards for emission and discharge from various sources that are statutory and applicable throughout the country. Environmental protection standards are thus legal and override all standards specified under other acts. The rules prescribed under the Environment Protection Act stipulate that the Central/State Board may specify more stringent the environmental protection standards depending on the quality of recipient system for relevant parameters with respect to specific industry or location after giving reason in writing. The Ministry of Environment and Forests is authorized to lay down the standards and enforce them. Authority has been delegated to the Central / State Boards to implement certain specific provisions of the Environment Protection Act. The Ministry of Environment together with the Central and State Boards, ensures implementation of various Acts by exercising control on the activities of industries at different stages, for example, during industrial licensing, before commissioning of the plant and during plant operation. The Environment Protection Act also empowers the Central Government to direct the closure, prohibition or regulation of any industry, operation and process including stoppage or regulation of the supply of electricity or water or any other service to the industry.
At the same time, penal provisions have been made for contravention of the Environment Protection Act. Failure to comply with or contravening to avoid the provisions of this Act or the rules made or orders of direction issued there under shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term which may extend to 5 years or a fine which may extend to one hundred thousand rupees or both. An additional fine is assessed at the rate of Rs. 5000/day if failure or contravention continues beyond a period of 1 year after the date of conviction, the offender may be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 7 years.
Besides laying down environmental protection standards, the Central Government also has the power to prescribe and make rules with respect to matters such as restriction on the location of industries, operations or processes, prevention of accidents that may cause environmental pollution, remedial measures, storage and handling of hazardous substance and inspection of any premises, plant, equipment, machinery, process or material.
Notification of Rules under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
The Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986 and Subsequent Amendments
Under these rules, the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India has laid down industry - specific standards for emissions and discharge of effluents for about 60 industries including the fertiliser industry. These standards have been evolved taking into consideration the nature of the wastes, the techno economic feasibility of treatment and the impact on the environment. They are not the ultimate targets of pollution control but are the baseline requirements. As mentioned earlier, these standards are overriding and binding. The environmental protection standards laid down under the Environmental Protection Rules for straight nitrogen fertiliser plants and phosphate fertiliser plants are given in Table 16.1 and Table 16.2 respectively and are the same as the Minimal National Standards (MINAS) developed by CPCB. From these tables, it is clear that two different sets of standards are in force - one of plants commissioned prior to January 1982 and the other plants commissioned after January 1, 1982.
The Environment Protection Third Amendment Rules enacted in 1989 stipulates the ambient air quality standards with respect to noise. During 1999 the Central Government under Environment (Protection) Rule, 1986 enacted the Noise Pollution (Control and Regulation) Rules, 1999. These rules specify ambient noise standards for different area given in Table 16.3.
Table 16.1 - EPA standards for nitrogenous fertilisers
Concentration in the effluents not to exceed miligramme per litre (except for pH)
Plants Commissioned Jan. 1, 1982 onwards (a)
Plants Commissioned prior to Jan. 1, 1982 (b)
6.5 - 8.0
6.5 -8.0
Ammoniacal Nitrogen
Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen
Free Ammoniacal Nitrogen
Nitrate Nitrogen
1 0
Cyanide as CN
Vanadium as V
Arsenic as As
Suspended Solids
Oil and Grease
*Hexavalent chromium as Cr
Total Chromium as Cr      
* To be complied with at the outlet of chromate removal unit.
Table 16.1 - EPA standards for nitrogenous fertilizers
Concentration in the effluents not to exceed miligramme per litre (except for pH)
Plants Commissioned Jan. 1, 1982 onwards (a)
Plants Commissioned prior to Jan. 1, 1982 (b)
Straight Nitrogenous Fertilisers including the Calcium Ammonium Nitrate and Ammonium Nitrate Fertilizer
Concentration of all parameters in the effluents remains the same except nitrate nitrogen. Concentration of nitrate nitrogen in the effluent not to exceed 20 milligramme per litre.
ii) Gaseous Emissions

Prilling Tower commissioned after 1.1.82
Prilling Tower commissioned prior to 1.1.82
Urea (Particulate matter emissions)
50 mg per normal cubic metre
150 mg per normal cubic metre

0.5 kg per tonne of urea
2 kg per tonne of urea
Table 16.2 - EPA standards for phosphatic fertilisers
i) Liquid Effluents

Concentration in the effluents not to exceed milligramme per litre (except for pH)
a) Straight Phosphate Fertilisers

7.0 - 9.0
Phosphate as P
Oil and Grease
Suspended Solids
*Fluoride as F
**Hexavalent Chromium as Cr
**Total Chromium as Cr
* To be complied with at the outlet of fluoride removal unit. If the recipient system so demands, fluorides as F shall be limited to 1.5 mg/l.**To be complied with at the chromate removal unit.

