Discharge of pollutants only within standards
Online Link to Act/Rule/Legislation
Initial Setup or Ongoing Maintenance
Ongoing compliance requirement
Filing and Maintenance Requirements
Discharge of any ‘environmental pollutants’ in excess of prescribed standards, as issued by CPCB and SPCB under schedules I to IV of the Environment Protection Rules, is not permitted by any person carrying on an industry, operation or process. Further, the Central Government is empowered to issue notifications from time to time identifying certain areas where industries/ units are prohibited from being located.
Any discharge of an environmental pollutant in excess of the prescribed standards, as specified under schedules I to IV of the Environment Protection Rules (or any such apprehension of such discharge), has to be intimated immediately by the person in charge to the (i) officer-in-charge of emergency or disaster relief operations in a district or other region in whose jurisdiction the industry, process or operation is located; (ii) CPCB or SPCB and the regional officer having jurisdiction; and (iii) statutory authorities specified in schedule V of the Environment Protection Rules, who will then take due remedies to prevent such pollution. The costs for such remedies along with interest will be recoverable from the industrial unit.
Penalties for the first failure or contravention of the compliance requirements under the Environment Protection Act may attract: Imprisonment for a term extending up to 5 (five) years; or fine extending up to Rs. 100,000 (Rupees One Hundred Thousand only); or with both.
Further, continuation of the offence attracts a fine of Rs. 5,000 (Rupees Five Thousand only) per day from the day of conviction for the first failure or contravention.
Contraventions or failures to comply in excess of 1 (one) year from the date of conviction for the first contravention or failure may attract imprisonment for a term extending up to 7 (seven) years.
Any person who was in charge/ responsible for conduct of the business of a company when such offence was committed by the company will be held guilty of the offence and be liable for punishment accordingly. The only protection available from prosecution is to prove that the act was committed without knowledge of the concerned person or it could not have been prevented despite due diligence
Application Guidelines / Responsible Persons / Comments
The Environment Protection Act (and certain rules issued thereunder) regulates the discharge of environmental pollutants (defined as solid, liquid or gaseous substances present in such concentrations which may be, or tend to be, injurious to the environment) over certain specified limits, as mentioned in schedules I to IV of the Environment Protection Rules. The Environment Protection Act also lays down procedures for the handling of identified hazardous wastes and creates a regime for environmental impact assessment and project clearances. Certain salient features of the Environment Protection Act are: