Legislation UpdatesRules & Regulations

   

On 03-11-2022, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified the Environment (Protection) Third Amendment Rules, 2022 which shall come into force from 01-07-2023. The amendment has notified the emission standards under Schedule I.

Key points:

  • Emission limits for new engines used for power generating set (hereinafter referred to as Genset) applications up to 800 kW Gross Mechanical Power, namely:

    1. Diesel engines;

    2. Engines based on dedicated alternate fuels;

    3. Engines based on Bi-fuels run either on Gasoline or on any one of the alternate fuels;

    4. Engines based on Dual Fuel run on Diesel and any of the alternate fuels;

    5. Portable Generator sets (PI engines below 19kW and up to 800 cc displacement) run on Gasoline fuel, dedicated alternate fuels and Bi-fuel run either on Gasoline or on any one of the alternate fuels;

  • Emission limits for new engines up to 800 kW used for Genset shall be effective from 1st July, 2023 and the test cycle for constant speed and variable speed application shall be as described in System and Procedure for Genset.

  • Smoke shall not exceed prescribed limit value throughout the operating load points of the test cycle.

    1. The test shall be done on engine dynamometer for all CI engines and PI engines (above 800 cc displacement);

    2. the test shall be done on resistive load bank for Portable Gensets (up to 19 kW and up to 800 cc engine displacement) powered by PI engines;

    3. the emission limits are applicable to both constant speed and variable speed gensets and genset engines are used primarily to operate an electrical generator or alternator to produce and supply electric power for other applications in place of power from electric grid;

    4. portable genset combines an electrical generator and a prime mover engine to form a single piece of equipment.

Legislation UpdatesRules & Regulations

   

The Central Government has notified the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2022. These rules apply to every manufacturer, producer refurbisher, dismantler and recycler involved in manufacture, sale, transfer, purchase, refurbishing, dismantling, recycling and processing of e-waste or electrical and electronic equipment listed in Schedule I, including their components, consumables, parts and spares which make the product operational but it does not apply to

(a) waste batteries as covered under the Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022;

(b) packaging plastics as covered under the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016;

(c) micro enterprise as defined in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006; and

(d) radio-active wastes as covered under the provisions of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962.

Key points:

  • Entities must register on the portal as manufacturer; producer; refurbisher; or recycler.

  • All manufacturer must collect e-waste generated during the manufacture of any electrical and electronic equipment and ensure its recycling or disposal; file annual and quarterly returns in the laid down form on the portal on or before end of the month succeeding the quarter or year, as the case may be, to which the return relates.

  • The producer of electrical and electronic equipment must create awareness through media, publications, advertisements, posters or by any other means of communication; and file annual and quarterly returns in the laid down form on the portal on or before the end of the month succeeding the quarter or year, as the case may be, to which the return relates. They must obtain and implement extended producer responsibility targets as per Schedule-III and Schedule-IV through the portal.

  • All refurbisher must collect e-waste generated during the process of refurbishing and hand over the waste to registered recycler and upload information on the portal; ensure that the refurbished equipment shall be as per Compulsory Registration Scheme of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and Standards of Bureau of Indian Standards framed for this purpose; file annual and quarterly returns in the laid down form on the portal on or before the end of the month succeeding the quarter or year, as the case may be, to which the return relates.

  • Bulk consumers of electrical and electronic equipment listed in Schedule I shall ensure that e-waste generated by them shall be handed over only to the registered producer, refurbisher or recycler.

  • All recycler must ensure the following:

    1. facility and recycling processes are in accordance with the standards or guidelines laid down by the Central Pollution Control Board in this regard from time to time;

    2. fractions or material not recycled in its facility is sent to the respective registered recyclers;

    3. residue generated during recycling process is disposed of in an authorised treatment storage disposal facility;

    4. maintain record of e-waste collected, dismantled, recycled and sent to registered recycler on the portal and make available all records for verification or audit as and when required;

    5. file annual and quarterly returns in the laid down form on the portal on or before the end of the month succeeding the quarter or year, as the case may be, to which the return relates.

  • Every manufacturer, producer, refurbisher and recycler may store the e-waste for a period not exceeding one hundred and eighty days and shall maintain a record of sale, transfer and storage of e-wastes and make these records available for inspection and the storage of the e-waste.

  • The Central Pollution Control Board must generate extended producer responsibility certificate through the portal infavour of a registered recycler.

Tripura High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Tripura High Court: In a public interest litigation seeking issuance of show cause to the respondents as to why a writ of Mandamus shall not be issued, declaring the possession of all exotic animals/ birds illegal and the person in possession of them be forthwith prosecuted for violation under the Customs Act by the Department of Revenue Intelligence and under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972(‘Wildlife Act’), Indrajit Mahanty, CJ. and S.G. Chattopadhyay, J. has observed that despite the settled legal position, the Court cannot direct the Central Government to forthwith make amendments against legislative will to include all exotic species in the Wildlife Act, 1972 and in the Notifications issued under Section 11-B, 123 and 135 of the Customs Act, 1962. Further, it can neither direct seizure/ confiscation contrary to existing provisions, nor can direct change in classification of such bailable offence to non-bailable offence, to enable arrest and prosecution of all the persons concerned with such undeclared stock of exotic animals / birds.

The Court noted that the respondent has issued an advisory dated 11.06.2020 for dealing with import of exotic live species in India and declaration of stock within six months of the issuance of the said advisory.

The Court cited the decision in Dinesh Chandra Sharma v. Union of India, (PIL CIV 12032 of 2020), wherein the Court has considered pre and post advisory period and observed that “exotic birds/ animals do not come under the purview of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and there is no provision under the Wildlife Act to issue licence or permission for dealing in exotic birds”. Further, it also referred to the ruling in Swetab Kumar v. Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Others (Writ Petition (Civil) No. 540 of 2022), wherein the Court approved Dinesh Chandra (supra) and held that “any declaration made after the expiry of the window under the advisory shall carry no such exemption and the declarer shall have to comply with all requisite documentation under the extant laws and regulations”. It was also observed that the same advisory has also been the subject matter of challenge before various other High Courts. However, it has been upheld at all junctures.

The Court observed that the advisory is an executive direction to maintain inventory of exotic species and regulate the import of such species and the exemption that is provided in the advisory is limited to dispensation with explanation of source of exotic species. Further, the consequence of non-declaration within the time stipulated in the advisory is that the owner of exotic species is required to comply with all requisite documentation under the extant laws and regulations.

Moreover, the Court viewed that there is no change in the statutory provisions regarding the pre or post advisory period and cited the judgment of Anil Naidu v. UOI (Writ Petition No. 807 of 2019) as well as the judgment of Dinesh Chandra (supra), wherein it was clarified that the position regarding the inapplicability of the penal provisions of Wildlife Act, 1972 and the Customs Act 1962 regarding exotic species continue to apply as per extant laws and regulations despite advisory dated 11.06.2020.

The Court observed that it is settled as per the extant laws and regulations that:

(i) Domestic trade, possession, transportation and breeding of undeclared exotic animals/ exotic birds within India continues to be out of the purview of Wildlife Act, 1972.

(ii) There is no reverse burden to prove licit importation into India, because such undeclared exotic species are not included in Notifications issued under Section 123 of the Customs Act.

(iii) The undeclared ‘exotic animals/ birds’ continue to be out of purview of provisions of chapter IVA- Detection of illegally imported goods and prevention of disposal thereof, containing Sections 11A to 11G, as they are not notified under Section 11B. Thus, the person in possession of undeclared ‘exotic animals/ Birds would continue to be not bound to comply with requirements of Section 11-C to 11-F of the Customs Act regarding intimation of place of storage, precautions to be taken in acquiring, maintaining accounts or sale thereof.

(iv) The offence concerning exotic live species under Customs Act continues to be ‘bailable’ under Section 104(7) of the said Act, in absence of any notification under Section 135(1)(i)(c) of Customs Act, 1962 notifying exotic animals/ birds as “prohibited goods” and bail continues to be statutory as well as fundamental right.

The Court viewed that it can neither direct, nor expect the Government to take such drastic steps in haste, without assessment of impact and without detailed study, as such amendments in statutory provisions may result in drastic penal action against common man. Further, there are sufficient safeguards available in law to prevent cruelty to animals which are also applicable to exotic species and directing amendments in the Acts would lead to chaos and no public purpose will be achieved.

Thus, the Court observed that unless a person is caught smuggling exotic species on the international borders, no presumption can be drawn that domestic keeper have illegally imported the exotic species on the ground that such person has not declared ownership of exotic species within the stipulated time, or has acquired such species after the stipulated time, for any arrest/prosecution/confiscation based on presumption, as it would be unreasonable and violation of rights guaranteed under Article 14 and 21 of Constitution of India.

[Adwitiya Chakrabarti v. Union of India, 2022 SCC OnLine Tri 633, decided on 21.09.2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case:

Manoj Kumar Biswas, Advocate, for the Petitioner;

Government Counsel Mr. Biswanath Majumder, Advocate, for the Respondent.

Case BriefsSupreme Court

   

Supreme Court: In a writ petition and interlocutory applications filed seeking clarification of the judgment dated 03.06.2022 passed by the Court, wherein it was ordered that, there should be no development within 1 Km of the eco-sensitive zone (‘ESZ’) around the national park, sanctuary or protected area, that was later modified, allowing ongoing projects to continue, the full bench of B.R. Gavai, Surya Kant, J.B. Pardiwala, JJ. has upheld the eco-sensitive zone notifications for Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Thane Flamingo Creek Sanctuary.

The applicant submitted that the eco-sensitive zone (ESZs) around Sanjay Gandhi National Park has already been notified vide final notification dated 05.12.2016 and the eco-sensitive zone around Thane Flamingo Creek Sanctuary has already been notified vide final notification dated 14.10.2021. Thus, the judgment dated 03.06.2022 which directs that each protected forest, that is a national park or wildlife sanctuary must have an eco-sensitive zone of minimum one kilometre wide, would not be applicable to them.

The Court viewed that a draft notification dated 08.04.2021 concerning Thane Flamingo Creek Sanctuary that was already published by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and after a final decision was taken in respect of the said draft notification, the matter be placed before the Court, however, the final notification dated 14.10.2021 was already issued before the order dated 03.06.2022 and the same was not brought to the notice of the Court.

Previously, the Court had noted that one kilometre wide “no development zone” may not be feasible in all cases, thus, specific instances regarding Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Guindy National Park have also been made in paragraph 42 of the judgment.

Thus, the Court observed that the notification dated 05.12.2016 in respect of Sanjay Gandhi National Park as well as the notification dated 14.10.2021 in respect of Thane Flamingo Creek Sanctuary has been issued after following the entire procedure as prescribed under the law.

[In re TN Godavarman Thirumulpad v. Union of India, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 1318, decided on 23-09-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

Senior Advocate Harish N. Salve, Senior Advocate A.D.N. Rao, Senior Advocate Aparajita Singh, Advocate Siddhartha Chowdhury, Additional Solicitor General Balbir Singh, Advocate Suhasini Sen, Advocate Naman Tandon, Advocate Piyush Beriwal, Advocate Samarvir Singh, Advocate Navanjay Mahapatra, Advocate Archana Pathak Dave, Advocate D.L. Chidananda, Advocate S.S. Rebello, Advocate Shyam Gopal, Advocate Sughosh Subramanyam, Advocate-On-Record Amrish Kumar, Advocate-On-Record G.S. Makker, Additional Solicitor General K. Advocate M. Nataraj , Advocate Mukesh Kumar Verma, Advocate Neeraj Kumar Sharma, Advocate Ms.Mrinal Elker Mazumdar, Advocate Indira Bhakar,Priyanka Sharma, Advocate Prahil Sharma, Advocate.Harender Singh, Advocate Ambuj Saraswat, Advocate Prabhat Pachauri, Advocate Harsh Singhal , Advocate Amit Bansal, Advocate Nakul Chengappa K.K., Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, Advocate Chirag Shah, Advocate Siddharth Dharmadhikari, Advocate Rahul Chitnis, Advocate Utsav Trivedi, Advocate Himanshu Sachdeva, Advocate Manini Roy, Advocate-On-Record Aaditya A. Pande, Advocate Bharat Bagla, Advocate General Ashok Sharma, Additional Advocate General Abhinav Mukerji, Advocate Bihu Sharma, Advocate Pratishtha Vij, Advocate Akshay C. Shrivastava, Advocate Ravindra Lokhande, Advocate-On-Record Abhishek Atrey, Advocate-On-Record Abhinav Mukerji, Advocate-On-Record Ajit Pudussery, Advocate Gunjan Sinha Jain, Advocate-On-Record Chanchal Kumar Ganguli , Advocate-On-Record Gaurav Kumar Bansal, Advocate-On-Record Manan Verma, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, Additional Solicitor General Atmaram N.S. Nadkarni, Advocate Rukhmini Bobde, Advocate Ankit A, Advocate Kunal Vajani, Advocate Samit Shukla, Advocate Akhil Anand, Advocate Saloni Shah, Advocate Shivani Khanwilkar, Advocate-On-Record M/s Dsk Legal, Advocate Adiraj Bali, Advocate Deepti Arya, Advocate Shubhang Tandon, Advocate Saket Mone, Advocate Devansh Shah, Advocate Priyashree Sharma PH, Advocate Syed Faraz Alam, Advocate-On-Record Kush Chaturvedi, Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta, Advocate-On-Record Nishe Rajen Shonker, Advocate Anu K. Joy, Advocate Alim Anvar, Advocate Saket Singh, Advocate Sangeeta Singh, AdvocatNiranjana Singh, Advocate-On-Record Abhinav Mukerji, Advocate K. Raghavacharyulu, Advocate Kailash Pandey, Advocate Ranjeet Singh, Advocate-On-Record Gaichangpou Gangmei, Advocate-On-Record Mahfooz A. Nazki, Advocate Polanki Gowtham, Advocate Shaik Mohamad Haneef, Advocate T. Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy, Advocate Rajeswari Mukherjee, Advocate K.V.Girish Chowdary, Advocate Archana Pathak Dave, Advocate-On-Record Deepanwita Priyanka, Advocate-On-Record Chirag M. Shroff, Advocate-On-Record V.N. Raghupathy, Advocate-On-Record P.V. Yogeswaran, Advocate Ashish Kumar Upadhyay, Advocate Y. Lokesh, Advocate V. Sibi Kargil, Advocat V. Kandha Prabhu, Advocate Arun Singh, Advocate Anubhav Chaturvedi, Advocate Pankaj Kumar Agarwal, Advocate Surya Narayan Patro, Advocate L.R. Venkatesan, Advocate K. Kumaravadivel, Advocate Shivani Tushir, Advocate Maitri Goel, Senior Advocate general Vinod Ghai, Advocate Kanika Ahuja, Advocate-On-Record Ajay Pal, Advocate-On-Record Mayank Dahiya, Advocate-M. Priyanka C., Advocate-On-Record Vanshaja Shukla, Advocate Rachna Gandhi, Advocate Sajal Singhai, Advocate Ajay Bansal, Advocate Gaurav Yadava, Advocate Beena Bansal, Advocate Saurav Jindal, Advocate R Yadav, Advocate P. Venkat Reddy, Advocate Prashant Kr. Tyagi, Advocate P. Srinivas Reddy, Advocate-On-Record M/s. Venkat Palwai Law Associates, Advocate-On-Record Monika Gusain, Advocate Hari Om Yaduvanshi, Advocate S. Harini, Advocate-On-Record Syed Mehdi Imam, Advocate Tabrez Ahmad, Advocate Md. Parvez Dabas, Advocate Mushtaque Ahmad, Advocate Uzmi Jamil Hussain, Advocate Preeti Goel, Advocate Rajeev Kumar Dubey, Advocate-On-Record Kamlendra Mishra, Advocate Prakash Gautam, Advocate-On-Record Sunny Choudhary Advocate-On-Record Aravindh S, Advocate Abbas B., Advocate Shiv Singh Yadav, Advocate Ish Karan Singh Chhabra, Advocate-On-Record Mohd. Irshad Hanif, Advocate Aarif Ali, Advocate Rizwan Ahmad, Advocate Mujahid Ahmad, Advocate Shishir Raj, Advocate Ahmad Parvej, Advocate Mohd. Aslam, Advocate Mohit Kumar, Advocate Saba Baby Khan, Advocate Waseem Akhatar Khan, Advocate Amar Kumar Raizada, Advocate-On-Record Avijit Mani Tripathi, AdvocateT.K. Nayak, Advocate Marbiang Khongwir, Advocate Shaurya Sahay

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In an appeal regarding the jurisdiction of National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) to pass an order to operate a unit without Environmental Clearance and against the decision of closure of the unit, the bench of Hemant Gupta* and Vikram Nath, JJ. has observed that there was no error in the order passed by the Tribunal that opportunity should be provided to re-rolling or cold rolling units to fall within Environmental Clearance (EC) regime by granting a period of at least one year to operate for the purpose. However, the order of closure of the unit cannot be sustained.