b) Complex fertilisers excluding Calcium Ammonium Nitrate, Ammonium Nitrate and Ammonium Nitrophosphate fertilisers
Plants commissioned 1.1.1982 onwards
Plants commissioned prior to 1.1.1982
6.5 - 8.0
6.5 - 8.0
Ammoniacal Nitrogen
Free Ammoniacal Nitrogen
Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen
Nitrate Nitrogen
Cyanide as CN
Vanadium as V
Arsenic as As
Phosphate as P
Oil and Grease
Suspended Solids
�Fluoride as F
**Hexavalent Chromium as Cr
**Total Chromium as Cr
* To be complied with at the outlet of fluoride removal unit. If the recipient system so demands, fluorides as F shall be limited to 1.5 mg/l.**To be complied with at the chiomate removal unit.
c) Complex fertilisers including Calcium Ammonium Nitroate, ammonium nitrate and Ammonium Nitraphosphate fertilisers

Concentration of all parameters in the effluent remains the same except nitrate nitrogen. Concentration of nitrate nitrogen in the effluent not to exceed 20 milligramme per litre.
ii) Gaseous Emissions

a) Phosphatic fertilisers (Phosphoric acid manufacturing unit. Granulation, mixing and grinding of rock phsphate)
Fluoride and particulate matter emission.
25 milligramme per normal cubic metre as total fluoride. 150 milligramme per normal cubic metre of particulate matter.
b) Nitric acid
Emission of oxides of nitrogen
3 Kilogramme of oxides of nitrogen per tonne of weak acid (before concentration) produced
c) Sulphuric Acid
Plant Capacity 100% sulphuric acid (tonne/day)
Existing Plants
New Plants

Kg/MT 100% H2SO4
Kg/MT 100% H2SO4
Sulphur dioxide
Upto 300

Above 300
Acid Mist/Sulphur Trioxide
Upto 300

Above 300
Table 16.3 - Ambient air quality standards in respect of noise
Area Code
Category of Area
Limits of dB (A) Leg

Day time
Night time
Industrial area
Commercial area
Residential area
Silence zone
Note - 1 Day time shall mean from 6am to 10pm
Note - 2 Night time shall mean from 10pm to 6am
Note - 3 Silence zone is defined as an area comprising not less than upto 100 metres around hospitals, educational institutions and courts. The silence zones which are declared as such by the Competent Authority.
Note - 4 Mixed categories of area may be declared as one of the four above mentioned categories by the Competent Authority.
* dB (A) Leq denotes the time weighted average of the level of sound in decibles on
Scale A which is relatable to human hearing.
A "decible" is unit in which noise is measured.
"A", in dB(A), Leq, denotes the frequency weighting in the measurement of noise and cross ponds to frequency response characteristics of the human ear.
Leq: It is energy mean of the noise level over a specified period.
Under the Air Act, the ambient air quality standards were prescribed for categories of area with respect to suspended particulate matter, S02, CO and NOx. Subsequently these rules were amended in 1994 to include Lead and Respirable Particulate matter. Also methods of measurement for the pollutant parameters were prescribed. The same ambient air quality standards were notified under Environment Protection Act during 1996. During 1998, the Central Pollution Control Board notified the Ambient Air Quality Standard for Ammonia, under the Air Act. The new Ambient Air Quality Standards revising existing Ambient air Quality Standards to lower levels and introducing 10 new parameters was notified during November, 2009 and is given in Table 16.4.
Table 16.4 � National Ambient Air Quality Standards
S. No.
Time weighted average
Concentration in Ambient Air
Industrial Area
Ecologically sensitive Area (Notified by Central Government)
Methods of measurement
Sulphur  dioxide (SO2) ig/m3
24 hours
imported West and
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) ig/m3
24 hours
Modified Jacob
and  Hoehheiser
Chem i I u m i nescence
Particulate Matter
( SiLe less than
10 ig/m3 or PM] 0 ig/m3
24 hours
Gravimetric -TOEM
Beta attenuation
Particulate Matter
( Size less than
2.5 ig/m3 or PM2.5
24 hours  ig/m3
40 60
TOEM -Beta
Ozone ig/m3  (03)
8 hours
1 hour

UV photometric
Chemical Method
Lead (Pb)ig/m3
24 hours

-AAS/ICP method  after sampline on EPM  2000 or equivalent  filter paper -LD-XRI
Carbon Monoxide (ig/m3)
24 hours
Non dispersive Infra Red (NDIR) Spectroscopy
Ammonia (ig/m3)
24 hours
Indophenol Blue method
Benzene (C6H6) ig/m3
Gas chromotography based continuous analyzer-Adsoroption and Desorption followed by GC analysis
Benzo (a) Pyrene (BaP) particulate phase only ng/m3
Solvent Extraction followed by HPLC/GC analysis
Arsenic (As) ng/m3
AAS/ICP method after sampling EPM 2000 or equivalent filter paper
Nickel (Ni) ng/m3
AAS/ICP method after sampling EPM 2000 or equivalent
*Annual arithmetic mean of minimum 104 measurements in a year at a particular site taken twice a week 24 hourly at uniform interval
**24 hourly or 08 hourly or 01 hourly monitored values, as applicable, shall be complied with 98% of the time in a year. 2% of the time, they may exceed the limits but not on two consecutive days of monitoring.
In 1993 through yet another set of Environment (Protection) Amendment Rules, general standards were enforced for the discharge of effluents to cover all those industries, operations, and processes that were not specified in Schedule 1 of the original Environment Protection Rules. Furthermore, through the same notification, wastewater generation standards for various categories of industries including the fertilisers industry were enforced. The wastewater generation standards for the fertiliser industry are given in Table 16.5.
Table 16.5 - Waste Water Generation Standards for fertilisers
A) Straight Nitrogenous Fertiliser
5M3/ton of urea or equivalent produced
B) Straight Phosphatic fertilizer (SSP) & TSP)
0.5 M3/ton of SSP/TSP Standards of nitrogenous and phosphatic fertilisers are applicable depending on the primary product
C) Complex fertiliser

The Hazardous Wastes (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008
The aim of these rules is to impose restrictions on the handling of hazardous substances and to establish a control mechanism for the management of hazardous wastes.
In super session of the Hazardous Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1989, the Central Government notified yet another rules called Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules in September, 2008.
These rules specified that the occupier shall be responsible for safe and environmentally sound handling of hazardous waste generated in his establishment and can only be sent or sold to recycler / reprocess / reuser authorized under these rules or dispose it off or in an authorized disposed facility. Every person engaged in generation, processing, treatment, packaging, storage, transportation, use, collection, destruction, conversion, offering for sale and transfer of hazardous waste has to seek authorization for carrying out any of the above activities and also file annual returns every year on or before 30th June. State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) is empowered to suspend or cancel an authorization if the authorization holder fails to comply with any conditions of the authorization.
A time limit of not exceeding 90 days has been stipulated for storing the hazardous waste with exception in some cases. The wastes have been classified for 36 categories of industry in Schedule I, comprising processes with the wastes streams. Schedule II lists hazardous constituents and their concentration limits for categorizing hazardous wastes.
Spent catalyst, spent carbon, sludge / residue containing arsenic and chromium sludge from cooling water tower generated during the process of production of fertilisers have been listed as hazardous waste. The high volume low effect wastes such as fly ash, phosphor gypsum, ore beneficiation rejects, etc. have been excluded from the category of hazardous waste. CPCB shall be issuing separate guidelines on management of these wastes.
Procedures have been established for recycling, reprocessing or reuse of hazardous waste and import and export of hazardous waste. The rules for identifying sites for establishing the facility for treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste have been stipulated besides packaging and labeling, and transportation of hazardous waste. Any violation of the provisions under these rules and liability for damage to environment caused due to improper handling of the hazardous waste or disposal of hazardous waste shall be that of occupier, importer, transporter and operator of the facility. Any violation of the provisions under this rule will attract financial penalties.
The Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 1989
These rules prescribe procedures and safeguards for the prevention of accidents arising from industrial activities. Four hundred thirty four hazardous and toxic chemicals have been listed, including ammonia, arsenic trioxide, hydrogen peroxide, nitrogen oxides and vanadium and its compounds. Any industrial activity involving specified hazardous chemicals is covered by these rules, the criteria for which have been defined in the schedule. The specified responsibility of the occupier (operator) of an industrial activity is to identify major hazards and take adequate preventive steps; provide information, training and equipment to the personnel working on the site to ensure their safety; provide information to persons liable to be affected by a major accident; prepare a safety report and onsite emergency plan and develop a safety data sheet for each hazardous material. The Ministry of Environment and Forests has issued guidelines for proper and prompt implementation of these rules and for better understanding among the implementing agencies, experts and representatives of the industries.
The Hazardous Chemicals Rules were amended during 1994. As a result it was made obligatory for the plants to carry out safety audit every year and submit a report to the concerned authorities. Furthermore, mock drill of onsite emergency responses every year is mandated. The Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules were further amended in January, 2000. The list of hazardous chemicals now comprises of 684 chemicals, while the criteria of toxic and flammable chemicals and definition of explosives have been amended.
The Environment (Protection) Second Amendment Rules, 1992 - Environmental Audit
The Ministry of Environment and Forests issue a notification regarding environmental audits in 1992 aimed at conserving resources such as raw materials, water and energy and ensuring that these resources do not end up as environmental pollutants. The audits are also designed to evaluate the effect of policies, operations and other activities on the environment, particularly with regard to compliance with the standards and the generation and recycling of wastes. As per this notification, every industry is required to submit an annual Environmental Audit Report to the concerned SPCB. This rule was further amended in April 1993 wherein the Environment Audit Report was substituted by Environmental Statement. The date for submission of Environmental Statement was changed to on or before 30th September every year. A format (Form V) has also been given for submission of Environmental Statement.
