Environment Protection Act
Q1. How are the term's "environment", "environmental pollutant", " environmental
pollution" and "hazardous substance" defined under the E.P.A. 1986?
Section 2 of E.P.A.
"Environment" includes water, air and land and the inter-relationship
which exists among and between water, air and land, and human beings,
other living creatures, plants, micro-organism and property.
"Environmental pollutant" means any solid, liquid or gaseous substance
present in such concentration as may be, or tend to be, injurious to
"Environmental pollution" means the presence in the environment of any
substance" means any substance or preparation which, by reason of its
chemical or physico-chemical properties or handling, is liable to cause
harm to human beings, other living creatures; plants, microorganisms,
property or the environment.
Q2. What are the general powers of the Central
Government under E.P.A. for the protection and improvement of environment?
Section 3. Power of Central Government to take measure to protect and
improve the environment –
- Subject to
the provisions of this Act, the Central Government shall have the power to
take all such measures as it deems necessary or expedient for the purpose
of protecting and improving the quality of the environment pollution.
particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of
sub-section (1), such measures may include measures with respect to all or
any of the following matters, namely.
Co-ordination of actions by the State Governments, officers and other
this Act, or the rules made thereunder
any other law for the time being in force which is relatable to the
objects of this Act.
and execution of a nation-wide programme for the prevention, control and
abatement of environmental pollution.
down standards for the quantity of environment in its various aspects.
down standards for emission or discharge of environmental pollutants
from various sources whatsoever. Provided that different standards for
emission or discharge may be laid down under this clause from different
sources having regard to the quality or composition of the emission lr
discharge of environmental pollutants from such sources.
Restriction of areas in which any industries, operations or processes or
class of industries, operations or processes shall not be carried out or
shall be carried out subject to certain safeguards.
down procedures and safeguards for the prevention of accidents which may
cause environmental pollution and remedial measures for such accidents.
down procedures and safeguards for the handling of hazardous substances.
Examination of such manufacturing processes, materials and substances as
are likely to cause environmental pollution.
out and sponsoring investigations and research relating to problems of
Inspection of any premises, plant, equipment, machinery, manufacturing
or other processes, materials or substances and giving, by order, of
such directions to such authorities, officers or persons as it may
consider necessary to take steps for the prevention, control and
abatement of environmental pollution.
Establishment or recognition of environmental laboratories and
institutes to carry out the functions entrusted to such environmental
laboratories and institutes under this Act.
Collection and dissemination of information in respect of matters
relating to environmental pollution.
Preparation of manuals, codes or guides relating to the prevention,
control and abatement of environmental pollution.
other matters as the Central Government deems necessary or expedient for
the purpose of securing the effective implementation of the provisions
of this Act.
Central Government may, if it consider it necessary or expedient so to do
for the purposes of this Act, by order published in the Official Gazette,
constitute an authority or authorities by such name or names as may be
specified in the order for the purpose of exercising and performing such
of the powers and functions (including the power to issue directions under
Section 5) of the Central Government under this Act and for taking
measures with respect to such of the matters referred to in sub-section(2)
as may be mentioned in the order and subject to the supervision and
control of the Central Government and the provisions of such order, such
authority or authorities may exercise the powers or perform the functions
or take the measures so mentioned in the order as if such authority had
been empowered by this Act to exercise those powers or perform those
functions or take such measures.
Appointment of Officers and their powers and functions :
prejudice to the provisions of sub-section(3) of Section 3, the Central
Government may appoint officers with such designations as it thinks fit
for the purpose of this Act and may entrust to them such of the powers and
functions under the Act as it may deem fit.
officers appointed under sub-section(1) shall be subject to the general
control and direction of the Central Government or , if so directed by
that Government, also of the authority or authorities, if any, constituted
under sub-section(3) of Section 3 or of any other authority or officer.
Power to give directions :
Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law but subject to the
provisions of this Act, the Central Government may, in the exercise of its
powers and performance of its functions under this Act, issue directions in
writing to any person, officer or any authority and such person, officer or
authority shall be bound to comply with such directions.
For the avoidance of doubts, it is hereby declared that the power to issue
directions under this section includes the power to direct
closure, prohibition or regulation or any industry, operation or process.
or regulation of the supply of electricity or water or any other service.
Rules to regulate environmental pollution :
Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make
rules in respect of all or any of the matters referred to in Section 3.
particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing
power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters,
standards of quality of air, water or soil for various areas and
maximum allowable limits of concentration of various environmental
pollutants (including noise) for different areas.
procedures and safeguards for the handling of hazardous substances.
prohibition and restrictions on the handling of hazardous substances in
prohibition and restrictions on the location of industries and the
carrying on of processes and operations in different areas.
procedures and safeguards for the prevention of accidents which may
cause environmental pollution and for providing for remedial measures
for such accidents.
Q3. Is pollution of load/soil
covered under E.P.A ?
under the E.P.A Environment includes water, air and land.
of land pollution are :
unintended or incidental pollution of soil with man made chemicals.
spent material from mining, or processing, etc.
discharge of sewage or waste water from urban areas on the land used for
agricultural purposes, particularly that adjoining urban areas.
indiscriminate disposal of solid waste (refuse).
Q5. What are the penalties for
violation under the E.P.A.?
fails to comply with or contravenes any of the provisions of this Act,
or the rules made or orders or directions issued thereunder, shall, in
respect of each such failure or contravention, be punishable with
imprisonment for a team which may extend to five years or with fine
which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both, and in case the
failure or contravention continues, with additional fine which may
extend to five thousand rupees for every day during which such failure
or contravention continues after the conviction for the first such
failure or contravention.
- If the
failure or contravention referred to in sub-section(1) continues beyond
a period of one year after the date of conviction, the offender shall be
punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years.