The Court noted that an application was filed before the Tribunal on 20.7.2019 on the ground that the Project Proponent has set up the unit in violation of Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification as such plant would fall within category 3(a) i.e., secondary metallurgical industry, for which prior environmental clearance is required. The Tribunal took a prima facie view that the industry requires environmental clearance and thus stayed all activities of the project. The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) recommended the granting a grace period of one year to the industry that has been established after Consent to establish and Consent to operate, and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change were in favour of the same, on this basis the Tribunal passed the order that opportunity should be provided to such units to fall within the Environment Clearance regime by granting a period of at least one year to operate for the purpose.

The applicant/appellant challenged the time granted by the Tribunal on the ground that the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to grant period for obtaining Environmental Clearance as the EIA notification mandates a prior Environmental Clearance and as consent was not obtained before the setting up of the industry, the time limit of one year is against the mandate of Section 21 of the NGT Act, 2010.

Further, the Project Proponent/appellant, aggrieved against the order passed by the Tribunal, challenged the findings recorded that Environmental Clearance is required as during the pendency of the appeal a closure notice was served by the Gujarat State Pollution Control Board and the unit was closed in terms of the said notice.

Per Contra, the Government has published a notification on 20.7.2022 in terms of Section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 to apply Terms of Reference within one year followed by Environmental Clearance and has taken a considered decision in line with the NGT order.

The Court noted that there was an ambiguity whether such Rolling Steel Mills are required to obtain prior Environmental Clearance, and viewed that there was no error in the order passed by the Tribunal as it was based upon the recommendation of the EAC which suggested that one year time should be granted to the industry to comply with the EIA notification. Further, it is not a case of ambiguous interpretation in respect of one or two units but the entire country was having the same interpretation that Re-Rolling Steel Plants do not require a prior Environmental Clearance and that ambiguity has been removed on 20.7.2022 when the notification has been amended. Since there was ambiguity earlier, the Tribunal had granted time to the Project Proponent to comply with the requirement of Environmental Clearance.

The Court further viewed the decision in Alembic Pharmaceuticals Ltd. v. Rohit Prajapati, (2020) 17 SCC 157 , wherein the Court found that the circular is contrary to the EIA notification of 1994 wherein the Ministry decided that the industrial units which had gone into production without obtaining an EC would have to apply for and obtain an ex-post facto EC has no applicability to the facts of the present case where the Ministry itself is of the opinion that there was an ambiguity in the EIA notification of 2006 which was subsequently amended in 2022.

The Court took note of the ruling in Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai v. Ankita Sinha, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 897 wherein the Court held “that the NGT Act, when read as a whole, gives much leeway to the NGT to go beyond a mere adjudicatory role and the Parliament’s intention is to create a multifunctional body, with the capacity to provide redressal for environmental exigencies”. Thus, such directions of the Tribunal are, in fact, arising out of the scope of powers conferred on the Tribunal under Section 21 of the NGT Act.

The Court also took note of the ruling in Pahwa Plastics (P) Ltd. v. Dastak NGO, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 362, wherein the Court held “that the ex-post Environmental Clearance should not ordinarily be granted but it cannot be declined with pedantic rigidity, regardless of the consequences of stopping the operation”. Hence, the order of the Tribunal to close the units was found to be erroneous.

The Court further observed that out of 1689 units in the country, the applicant has chosen the Project Proponent as it appears to be a motivated petition to target the Project Proponent though the Cold Steel Rolling Mills in the country were operating under the same regime. Moreover, not only the Project Proponent, but the country also has suffered immensely on account of closure of the unit which was export oriented unit. The unit has been lying closed since 2021 and in view of the amendment in the EIA notification in 2022, the unit has time to seek EC in terms of the time line mentioned in the notification. Therefore, the order of closure of the unit cannot be sustained.

 [Gajubha Jadeja Jesar v. Union of India, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 993, decided on 10.08.2022]


*Judgment by: Justice Hemant Gupta


Cabinet DecisionsLegislation Updates

The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for signing an MoU with the Government of Nepal on biodiversity conservation, with a view to strengthen and enhance the coordination and cooperation in the field of forests, wildlife, environment, biodiversity conservation and climate change, including restoration of corridors and interlinking areas and share knowledge and best practices, between the two countries.

 

The MoU would help in promoting cooperation between the Parties in the field of forests, wildlife, environment, biodiversity conservation and climate change, including restoration of corridors and interlinking areas and sharing knowledge and best practices.