In the Environmental Statement, the industry (operator) is required to submit information with respect to water and raw materials consumed, pollution discharged to the environment and hazardous and solid wastes produced, including waste characteristics and disposal methods. The operator is also required to specify the impact of pollution abatement measures on the conservation of natural resources and on the cost of production and additional measure of investment requirements for environmental protection, including abatement of pollutants.
Notification on Environment Impact Assessment, 2006
In order to ensure that development activity takes place in harmony with environment, in 1994 the Government of India issued a notification on environmental clearance. In September, 2006, the MoEF brought out a notification in super session of the January, 1994 notification to over come the constraints of the 1994 Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification. The notification incorporates necessary environmental safeguards at the planning stage, involves stakeholders in public consultation process and categorizes developmental projects based on impact potential instead of investment criteria.
All new projects / activities listed in the Schedule, expansion and / or modernization of existing projects and activities besides change in the product mix can be undertaken only after obtaining the prior environmental clearance. All projects and activities have been categorized into A and B categories. Category A project shall require prior environmental clearance from MoEF while Category B will require prior environmental clearance from State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority. The development projects have been listed in the Schedule based on potential impacts. Application for prior environmental clearance shall be made after the identification of site in Form I along with a copy of pre-feasibility report and before commencing any constructional activity or preparation of land at the site.
The prior environmental clearance process for new development projects comprise maximum of four stages viz. screening, scoping, public consultation and appraisal. In specific cases, not all stages are required. The scoping stage will determine the terms of references for EIA if required and site clearance is part of the scoping and no separate site clearance is required. Procedure for conducting / hearing has been stipulated which includes video filming of the entire proceeding of public hearing and displaying the information in the website concerned pollution control board and officers of concerned panchayats. Time period of completion of the public hearing has also been stiptilated.
In case of prior environmental clearance for expansion and modernization or change in the product mix the application will be made in Form I and the expert appraisal committee or State Level Appraisal Committee will decide on due diligence necessary including preparation of EIA report and public consultation. Submission of half yearly compliance report in respect of stipulated prior environment clearance terms and conditions to regulatory authority is mandatory.
As per this notification both nitrogenous and complex fertiliser plants fall under A category and single super phosphate plant fall under B category.
The Chemical Accidents (Emergency Planning, Preparedness and Response) Rules, 1996
This notification calls for the constitution of Central Crisis Group for management of chemical accidents and setting up of a crisis alert system by the Central Government. The State Government shall constitute the State Crisis Group and enable constitution of District and Local Crisis Group. The constitution of Crisis Alert System and various Crisis Groups, the functions and powers of various crisis groups has been elaborated.
The Environment (Protection) (Second Amendment) Rules 1998
These rules enacted by the Government of India stipulates limit for NOx emission from the stack of gas based power plants including plants having gas turbines (burning natural gas or any liquid fuel like naphtha, HSD, FO, etc.) or plants burning natural gas in a conventional boiler. Emission standards for gas based power station are given in Table 16.6
Table 16.6 - NOx Emission Standards for Gas/Naphtha based Thermal Power Plants
A. For existing units Limit for Total Nox emission
150 ppm (v/v) at 15% excess oxygen for all plants
B. For New Plants (w.e.f. 1-6-1999) Power output from gas turbine 400 MW and above
Limit for total NOx emission (v/v) (15% excess oxygen)

