Environmental Acts and Rules (Part - 3)
VII. PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE ACT, 1991.
- This Act, unique to India, on the owner the liability to immediate relief in respect of death or to any person or damage to any property resulting from an accident while handling hazardous any of the notified hazardous chemicals.
- This relief has to be provided on ‘no fault’ basis.
- The owner handling hazardous chemical has to take an insurance policy to meet this liability of an amount equal to its “Paid up capital” or up to Rs. 500 millions, whichever less. The policy has to be renewed every year.
- New undertaking will have to take this policy before starting their activity. The owner also has to pay an amount equal to its annual premium to the Central Government’s Environment Chief Fund (ERF). The reimbursement of medical expenses up to Rs. 12,500/-. The liability of the insurance is tied to Rs. 50 million per accident up to Rs. 150 million per year or up to the tenure of the policy.
- Any claims process to this liability will be paid from the ERF. In case the award still exceeds, the remaining amount shall have to be met by the owner.
- The payment under the Act is only for the immediate relief; owners shall have to provide the compensation if any, arising out of legal proceeding.
VIII. THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT TRIBUNAL ACT, 1995.
- The National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995 is enacted to provide for strict liability for damages arising out of indents occurring during handling of hazardous substances and for establishment of National Environment Tribunal effective and expunction disposal of cases arising from such accidents, with a view to giving relief and compensation damages to person, and the environment
IX. THE CHEMICAL ACCIDENTS (EMERGENCY PLANNING, PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE RULES, 1996.
- These rule provided a statutory backup for setting up of a Crisis Group in districts and states, which have Major Accident Hazard (MAH) installations for providing information to the public.
- The rules define the MAH installations, which include industrial activity, transport and isolated store at a site handing hazardous chemicals in quantities specified.
- As per the rules, GOI has constituted a Central Crisis Group (CCG) for the management of chemical accidents a set up an alert system.
- The Chief Secretaries of all the States have also constituted Standing State Crisis Groups (SSCG) to plan and response to chemical accidents in the state.
- The District Controller has to constitute District as Local Central Crisis Groups (DCG and LCG).
- The CCG is the apex body in the country to deal with and provide expert guidance for planning and handling major chemical accidents. It continuously monitors the postaccident saturation and suggests measures for prevention occurrence of such accidents.
- MOEF, GOI has published a state-wise list of experts and concerned officials. The is the apex body of the state chaired by the Chief Secretary Consisting of GOI officials, technical experts and industry representatives and deliberates on planning, preparedness and mitigation of chemical accidents to reduce the loss of life, property and ill-health.
- The SSCG reviews all the District off-site Emergency plants for its adequacy.
- District Collector is the Chairman of DCG serving as apex body at the district level. DCG will review all the on-Emergency plants prepared by the occupier of the MAH installations and conduct one full-scale of the off-cist Emergency plan at a site each year.
- These rules enable preparation of on and off- site emergency plans, updation and conduction of mock-drills.
X. THE BIOMEDICAL WASTES (MANAGEMENT AND HANDLING) RULES, 1998.
- The Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 regulates the disposal of biomedical wastes including anatomical waste, blood, body fluids medicines, glass wares and animals wastes by the health care institution (i.e. nursing homes, clinics, dispensaries, veterinary institutions, animal houses pathological laboratories and banks etc. in the cities having population more than 30 Lakh or all the hospitals with bed strength more than 500. · They are required to install and commission requisite facilities like incinerators, autoclaves, microwave system etc. the treatment of biomedical waste. · All the persons handling such sides are required to obtain permission from the Appropriate Authority.
- Segregation of biomedical waste at source been made mandatory for all the institutions and organizations dealing with them. These rules make the generator of biomedical wastes liable to segregate, pack, store, transport, treat and dispose the biomedical waste in an environmentally sound manner.
XI. MUNICIPAL WASTES (PROCESS AND DISPOSAL) DRAFT RULES, 1999.
- Under these rules, municipal authority is made responsible for implementation of the provisions of these rules and for any in structural development for collection, storage, segregation transportation, processing and disposal of MSW and to comply with these rules.
