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Tamil Nadu pollution control board

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Tamil Nadu pollution control board

Tamil Nadu pollution control board was formed in the year 1982. The board operates from its head office based in Chennai. Apart from its head office, the board has 7 zonal offices and 38 district offices. The board is headed by the Chairman, zonal office by Joint chief environment engineer and district office by District environment engineer. The board also has two flying squads based in Tirupur and Erode. For scientific study and analysis, the board has formed 8 state-level laboratories and 8 district level laboratories

The board is tasked with control and abatement of pollution. The board enforces the following laws –

  • Water prevention and control of pollution act.
  • Air prevention and control of pollution act.
  • Environment protection act

Apart from enforcing the above-mentioned laws, the board also advises the state government on matters relating to the environment. It collects and disseminates information about environment pollution. The board is also entrusted with making effluent standard, which are to be adhered by the industries. The board collects emission and effluent standards from industries, and if there is violation by any particular industry, then the board sends a show cause notice to that defaulting industry. It also conducts seminars and consultation program involving people from the industry, government, and environment NGO's to form policies and guidelines to minimize pollution.

What is the procedure to obtain consent from the Tamil Nadu pollution control board?

Any new industry wanting to start a new process or operation has to obtain consent to establish and consent to operate as per the requirement of Water and Air pollution acts. As per the acts, no person shall initiate or take any step to establish an industrial plant or process without first taking necessary permission from the board.

The person wanting to establish any industry can apply for both the consents online through the board’s web portal that is Consent Management & Monitoring system. Application for consent cannot be sent in person to any office of the board, and it can be applied online only. The link of the web portal to apply is tnocmms.net.in

The online web portal allows industries to –

  • Apply for consent to establish
  • Apply for consent to operate
  • Renewal of consent
  • Uploading of documents
  • Online payment of consent fee
  • Submission of any query or clarification
  • Monitor the status of the application.

The district offices of the board have care centers for helping industries with the filling of the consent application.

There are 38 notified industries which require approval from the Ministry of environment/Government of India. Only after the approval from the Ministry of environment can you apply for Consent from the board. If the project falls under the coastal regulation zone, then prior approvals are required from coastal zone management authority before applying to the board.

Categorization of industries –

The board has categorized industries into three categories-

  • Red – Highly polluting industries
  • Amber/orange – Medium polluting industries
  • Green – Less polluting industries
  • White – Very less polluting industries, they are exempted from taking consent.

In case industry is not included in any of the above-mentioned categories, then a committee of members of the board will sit together and decide which category the industry will fall in. the final decision is taken by the chairman on the recommendations of the committee.

What is the validity of consent to operate and consent to establish?

The consent to establish and consent to operate license validity is determined by the category in which the industry falls. Red and orange category industries consent is granted for two years after which it has to be renewed, but there are some industries like dyeing and chemical industries who have been given consent to establish for only a period of one year.

Consent to operate is usually given for a period ranging from 4 months to 12 months, depending on the type of industry. There are some industries which fall in the red category have been given consent for only three months also, but the usual time of license ranges from 6 to 8 months.

There is a lot of ambiguity with regard to the validity of the consent to establish and consent to operate permission. It is exclusively decided by the board on case to case basis keeping in mind the category the industry falls in.

How is the application processed?

Once an application is submitted along with all required document, then the application is scrutinized by an officer of the board or any objection. If there is any objection, then those objections are flagged by the officer and time is given to remove them. Once an application is complete, then the application is placed before a committee and decision are taken by the committee.

Consent to establish is granted for a period of five years and seven years to those industries which have taken environmental clearance from the Ministry of environment/ Govt of India. If the project is not completed within the stipulated time period, then the renewal application has to be submitted one month before the consent expires.

What is Consent to operate?

Industry wanting to start operation has to apply two months before it starts its operations. The industry is inspected and verified by the District officer to check whether all conditions related to consent to establish have been full filled by the industry. A report is made by the District officer, and after scrutiny, consent to operate is granted. Consent to operate requires renewal after 31st March of each year.

The time limit for processing the application for the red category is 45 days, and a time limit for the orange and green category is 30 days. The red category has to apply for renewal annually, and Orange and Green category has to apply after two years from the issue date.

Documents required for applying for Consent to Establish

The following documents have to be attached along with the application form which is available online on the board’s web portal –

  • A covering letter stating the type of category the particular industry fall in and also stating the activities of that industry which it will undertake in the future.
  • A copy of sale/lease deed or rent deed of the land on which the industry is to be established.
  • Memorandum of article if it is a company or partnership deed if it is a partnership firm.
  • Complete details of the layout plan of the project showing where the utilities will be installed like boilers, sewage/effluent treatment plant, generators, machinery, administrative office, etc.
  • Topo sketch of the surrounding area of that industry clearing marking the areas like residential areas, water bodies, forest area, roads, fields, government buildings, and other industries if any.
  • Details of wastewater balance and water balance.
  • Details of material balance.
  • Certificate of land use classification issued by the concerned authority
  • Consent fee under the air and water pollution act.
  • Auditor report given by the chartered accountant.
  • Groundwater clearance certificate issued by the concerned authority.
  • Details of the sewage treatment plant, including a description of the characteristics of the sewage it will discharge and methodology of treatment which the industry will adopt.
  • Details of the effluent treatment plant and the treatment methodology.
  • Detailed report of Air pollution measures to be adopted and describing the source of emission, fuel to be used, and measure to be taken to minimize the pollution.
  • In case the industry will use hazardous chemical or material, the material safety data sheet and also the method of its transportation.
  • Coastal regulation zone certificate if the industry falls in coastal zone notified by coastal authority.
  • Environment clearance certificate issued by the Ministry of environment/Govt of India if the industry is one of 38 industries which are required to take clearance from the Ministry before their establishment.

Appeal against orders of the Tamil Nadu pollution board

Any person aggrieved by the order or action taken by the pollution board can appeal against such order within 30 days to the appellate authority, and further appeal against the decision of the appellate authority can be challenged before the National green tribunal. The board has the power to impose fines and can also send a show cause notice to the defaulting industry if the samples collected by the industry are not according to the set standards. The board can order the closure of the industry if the answer to the show cause notice is not satisfactory.

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