i. 50 ppm for the plants burning natural gas
ii. 100 ppm for the plants burning liquid fuels.
Less than 400 MW and upto 100 MW
i. 75 ppm for the plants burning natural gas
ii. 100 ppm for the plants burning liquid fuels
Less than 100 MW
100 ppm for all plants
C. Plants burning gas in conventional boiler for steam
100 ppm (v / v) at 15% excess oxygen
Environmental Policy Statements by the Government of India
The Policy Statement of Abatement of Pollution seeks to integrate the environmental and economic aspects of developing planning. Stress is given to preventive aspects of pollution abatement and promotion of technological inputs to reduce industrial pollution. The policy also stresses reliance upon public cooperation in securing a clean environment and to respond to the future challenges. To achieve the objective of abatement of pollution to prevent deterioration of the environment, the policy proposes the adoption of the following concepts:
* Prevent pollution at its source
* Encourage, develop and apply the best available practical technical solutions.
* Ensure that the polluter pays for the pollution and pollution control measures.
* Focus environmental protection on heavily polluted areas and river basins.
* Involve the public in decision making.
As regards environmental standards, the policy statement spells out the following:
The norms will be revised to specify mass based standards which will set specific limits to encourage the minimization of waste, promote recycling and reuse of materials and conserve natural resources, particularly water. New industrial production units will have to conform to stricter standards. They will need to select technologies that produce no or low quantities of wastes and recycle or reuse waste products.
The environmental effects - from production to disposal of products that are hazardous and toxic will be taken into account in the regulations. Chemicals will be reviewed according to the level of risk and where safer alternatives and chemicals have become available, restrictions will be imposed upon the use of less safe procedure and chemicals. Regulations for liability and compensation for damages will supplement standards. This is designed to promote greater care and caution particularly in the management of hazardous wastes and with regard to remedial action in case of contamination of soil and groundwater.
Policy Statement for Siting of Industry, 1980
Recognizing the need for the proper location (siting) of industry for the preservation of the ecological balance and to improve living conditions, the Ministry of Industry formulated an Industrial Policy Statement as early as 1980. This policy sought prevention of indiscriminate expansion of existing industries and the establishment of new industrial undertakings within the limits of metropolitan cities and large towns. The ministry of industry further developed a general list of polluting industries including a list of 20 highly polluting industries and set up a formal site selection procedure for the highly polluting industries. For all large projects the entrepreneur has to submit a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment Report and an Environmental Management Plan. In 1988, the Ministry of Environment and Forests recommended environmental guidelines to supplement procedures laid down by the Ministry of Industry.
Also, the Water and Air (Pollution Prevention and Control) Acts were amended in 1988 to stipulate that the permission of the SPCBs should be obtained before siting an industry, taking into account a balance between economic and environmental considerations.
National Environment Policy 2006
The Government of India has brought out National Environment Policy 2006 as a national commitment to clean environment. The basis of National Environment Policy is the existing policies viz.
National Forest Policy, 1988; National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and Development, 1992; and the Policy Statement on Abatement of Pollution, 1992; National Agriculture Policy, 2000; National Population Policy, 2000, National Water Policy, 2002, etc. The policy is intended to be guide to action in regulatory reform, programmes and projects for environmental conservation; and review and enactment of legislation, by agencies of central, state and local governments. The key objectives of the policy are based on sustainable development with human beings at the center of all concerns. The policy encourages industry to participate in Clean Development Mechanisms and voluntarily adopt partnership with other countries to address the challenges of sustainable development and climate change.
Other Environmental Act, Ordinances and Directions
Factories Act, 1948 and its Amendment in 1987
The aim of the 1948 Act has been to ensure the welfare of workers not only in their working conditions in the factory but also employment benefits. The Act ensures safety and health of workers besides contributing to environmental protection. A list of 29 categories of industries involving hazardous processes or activities wherein special care has to be taken owing to the use of raw materials, intermediates or finished products, by products, waste or effluents to prevent material impairment to health of the person engaged and pollution of the environment has been given.
Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991 as Amended
This Act was enacted in 1991 to provide immediate relief to persons affected by accidents while handling any hazardous substance. As per this Act, the owner is liable to give relief for injury or death of any person and for damage to any property resulting from an accident. Furthermore, it is mandatory for the owner to have insurance to cover such potential liability. The District Collector is authorized to verify the occurrence of an accident within his Jurisdiction, invite applications for claims and award relief. The application for relief can be made by the person who has sustained injury, by the owner of the property to which damage was caused or by an agent or legal representative of a deceased person. The Central Government is empowered to direct prohibition or regulation of the handling of any hazardous substance. Furthermore, contravention of any provision of this Act is a punishable offense with about the same penalties as those prescribed under the Environment Protection Act. The Public Liability Insurance Act was amended in 1992 and the Central Government was authorized to establish the Environment Relief Fund for making relief payment.
The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010
The Government of India enacted The National Green Tribunal Act in June, 2010 to provide for the establishment of National Green Tribunal for effective and expeditious disposal of cases related to environment protection and conservation of forests and other national resources including enforcement of any legal rights related to environment. The objective of the Tribunal is to ensure relief and compensation for damage to person, property and the environment. Jurisdiction, power and procedures of the Tribunal have been stipulated. Contravention of any order, award or decision of the Tribunal under this Act is a punishable offence.
Notification on Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and Regulating Activities in the CRZ
