The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change amends the EIA Notification, 2006 exempting certain projects from the requirement of Prior Environmental Clearance

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (“Ministry”) through a Notification dated 16th January 2020,has amended the Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006 (“EIA Notification”) which mandated prior environmental clearance for certain category of projects.

Background:

 

Due to an increased production of ethanol from B-heavy Molasses or Sugar cane Juice  or Sugar Syrup or Sugar the Ministry has received requests for waiving off the requirement of prior environmental clearance under the provisions of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2006. The Ministry has also received references requesting for exemption from requirement of prior environmental clearance for exploration drilling in respect of on-shore and off-shore oil and gas.

Key Highlights::

  • In Paragraph 7(ii), which deals with Prior Environmental Clearance (EC) process for Expansion or Modernization or Change of product mix in existing projects, for clause (c) (which was inserted as per the attached Notification dated 23rd November 2016), the following clause shall be substituted, namely:
Principle Notification Amended Notification Implication
7 (ii) (c)

Any change in product-mix, change in quantities within products or number of products in the same category for which environmental clearance has been granted shall be exempt from the requirement of prior environmental clearance provided that there is no change in the total capacity sanctioned in prior environmental clearance granted earlier under this notification and there is no increase in pollution load. The project proponent shall follow the procedure for obtaining No Increase in Pollution Load certificate from the concerned State Pollution Control Board as per the provisions given

in Appendix –XIV

7 (ii) (c)

Any change in raw material-mix or product-mix, change in quantities within products or number of products in the same category for which prior environmental clearance has been granted, shall be exempted from the requirement of prior environmental clearance provided there is no increase in pollution load and the resultant increase in production is not more than 50 percent of the production capacity permitted in the earlier environmental clearance and the project proponent shall follow the procedure for obtaining ‘ No increase in Pollution Load’ Certificate from the concerned State Pollution Control Board or Union Territory Pollution Control Committee, as the case may be, as per the provisions given in Appendix- XIII

 

With the Amendment any change in raw material mix has been incorporated within the purview of the EIA Notification.

Under the Principle Notification no prior environmental clearance was required for any change if there was no change in the total capacity sanctioned in the previously granted environmental clearance. However with the Amended Notification the requirement is no longer “no change in total capacity” but has become more liberal where no prior environmental clearance is required for any change provided the resultant increase in production is not more than 50 percent of the production capacity permitted in the earlier environmental clearance. In both instances procedure for obtaining ‘ No increase in Pollution Load’ Certificate must be followed.

The Amendment has further provided that ‘No increase in Pollution Load’ Certificate can be issued by Union Territory Pollution Control Committees in addition to State Pollution Control Boards.

  • In the Schedule, which deals with the list of projects or activities requiring prior environmental clearance, for item 1(b) and the entries relating thereto, the following items and entries shall be substituted. With the Amendment, now all projects in respect of off-shore and onshore oil and gas development and production except exploration shall require prior environmental clearance. However, under the Principal Notification, all projects required the prior environmental clearance

Project or Activity Category with threshold limit Conditions if any
1(b) Off-shore and onshore oil and gas exploration, development and production

 

All projects in respect of off-shore and onshore oil and

gas development and production except exploration

 

Note 1: Seismic surveys which are part of Exploration Surveys are exempted provided the concession areas have got previous clearance for physical survey

Note 2: All project in respect of off-shore and onshore oil and gas exploration are categorized as “B2’ projects”


Source:
 Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

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