Central Government Notification
Legislation UpdatesRules & Regulations

On 22-08-2022, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified Battery Waste Management Rule, 2022  for management of waste, produced by batteries in the environment. The Rules will replace Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001. The rules function based on the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) where the producers (including importers) of batteries are responsible for collection and recycling/refurbishment of waste batteries and use of recovered materials from wastes into new batteries.

Applicability: Applicable on Producer, dealer, consumer, entities involved in collection, segregation, transportation, refurbishment and recycling of Waste Battery.

Key points:

  1. Obligation and additional responsibility of producers who are producing batteries that whichever battery they are introducing in the market, after its use the battery shall be completely recycled or refurbished.
  2.  Waste batteries should be sent for recycling or refurbished and should not be disposed of by burning or land filling.
  3.  Producer shall file annual returns of how much waste batteries has recycled or refurbished towards fulfilling obligations under Extended Producer Responsibility with the Central Pollution Control Board and concerned State Pollution Control Board by 30th June of the next financial year.
  4. Producers shall confirm that all batteries are packed properly with correct labeling. The label should be printed visibly and in a manner that it can be read easily. Labels should be printed in such a manner that it cannot be removed or washed away.
  5. All the Battery should be packed with a mark of “crossed out wheeled bin symbols”, covering at least 3% of the area of the largest side of the Battery upto a maximum size of 5cmx5cm.
  6. Battery containing mercury, cadmium or lead should be labeled with the symbol “Hg:, ”Cd “ or”Pb “.
  7. Responsibility of the consumer to discard Waste Battery separately from other waste. They need to make sure that the Waste Battery is being disposed of in an environment friendly manner.
  8. Entities involved in collecting, segregating and treating the Waste Battery to carry out the process in a best possible, environmentally friendly way.
  9. Recycler and Refurbisher should review the recovery target of Waste Battery once every four years and should keep on updating techniques to dispose of Waste Battery and would also recommend the same to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate CHange.
  10.  Every producer shall be registered under Central Pollution Control Board and the registration would be valid for a period of 5 years.
  11. Online registration & reporting, auditing, and committee for monitoring the implementation of rules and to take measures required for removal of difficulties.
  12. On the principle of Polluter Pays Principle, environmental compensation will be imposed for non-fulfilment of Extended Producer Responsibility targets, responsibilities and obligations set out in the rules. The funds collected under environmental compensation shall be utilised in collection and refurbishing or recycling of uncollected and non-recycled waste batteries.

Note: Battery mentioned in the rule will include all types of batteries irrespective of their chemistry, shape, volume, weight, material composition and use except batteries used for wars and for the equipment designed for space.

Legislation UpdatesRules & Regulations

On 6-07-2022 the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change further amended the Plastics Waste Management Rules, 2016 by adding a second amendment named Plastic Waste Management (Second Amendment) Rules, 2022. The Rules have added some new definitions, such as, biodegradable plastics, end of life disposal, plastic packaging, Plastic Waste Processors, pre-consumer plastic packaging waste, post-consumer plastic packaging waste, recyclers, waste to energy etc.

Key modifications:

S. No.

Rule/Sub-Rule

2016

2022

1.

Rule-9 Responsibility of producers, importers and brand owners

Sub-Rule (1)

To work out modalities for waste collection system based on Extended Producers Responsibility and involve State Urban Development Departments through their own distribution channel or through the local body concerned, within 6 months from publication

Shall fulfil Extended Producers Responsibility for Plastic Packaging as per Schedule 2-

(i) Producer (P) of plastic packaging;

(ii) Importer (I) of all imported plastic packaging and / or plastic packaging of imported products;

(iii) Brand Owners (BO) including online platforms/marketplaces and supermarkets/retail chains other than those, which are micro and small enterprises as per the criteria of Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India.;

(iv) Plastic Waste Processors

Sub- Rule (2)

Primary responsibility for collection of used multi-layered plastic sachet or pouches or packaging is of Producers, Importers and Brand Owners who introduce the products in the market. They need to establish a system for collecting back the plastic waste generated due to their products. This plan of collection to be submitted to the State Pollution Control Boards while applying for Consent to Establish or Operate or Renewal. The Brand Owners whose consent has been renewed before the notification of these rules shall submit such plan within one year from the date of notification of these rules and implement them within two years thereafter.

