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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT 1986

Environment include water, air, and land and the relationship which exist among human
being and other living creatures , plant, micro organism and property.

The experience of human being over the years show that man is the part of environment
and he is serving the environment. Historical record shows that rulers were very much
interested about protecting environment. Lord Ashoka had given order to plant trees in
the road side.

United Nation held international conference on environmental protections at Stockholm


in June 1972. As response to this certain amendment were introduced in Indian
constitutions. On this basis various act were passed by Government of India. Water
(preventions and control of pollutions) Act 1974, and Air (preventions and control of
pollutions) Act 1981 ware passed.

The occurrence of Bhopal Gas tragedy in December 1984 was an eye opener to
government of India. In Bhopal gas tragedy several people lose their lives, become
permanently handicapped following the gas leakage in union carbide factory at Bhopal.
As result of this government of India passed Environmental protection Act of 1986. The
Act has given full power to central government to take responsibility for protecting
environment.

Definitions

1) Environment Sec 2( a)
Environment include water , air and land and their interrelationship which exist
among and between water air , land and human being, other leaving beings, micro
plants and property.

2) Pollutant sec 2(b)


Means any solid , liquid or gaseous substances present in such a concentrations as
may be or tent to be injurious to environment. Pollutant are harmless when they
are in small quantity but when it exceed the tolerable limit it causes pollutions
3) Pollutions sec 2 ( c)
Pollutions mean the presence in the environment of any environmental pollutant.
Pollution may take place in form of Influx (allowing the pollutant to mix with the
environment) of Extraneous materials (waste material in concentrated form)
4) Hazardous substances sec ( e )
Means any substances or preparations of which by reason or its chemical or
physio chemical properties or handling liable to cause harm to human being ,
other leaving creatures, plant micro organism property or the environment .

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5) Occupier Sec 2(f)
In relation to any factory or premises occupier means any person who has control
over the affairs of the factory or the premises and include, in relation to any
substances, the person in the possession of substances.

The environmental protection Act of 1986 has 26 sections which aims at implementations
of various preventive and control measures by government machinery so that
environment is properly protected.

Powers of central government

1) under section 3 central government has the power to plan program programs
related to environmental protections
2) co- ordinate the activities of state government officers and other authorities in
relations to environmental protections
3) Planning and executions of nation wide program for preventions and control
environmental pollutions
4) Laying down the standard of quality for the environmental protections
5) Laying down standard for emissions of pollutant substances
6) Restrictions of industries in different areas.
7) Lay down procedure for prevention of accident which may cause environmental
pollutions
8) Examinations of manufacturing process materials and substances which may
causes environmental pollutions
9) Inspect any premises plant equipment machinery which cause environmental
pollutions
10) Establishment of environmental laboratories
11) Collections and examinations of information related to environmental pollutions
12) Preparations of manual, code or guidance to prevent and control of pollutions

Section 4 is the power of central government to appoint officers and their


powers and functions. Section 5 is the power of central government to give directions
regarding environmental protections. Section 6 is the power of central government to
make rules and regulations regarding environmental pollutions.

Implementations of the Act


The act is implemented by state and central government by enforcing the provisions
of this Act. The Act implemented in two different stages
1) preventions of environmental pollutions
2) control of environmental pollutions

Preventions of pollutions
It is done by restricting number of industries in a particular region by license to
operate. Section 7,8, and 9 of this Act is to prevent environmental pollutions

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According to sections 7 “ No person carrying on industry operations or process shall
discharge or limit or permit to be discharge or limit any environmental pollutant in excess
of such a standard as may be presented”

As per section 8 the workers have to handle the hazardous substances only after
complying prescribed procedures. According to section 9 if any industry discharges any
industrial pollutant in excess of standard have to inform the central authority.

Control of pollutions
Section 10 to 17 deals with control of environmental pollutions.
Section 10 deals with the power of entry and inspect to any officials appointed by the
central government. According to this section any persons appointed by government have
power to enter any premises at a reasonable time and to perform his duties. And to
examine or test any equipment industrial plant record register document etc. And have
the right to seize any equipment document related to pollutions.

According the section 11 the officials is authorized to collect samples of pollutant. After
collecting materials he should send it to authorized laboratories for examinations.

As per sections 17 the heads of the departments of government department would be held
liable for offence of pollutions, when any industrial unit under the control of his
department caused pollutions. The HOD will not be held liable for punishment if he
proves to the authority that offence is committed without his knowledge and he exercised
all the act with diligence to prevent the offence.

Penalties

Whoever failed to comply with this Act will be punished with imprisonment for a term
which may extended to five year or with a five of which may extended to one lakh rupees
or with both