The notification declares Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) as the coastal stretches of seas, bays, estuaries, creeks, rivers and backwaters which are influenced by tidal action (in the landward site) up to 500 metres from the High Tide Line (HTL) and the land between the Low Tide Line (LTL) and the HTL. This notification imposes restriction on setting up and expansion of industries, operations or processes, etc.
The activities prohibited within the CRZ have been notified. This inchides (i) setting up of new industries and expansion of existing industries except those related to water front or needing foreshore facilities, (ii) Manufacturing or handling or storage or disposal of hazardous substances as specified in the Ministry of Environment notification on hazardous substances, (iii) setting up an expansion of units / mechanisms for disposal of wastes and effluents except facilities required for discharging treated effluents into the water courses with approval under Water Act and except storm water drain, (iv) Discharge of untreated waste and effluents from industries, cities or towns and other human settlements, (v) dumping of city and town waste for the purpose of land filling, (vi) dumping of ash or any waste from thermal power station, (vii) harvesting or withdrawl of ground water and construction of mechanism within 200 metre HTL, (viii) any construction activities between LTL and HTL except facilities for carrying treated effluent and waste water discharges into the sea, facilities for carrying sea water for cooling purpose, etc.
For regulating other permissible activities, regulations have been stipulated. Further, the coastal stretches have been classified into four different categories of CRZ.
This notification was amended in 1997. The amended notification permits storage of the following petroleum products within the existing port limits. Limits of existing port and harbour are those areas of ports that have not been classified as CRZ-1 subjected to implementation of safety regulation and guidelines issued by Oil Safety Directorate in the Government of India, Ministry of Petroleum, New Delhi.
List of Petroleum Products Permitted for Storage in Port Areas:
  1. Crude Oil
  2. Liquified Petroleum Gas
  3. Motor Spirit
  4. Kerosene
  5. Aviation, Fuel
  6. High Speed Diesel
  7. Lubricating Oil
  8. Butane
  9. Propane
  10. Compressed Natural Gas
  11. Naphtha
  12. Furnace Oil
  13. Low Sulphur Heavy Stock
  14. Liquified Natural Gas
Direction Issued by the Government of India in respect of Fly Ash during September, 1999
The direction aims to conserve the top soil, prevent dumping and disposal of fly ash discharged from coal or lignite based thermal power plants. To ensure fully utilization of fly ash in the manufacture of ash based building materials and in construction activity within a radius of l00kms from coal or lignite based power plants. It is mandatory for any construction agency within a radius of l00kms from coal or lignite based power plants to use fly ash based building materials. Steps to be taken to ensure utilization of ash generated by the thermal power plant based on coal or lignite and their other responsibilities have been stipulated. Utilization of fly ash for reclamation of sea has been made permissible. It has been mentioned that the specification and guidelines prescribed by various government agencies/institutions / councils / public works department has to be strictly adhered too. The manufacture of ash based products or the use of ash in the construction activity or any other activity has to be carried as per the directive.
Comprehensive Environmental Assessment of Industrial Clusters
The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) vide their OM dated 13th January 2010 has imposed restrictions on consideration of development projects located in the identified critically polluted industrial clusters and prescribed procedures to be adopted with immediate effect.
Restrictions have been imposed on the development projects in the industrial cluster with CEPI score of above 70 received for grant for environmental clearance in terms of provisions of EIA notification, 2006 for a fixed time period after which further instructions will be issued by the government based on the review carried out.
Projects of public interest, such as projects of national importance, defence and security, etc. will continue to be appraised in accordance with the procedure prescribed under EIA Notification, 2006 and decision taken on merits with prior approval of the Competent Authority.
Eight out of the twelve identified industrial clusters where fertiliser plants are located have CEPI score of above 70 and are as follows:
1. Manali
2. Haldia
3. Cochin
4. Mangalore
5. Panipat
6. Visakhapatnam
7. Talcher
8. Dhanbad
At the time of consideration of development projects with CEPI index of 60-70, the concerned State Pollution Control Board will be invited to participate in the sector specific expert appraisal committees meeting. At the stage of appraisal of the project for prescribing terms of reference or consideration of environmental clearance.
The various state governments had difficulties in implementing the above Office Memorandum due to inadequate details about the boundaries of critically polluted industrial clusters / area so identified. Accordingly, the MoEF vide their Office Memorandum dated 15th March, 2010 provided more details about these clusters obtained from CPCB.
Environment Legislations, Guidelines, etc. Expected in Future
Revised Environmental Protection Standards for Fertiliser Industry
The present standards are over 24 years old so there has been a need to review, the existing standards considering the present status of industries, pollution control technologies and retrofitting in existing industries. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is in the process of revising the existing standards to lower levels, introducing of mass based standards in addition to concentration based standards for liquid effluent discharge. Both concentration and mass based standards are expected to be introduced for additional parameters like ammonia from prilling tower, NP/NPK plants, etc. Separate standards for NP/NPK plants based on nitro phosphate and mixed acid route is likely to be specified. Standards for NO, emission from reformer stack of ammonia plant and separate standards for ammonium nitrate and CAN plants are being considered.
Environmental Statement - Revised Proforma (Form V)
The submission of environment statement (Form V) every year by September 30 to the concerned State Pollution Control Boards is pre-requisite for the industries to obtain consent under the Water and Air Acts. Environmental audit based on which environment statement is prepared is a tool for self assessment of industry to know the level of environmental protection measures taken. It also provides the industries, the areas where preventive measures may be adopted to reduce the wastes generation, recycle and reuse the resources.
The regular submission of environmental statement will indicate the systematic improvement in conservation of resources and environment pollution control being achieved by the industry. The items of environmental statements may also be used as environmental performance indicators for relative comparison, implementation and to promote better practices.