Primary responsibility for collection of used multi-layered plastic sachet or pouches or packaging is of Producers, Importers and Brand Owners who introduce the products in the market. They need to establish a system for collecting back the plastic waste generated due to their products.

Sub- Rule (4)

For grant of registration- the producer, within 3 months of publication of these rules, have to apply to the Pollution Control Board/ Committee.

For grant of registration- the producer, within 3 months of publication of these rules, have to apply firstly to Central Pollution Control Board and State and then to the Pollution Control Board/ Committee.

Sub- Rule (5)

Producers can manufacture and use any plastic only after getting registration from the State Pollution Control Board or the Pollution Control Committees.

Producers can manufacture and use any plastic only after getting registration from the Central Pollution Control Board if operating in more than 2 states or Union territories concerned State Pollution Control Board or the Pollution Control Committees

2.

Rule-10

Protocols for compostable plastic materials, 2016

/

Protocols for compostable and biodegradable plastic materials, 2022

Sub- Rule (1)

Determination of the degree of degradability and degree of disintegration of plastic material shall be as per the protocols of the Indian Standards listed in Schedule-I to these rules.

Determination of the degree of degradability and degree of disintegration of plastic material shall be as per the protocols of the Indian Standards listed in Schedule-I to these rules.

Sub- Rule (2)

The compostable plastic materials have to conform to the IS/ISO 17088:2021, as amended from time to time

Sub- Rule (3)

The biodegradable plastics have to conform to the standard notified by the Bureau of Indian Standards and certified by the Central Pollution Control Board.

Sub- Rule (4)

Until a standard referred to in sub-rule (3) is notified by the Bureau of Indian Standards, biodegradable plastics have to conform to tentative Indian Standard IS 17899 T:2022 as notified by the Bureau of Indian Standards.

Sub- Rule (5)

As a transitory measure, provisional certificate for biodegradable plastics, must be issued by the Central Pollution Control Board, in cases, where an interim test report is submitted, for an ongoing test, which covers the first component of the IS 17899 T:2022 relating to biodegradability given at Sl. No. (i) or Sl. No. (ii) of Table 1 or Sl. No. (i) of Table 2 of the IS 17899 T:2022:

Provided that the provisional certificate shall be valid till 30th June 2023 with the condition that production or import of biodegrdable plastics shall cease after the 31st day of March, 2023.

Sub — Rule (6)

The interim test report should be obtained from the Central Institute of Petrochemical Engineering and Technology or a laboratory recognized under the Laboratory Recognition Scheme, 2020, of the Bureau of Indian Standards or laboratories accredited for this purpose by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories, and they shall certify the bio-degradation of plastic is in line with IS 17899 T:2022.

3.

Rule-11

Marking or labelling

Sub- Rule (1)

Every plastic carry bag and multilayer packaging should have the following information:

(a) name, registration number of the manufacturer and thickness in case of carry bag.

(b) name and registration number of the manufacturer in case of multilayered packaging; and

(c) name and certificate number [Rule 4(h)] in case of carry bags made from compostable plastic

Every plastic carry bag and multilayer packaging should have the following information:

(a) name, registration number of the producer or brand owner and thickness in case of carry bag and plastic packaging.

Provided that this provision shall not be applicable, –

(i) for plastic packaging used for imported goods:

(ii) for cases falling under rule 26 of the Legal Metrology Packaged Commodities Rules, 2011, after the approval of the Central Pollution Control Board:

(iii) for cases where it is technically not feasible to print the requisite information mandated under this Rule, as per specifications given in the Guidelines for use of Standard Mark and labelling requirements under BIS Compulsory Registration Scheme for Electronic and IT Products? after the approval of the Central Pollution Control Board.

(a) Name and registration number of the producer or brand owner in case of multilayered packaging

(b) Name and certificate number [Rule 4(h)] in case of carry bags made from compostable plastic

(c) The importer or producer or brand owner of imported carry bags or multi layered packaging or plastic packaging, alone or along with the products shall adhere to clause (a) and (b).

4.

Rule-12

Prescribed authority

Sub- Rule (1)

Authority of enforcement-

The State Pollution Control Board and Pollution Control Committee in respect of Union territory.

Authority of enforcement-

The Central Pollution Board State and the Pollution Control Board and Pollution Control Committee in respect of Union territory.

5.

