New Delhi: The Union Environment Ministry has set emission standards for industries where nitrogen and sulphur oxides are generated as these gases are leading to increase in air pollution and affecting human health. In December 2015, the ministry had set emission standards for coal-based power plants, which were to be complied by December 2017, but not a single plant complied completely. In a recent notification, the ministry said that considering the urgency, it has decided to waive of public consultations before fixing the policy.
There is increase in air pollution in some of the cities, industrial areas, etc. which has adverse impact on the heath of the citizens. As per the ambient air quality standard data, there is an increase in Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution and increase in particulate matter, it said.
The standards of emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) covers industries including ceramic, foundry or metal casting, glass, lime kilns and reheating furnaces.
The new standards for SO2 are 200 units for ceramics, 300 units for foundries, 500 (natural gas) and 1,500 (other fuel types) for glass units, 400 units for lime kilns and 300 units for reheating furnace.
Similarly for NOx, the standards are 600 units for ceramics, 400 units for foundries, 1,000 (other fuel types) for glass, 500 units for lime kilns and 1,000 units for reheating furnace. Units for both NOx and SO2 is micro gram per cubic nano meters.
These rules may be called the Environment (Protection) Amendment Rules, 2018. They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette, said a ministry notification dated March 22.
A recent Greenpeace report ‘Airpocalypse II’ finds that over 80 per cent of cities in the country are severely polluted and this impacts 47 million children across the country.