At present there is no sectors specific format (Form V). In order to assess the efficiency of the environmental statements and to develop sector specific statement (Form V), the CPCB has engaged institutions having expertise in the concerned field to draw an action programme for improvement in environmental statement for various industrial sectors including the fertiliser.
Technical EIA Guidance Manual and Terms of Reference (TOR) for Fertiliser Sector
The MoEF has entrusted the task of development of Technical Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Gtiidance Manual and TOR for various sector including fertiliser sector to a consultancy agency. The guidance manual will cover operational aspects of EIA as required by EIA notification, 2006.
Notification of E - Waste (Management and Handling) Rules
On 14th May, 2010, The Ministry of Environment and Forests published a draft notification on E - Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2010 to enable the recovery and / or reuse of useful material from waste electrical and electronic equipment to reduce the hazardous wastes intended for disposal and to ensure that Environmentally sound management of all types of waste electrical and electronic equipment. Under the notification, nine E - Waste categories are listed in Schedule 1.
This notification is applicable to every producer (s), dealer (s), collection centre (s), refurbisher (s), dismantler (s), recycler (s), auctioneer (s) and consumer (s) or bulk consumer (s). The fertiliser industry falls under the bulk consumer category. The responsibility of the bulk consumer is mentioned as:
i) The used electrical or electronic equipment (e-waste) has to be either auctioned to or deposited with dealer or authorized collection centre or refurbisher or registered dismantler or recyclers or avail the take back services provided by the producers.
ii) The bulk consumer also has to fill annual return in Form 3 of the notification to the concerned State Pollution Control Board on or before 30th June every year for the preceding period April to March.
International Agreements and Legal and Regulatory Framework on Environmental Issues
India is a signatory to a number of multi lateral environmental agreement and conventions. Some of the major environmental agreements relevant to fertiliser industry are presented below.
1. Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, 1987.
The montreal protocol came into force in 1989. The protocol sets targets for reducing the consumption and production of a range of ozone depleting substances (ODS). A more stringent standards and accelerated time lines have been set for countries that have contributed more to ozone depletion since the agreement recognizes that a nation's obligation to reduce emission should be in line with its technological and financial ability.
In 1992, India became signatory to Montreal protocol. Government of India established and ozone cell and put in place a mechanism for phasing out ODS production by 2010. Government of India has notified rules for regulation of ODS phase out called the Ozone Depleting Substance (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Certain policy decisions has also been taken like fully exempting the goods required to implement ODS phase out projects funded by multi lateral funds from duties and also new investments with non ODS technologies and prohibiting commercial banks from investing in ODS technology.
2. Basel Convention on Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes, 1989
Basel convention came into force in 1992 with the main objective of reducing transboundary movement of hazardous waste, minimizing the creation of such waste and prohibiting their shipment to countries which lacks the capacities to dispose hazardous wastes in an environmentally sound manner. India ratified the Basel convention in 1992. Some of the provisions of Basel convention related to import and export of hazardous waste, illegal traffic and liability form a part of the Hazardous Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1989 now superseded with The Hazardous Wastes (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008 under Environment (Protection) Act.
3. United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), 1992
The primary objective of UNFCCC has been the stabilization of green house gas emissions at levels that would prevent anthropogenic interferences with the global climate. India signed the agreement in 1992 which was ratified in 1993. As per the convention the green house gas reduction requirement is applicable only to developed countries. The developing countries are obligated to only to report green house gas inventory. India had initiated preparation of the inventory way back in 1994 and has been taking steps to address climate change.
4. Kyoto Protocol, 1997
To combat the climate change and international initiative called the UNFCCC was adopted in Rio - Earth Summit way back in 1992. The primary objective of this initiative has been the stabilization of GHGs concentration in the atmosphere that prevents interference with climate system. This initiative was further reinforced at Kyoto in 1997 and Kyoto Protocol was drawn which has been ratified by number of countries including India. The Kyoto Protocol calls for industrialized countries to reduce their GHG emissions by 5.2% below 1990 level by 2008-12. Under the protocol three flexible mechanisms have been established to supplement National level initiatives / actions for achieving long term and cost effective reduction of GHG emissions, namely Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), International Emission Trading (IET) and Joint Implementation (JI). Of these three flexible mechanisms only CDM is relevant to developing counties like India. CDM is an innovative international investment and cooperation mechanism which can play a significant role in mitigating climate change by targeting reduction of emissions of the six main GHGs with varied Global Warming Potential (GWP) viz. carbon dioxide (C02: GWP 1), methane (CH4: GWP 21), nitric oxide (N2O: GWP 310), hydroflurocarbons (PFC: GWP 9200) and sulphur hexafluoride (SFC: GWP 23900) and promoting sustainable development in the long run. It is designed to allow industrialized countries with GHG reduction commitment to invest in GHG mitigation (clean) projects in developing countries. The firms in industrialized countries would receive new capital flows and clean technology.
Voluntary Initiatives
Charter on Corporate Responsibility for Environmental Protection (CREP), 2002
To go beyond compliance with regulatory norms for prevention and control of pollution, it is imperative for the industry to adopt clean technologies and improvement in management practices. It was envisaged that commitment and voluntary initiative of the industry for responsible care of environment will help in building a partnership for pollution control between regulatory agencies and the industry. Accordingly, the Government of India formulated a Charter on Corporate Responsibility for Environmental Protection after due consultation with industrial sectors. The action points listed in the Charter have been addressed to corporates and regulatory agencies. It is a roadmap for progressive improvement of environmental management system. A time bound action plan was proposed in the Charter. The Charter covered 20 action points on Waste water management, air pollution Management and solid waste management. Task forces were constituted for 17 categories of highly polluting industries including the fertiliser for implementing the Charter as per the agreed timelines.
