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EIA RULES AMENDMENT

21st July, 2022 Environment

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Context: The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has notified amendment to the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Rules, exempting highway projects of strategic and defence importance, which are 100 km from the Line of Control, among other locations, from an environmental clearance before construction.

 

More on the news:

  • The EIA is a process of evaluating the likely environmental impacts of a proposed project or development.
  • This assessment also takes into account human health and socioeconomic impact on the community living in the proposed project area.
  • Thermal power plants up to 15 MW based on biomass or non-hazardous municipal solid waste using auxiliary fuel such as coal, lignite or petroleum products up to 15 per cent have also been exempted — as long as the fuel mix is eco-friendly, according to the notification.
  • Taking into account issues of livelihood security of fishermen involved at fish handling ports and harbours, and the less pollution potential of these ports and harbours compared to others, increasing the threshold of ports which exclusively deals in fish handling, and caters to small fishermen, will be exempted from environmental clearance, the ministry stated.
  • Toll plazas that need more width for installation of toll collection booths to cater to a large number of vehicles, and expansion activities in existing airports related to terminal building expansion without increase in the airport’s existing area, rather than expansion of runways, etc., are two other projects exempted.
  • Highway projects related to defence and strategic importance in border States are sensitive in nature and in many cases need to be executed on priority keeping in view strategic, defence and security considerations. In this regard, the Central Government deems it necessary to exempt such projects from the requirement of Environmental Clearance in border areas, subject to specified Standard Operating Procedure along with standard environmental safeguards for such projects for self-compliance by the agency executing such projects.
  • Expansion activities in existing airports related to terminal building expansion without increase in the airport’s existing area, rather than expansion of runways, are also exempted.

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/environment-ministry-amends-eia-rules-exempts-highways-strategic-importance-8039740/

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