Rule-13

Registration of producer, recyclers and manufacturer

Sub- Rule (1)

No person shall manufacture carry bags or recycle plastic bags or multilayered packaging unless the person has obtained a registration from the State Pollution Control Board or the Pollution Control Committee of the Union Territory concerned, as the case may be, prior to the commencement of production

No person shall manufacture carry bags or recycle plastic bags or multilayered packaging unless the person has obtained a registration from-

i) Concerned State Pollution Control Board/ Pollution Control Committee of the Union Territory, if operating in two or more states or Union Territories

ii) The Central Pollution Control Board, if operating in more than two States or Union Territories.

Sub- Rule (2)

Every producer has to make an application to the State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee.

Every producer or importer has to make an application as per the guidelines specified in Schedule- II

6.

Rule-18 (INSERTED)

Imposition of Environmental Compensation

The Compensation will be levied based upon polluter pays principle on persons who are not complying with the provisions of these rules, as per guidelines notified by the Central pollution Control Board

7.

SCHEDULE —1

Substituted

Legislation UpdatesRules & Regulations

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified Environment (Protection) Fourth Amendment Rules, 2021. The Rules shall come into force on July 1, 2022.

The amendment amends the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986 and provides new standards for discharge of Effluent from Tannery Industry. The standards shall apply to all modes of disposal.

In case of direct disposal into rivers and lakes, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) or State Pollution Control Boards / Pollution Control Committees (SPCBs / PCCs) may specify more stringent standards depending upon the quality of the recipient system. These standards shall not be applicable in case of marine disposal through proper marine outfall.

 


*Tanvi Singh, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Legislation UpdatesRules & Regulations

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, has notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, which prohibits identified single use plastic items which have low utility and high littering potential by 2022. The Rules also provides for effective implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility.

 

The manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of following single-use plastic, including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene, commodities shall be prohibited with effect from the 1st July, 2022:-

 

  • ear buds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene [Thermocol] for decoration;

  • plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards,  and cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 micron, stirrers.

 

In order to stop littering due to light weight plastic carry bags, with effect from 30th September, 2021, the thickness of plastic carry bags has been increased from fifty microns to seventy five microns and to one hundred and twenty microns with effect from the 31st December, 2022. This will also allow reuse of plastic carry due to increase in thickness.

 

Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL): A Coram of Justice Manjula Chellur (Chairperson) and S.D. Dubey (Technical Member) allowed an appeal filed against an impugned order passed by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission pertaining to Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power Station Stage-II of the appellant.

The appeal raises an objection as to whether the additional capital expenditure incurred towards installation of Continuous Emission Monitoring System (for short referred to as “CEMS”) and installation of CCTV Surveillance System should fall within the purport and import of Regulation 14 of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Terms and Conditions of Tariff) Regulations 2014 (hereinafter referred to as “Tariff Regulations of 2014/2014 Regulations”). CERC had disallowed the expenditure made towards installations. Thus, the instant appeal. The admitted facts were that Unit – I of Vindhyachal Stage –II achieved its Commercial Operation Date (COD) on 01-07-2000 and Unit –II of Vindhyachal Stage – II achieved its COD on 01-10-2000. On 06-04-2011, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) had issued a Circular directing that the stack emission, as well as ambient air quality, had to be continuously monitored in respect of all thermal power plants in terms of notified standards. The 1st Respondent-CERC, in Petition No. 258 of 2009, the determined tariff for the Stage – II Vindhyachal on 26-12-2011 in terms of Tariff Regulations of 2009. CERC disallowed expenditure pertaining to monitoring system on the ground that no reference for installation of such system was indicated in the Environment Clearance/Consent issued by the concerned authority. However, on 02-02-2013 Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) issued a letter mandating that NTPC has to install CCTV in Stage – II unit and so also in Cable Gallery. According to the Appellant, the said expenditure was warranted on account of letter from MoEF&CC, which was obligatory in nature, therefore, the Appellant had to comply with the same.

The Tribunal while allowing the appeal set aside the impugned order stating that according to the joint inspections installation was a must and if the Commission was not satisfied with the information provided by the Appellant, they ought to have sought for further information which could have been provided thus there was no justification to reject the claim under Regulation 14 since the additional capital expenditure was incurred after cut-off date of the plant in question. [NTPC Ltd. v. CERC, 2020 SCC OnLine APTEL 1 , decided on 29-01-2020]