Fertiliser industries have already implemented all the action points of the Charter. The task force is likely to draw new / additional points for inclusion in CREP.
ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Standards)
The International Standard Organisation (ISO) has developed and published a host of standards including the ISO 14000 family of environmental management standards. The ISO 14000 family of environmental management standards enables organisations to take proactive approach to managing environmental issues and reflects the international consensus on good environmental and business practices that can be applied by organisations all over the world. In fact it is a de-facto requirement for being able to do business in all regions of the world. India has adopted most of the ISO 14000 family of environmental management standards. Some of the standards are:
ISO 14001 Framework for environmental management systems
ISO 14004 Compliments ISO 14001 by providing additional guidelines
ISO 14020 - Series Addresses the range of  of standards approaches to environmental labels and declaration
ISO 14031 Guidance to evaluate organisations' environmental performance
ISO 14040  Guidelines on the principles and conduct of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies
ISO 14064 - Parts I, II and III - International Green House Gas  (GHG) accounting and verification
Global Reporting Initiative
In an effort to create a common international framework for voluntary reporting of the economic, environmental and social impact of organisation level activities through involvement of multi stakeholders, 'CERES' (Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies) in partnership with UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) convened the 'Global Reporting Initiatives' (GRI). The GRI was initially guided by a Steering Committee with a membership representing a mix of stakeholders. The Steering Committee was dissolved, consequent to the appointment GRI Board in 2002. The first version sustainability guidelines were released in 2000. The second and third generation GRI guidelines were released in 2002 and 2006 respectively.
Global reporting initiative is a network based organisation that has pioneered the developments of worlds most widely used sustainability reporting framework.
The guidelines provides framework for an organization to disclose their sustainability performance. The guideline sets out the principles and indicators that an organization can adopt to measure and report the economic, environmental and social performance voluntarily, flexibly and incrementally.
For Users
This framework enables a consumer, employee, investor, researcher or just interested individual to assess the sustainability performance of an organisation with respect to laws, norms, codes, performance standards, and voluntary initiatives and understand the impacts both positive and negative that an organisation can have on sustainable development besides comparing it also helps the performance within an organisation and between different organisations over a period of time.
For reporting organisations
The guidelines provide an internal vehicle for evaluating the consistency between the organisations economic, environmental and social policy and its actual performance and continuously improve. The increased uniformity in reporting facilitated by the guidelines will help reporting organisations to compare themselves with others. The guidelines provide a logical structure for applying sustainability concepts to the organization's operational services and products. It also helps setting and tracking progress towards economic, environmental and social goals. From a communication stand point, the guidelines provide a framework for effectively sharing and promoting dialogue with internal and external stakeholders regarding the organization's accomplishments and challenges in achieving its goal.
Responsible Care
Responsible Care is a voluntary initiative of the global chemical industry started in Canada in 1985, and is currently active in 53 countries around the world. The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) manages Responsible Care at the global level. The Indian Chemical Council (ICC) is responsible for overseeing implementation of the initiative by chemical companies operating in India.
Responsible care initiative is a process of continuous improvement and is built around a set of guiding principles and seven codes of Management Practices. The guiding principles aim to commit companies to continuously improve the health, safety and environmental performance of their products and processes. Responsible Care commits chemical companies to be open and transparent with stakeholders at the local, national and international level.
  • The seven codes of Management Practices are:
  • The Process Safety Code;
  • The Employee Health and Safety Code;
  • The Pollution Prevention Code;
  • The Energy Response Code;
  • The Distribution Code;
  • The Product Stewardship Code; and
  • The Security Code.
Further, The Responsible Care-14001 (RC-14001) environmental management system (EMS), created jointly by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the Registrar Accreditation Board (RAB), was formally adopted in 2002. Responsible Care 14001 certification has been developed by integrating the elements of ISO 14001, OSHAS18001, company EHS models and sustainable development with Responsible Care elements. It works on the continual improvement model of plan, do, check and act similar to ISO 14001 and OHSAS18001. However, it has additional focus areas viz. security code, product stewardship, distribution code and community awareness and emergency preparedness. In India, a number of fertiliser companies are signatory to Responsible Care. Only one fertiliser company namely Tata Chemicals Limited is RC14001 certified.
Product Stewardship
This is an IFA initiative designed to provide necessary guidelines for structuring, implementing and managing a company level stewardship programme for a safe and responsible production of fertiliser products. It is structured sufficiently broad for adaption by global fertiliser industry operating under various operating conditions. Product stewardship encourages sharing of product responsibility throughout the lifecycle and calls everyone involved in the product lifecycle to share responsibility for reducing environmental impact of the product and encouraging the correct use of product. The advantages of adoption of product stewardship are:
  • Fostering product and market innovation
  • Reducing environmental impact and use of toxic substances
  • Designing packaging material for reuse and recycling
  • Production of fertilisers at reduced costs
  • Creating outreach programmes to farmers
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