- Annual report is to be submitted by Municipal authority in From-I to the District Magistrate/ Deputy Commissioner who shall have the power to enforce these rules. We shall be managed as per Schedule-II.
- Disposal of MSW shall be through landfill as per specifications and standards laid down in schedule-III.
- The standards for compost and disposal of treated leachate shall be followed by Municipal Authorities as per Schedule-IV.
XII. THE RECYCLED PLASTIC MANUFACTURE AND USAGE RULES, 1999.
- Under these rules, use of carry bags or containers made of recycled plastics for storing, carrying dispensing or packaging of foodstuffs is prohibited.
- Carry bags or containers made of plastics can be manufactured only when (i) virgin plastic in its natural shade or white is used and (ii) recycled plastic is used for purposes other than storing and packaging foodstuff using pigments and colorants as per IS: 9833: 1981.
- Recycling of plastics is to be undertaken strictly in accordance with the Bureau of Indian standards Specification IS: 14534: 1998 entitled “The Guideline for Recycling of Plastics”.
- Manufacture has to print on each packet of carry bags as ‘Made of Recycled Material’ or ‘Virgin Plastic’. The minimum thickness of carry bags should not be less than 20 microns.
- Finally, Plastic Industry Association through their member units has to undertake selfregulatory measures
XIII. THE FLY ASH NOTIFICATION, 1999.
- The notification to conserve topsoil and prevent the dumping and disposal of fly ash discharged from coal or lignite based thermal power plants have been issued on September 14, 1999.
- Under these directives it is mandatory for every brick manufacture within a radius of 50 km from coal or lignite based thermal power plant to mix at least 25% of ash (fly ash/bottom ash/pond ash) with soil on weight-to-weight basis to manufacture clay bricks or tiles or blocks used in construction activities. · Every coal or lignite based thermal power plant has to make available ash, for at least ten years from the date of publication of this notification, without any payment or any other consideration, for the purpose of manufacturing ash-based products.
- Every coal or lignite based thermal power plant commissioned subject to environmental condition stipulating the submission of an action plan has to achieve the same within 9 years (15 years for plants not covered by environmental clearance).
- As per the directive, Central and state Govt. Agencies, the State Electricity Boards, NTPC and the management of thermal power plants have to facilitate utilization of ash and ash-based products in their respective schedule of specifications.
- All the local authorities have also to specify in their respective building bye-laws and regulations about the use of ash and ash-based products
XIV. THE BATTERIES (MANAGEMENT AND HANDLING (DRAFT) RULES, 2000.
- The MOEF issued the Batteries (M&H) (Draft) Rules, 2000 to control the hazard associated with backyard smelting and unauthorized reprocessing of lead acid batteries. The lead acid batteries are widely used automobiles such as cars, trucks, buses, twowheelers and inverters.
- As per the provision, battery manufactures, importers, assemblers and re-conditioned have to collect old batteries on a one to one basis against the sale of new batteries.
- The batteries so collect have to be sent to recyclers, registered with MOEF for recycling them in eco-friendly manner, unless battery manufactures them have such recycling facilities.
- Registration is accorded by the MOEF to only those units, which have in place appropriate manufacturing technology, pollution prevention systems and suitable arrangements for waste disposal.
- Importers of new batteries, dealers as well as organization auctioning used batteries have been brought under the purview of these rules.
- Only those re-processors registered with MOEF would be able to participate in sale by auction or contract. As a result, middlemen and backyard smelters are debarred from participation in any auction within the country.
- Manufactures have to incorporate suitable provisions for buyback, in case of bulk sale of batteries by the manufacturers to bulk consumers.
- Recycling of ferrous metals such as lead and zinc helps to save energy vis-à-vis primary metal production and is environment-friendly if reprocessing is done with suitable arrangements for pollution a control and waste disposal. They also help conserving precious metal resources.