Environmental Acts

[ACT NO. 6 OF 1974]

This Act was enacted for prevention and control of water pollution and maintaining or restoring of wholesomeness of water. The Central and State Pollution Control Boards have been constituted under section 3 and 4 of the Act respectively. The Act was amended in 1978 and 1988 to clarify certain ambiguities and to vest more powers in Pollution Control Board. Salient items and obligations on the part of industries and local bodies are:

  1. To obtain prior consent to establish industry for new discharge U/S 25 of the Act. This is mandatory for every industry/local body discharging any domestic sewage or trade effluent into water, stream, well sewer or on land. For this purpose consent application has to be filed with State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) in form XIII complete in all respects along with prescribed consent fee. It is obligatory to provide additional information sought by The State Board. On receipt of application, State Board may grant the consent with specific conditions and date of validity or refuse the consent for reasons to be recorded in writing.

  2. Once after obtaining the consent to establish and installing all facilities as communicated by the industry, the industry shall apply for consent to operate U/S 25 of the Act for which same form XIII has to be used.

  3. Similar provisions of application and grant of consent exists for industries discharging the trade/effluent waste prior to enactment of the Act [U/S 26 of the Act].

  4. On expiry of period of 4 months of filing an application completed in all respects consent shall be deemed to be given unconditionally unless consent is granted or refuse earlier. This will not hold however, if application is not complete or State Board raises any query. which remain unanswered, in which case the period extends from the date of submission of additional information i.e. complete information.


  1. To obtain information: On construction, installation or disposal system if it has any relevance to prevention or control of pollution [U/S 20].

  2. Carry out any related work : If any industry fails to take up the same despite giving specific time bound notice by state Board, for execution of such work any expenses incurred along with interest may be recovered from such person or industry as arrears of land revenue [U/S 30].

  3. Collect and analyze samples of streams / wells or trade effluent : in case of trade effluent, in order to have legal validity, person taking sample should give notice in prescribed form, divide the sample in two parts and seal if request made by industry in this behalf. One part of sample is sent to lab recognized by State Pollution Control Board U/S 17 (2) and second part on request and at the cost of occupier to the State Lab notified U/s 52 of the Act.

  4. To give direction : State Board has power to give directions to any person/officer or authority, who will be bound to comply with the directions. The direction may include direction for closure/prohibition or regulation of any industry operation or process or stoppage/regulation of services like electricity, water etc. The direction should be in writing and shall be (except under cases of grave injury to environment) followed by opportunity of being heard through a show cause notice U/S 33- A.

  5. Enter and inspect any place for performing any of the functions of board or to assess compliance or to examine any plants, records, documents etc. and seize, if necessary. [U/S 23].


Any person aggrieved by an order of State Board U/S 25,26,27 (related to consent) can prefer an appeal U/S 28 within 30 days from date of receipt of the order. For this appellant has to follow prescribed procedure in the Rules. The State Govt. has constituted an appellate authority for this purpose.


  1. Section 41 (1) (Failure to provide information U/S 20) - Imprisonment up to 3 months fine up to Rs. 10000/= or both, which on continuous failure may extend up to Rs. 5000/= per day.

  2. Section 41 (2) (failure to abide by direction U/S 32 or 33 A) - Imprisonment not less than one year and six months but may extend to six years or fine up to 5000/= per day or both; if failure continues beyond a year, imprisonment form 2 to 7 years with fine.

  3. Section 42 (disturb facility/giving false information U/S 25or 26) - Imprisonment  
    from 3 months or Rs. 10000/= or both.

  4. Section 43, (discharge of effluent beyond permissible limits) - Imprisonment not less than one year and six months but may extend to six years or and fine and if failure continues beyond 2 years up to 7 years imprisonment.

  5. Section 44 (use of outlet or new outlet for exchange of trade without prior.

  6. Consent or establish any new process with out prior contact.



This is an Act to provide for the prevention, control and abatement of air pollution in the country so as to preserve the quality of air. Central and State Boards constituted under section 3 and 4 of Water (Prevention and Control Pollution) Act, 1974 were deemed also as Central and State Boards for Prevention and Control of Air Pollution. The salient features of the Act are:

  1. The Act is applicable to whole India.

  2. U/S 19 of the Act. the State Gov. in consultation with SPCB is vested with power to declare Air Pollution Control Area. in which provisions of the Act shall be applicable. Presently entire Uttar Pradesh has been declared pollution control area.

  3. As per provisions in Sec. 21 (1) & (2), no person can establish or operate any industrial plant without the previous consent of State Pollution Control Board. Every application for consent shall be made in Form-I and shall be accompanied by prescribed fee.

  4. Within a period of four months after the receipt of application, the Board shall complete the formalities to either grant, or refuse consent. During the course of processing consent application, Board may seek any information about the industry after giving notice in Form II.

  5. U/S 22, 22 (A) operating any industrial plant so as to cause emission of any air pollutant in excess of standard laid down by state Board is liable for litigation by the board.


Besides providing consultation to State Government for declaring or restricting an areas as Air Pollution Control Area, State Board is vested with following powers :

  1. Power of entry and inspection : Any person empowered by State Board shall have right to enter the industry premises for determining the status of pollution control equipment or otherwise nessary for compliance of the Act, and the person concerned of the industry shall be bound to render assistance as deemed necessary for ensuring measures, and carrying out functions laid down in the Act. [U/S 24]

  2. Power to take samples : State Board or any person empowered by it shall have power to take samples of air or emission from any chimney, flue or any duct or any other outlet in such manner as may be prescribed. [U/S 26].

  3. Power to give direction : State Board may issue any direction to any person, authority including closure, prohibition or regulation of any industry and can also issue directives for the stoppage or regulation of supply of electricity. water or any other services. The direction should however be preceded by proposed directive in writhing giving opportunity of being heard unless grave injury to the environment is likely, in which proposed directive may be avoided [U/S 31 A]


Whoever fails to comply with the provision of section 21,22 or with direction as per sec. 31 (A), shall be punishable with minimum imprisonment of one and half year extending up to 6 years and with fine, in case the failure continues, an additional fine extending to five thousand rupees for every day during which such failure continues. The above terms of imprisonment in extreme case may extend to seven years with fine [U/S 37].

The penalties shall also be meted in following cases :

  1. Tampering with notice of the Board.

  2. Obstructing the act of the person authorized by the Board.

  3. Damaging any work or property of the Board.

  4. Failure to intimate emission of air pollutant in excess of prescribed norms.

  5. Making false statement.


Any person aggrieved by an order made by the State board under this act may appeal within 30 days of receipt of the order. The appeal shall be made to an appellate authority constituted by State Govt. On receipt of an appeal, its disposal shall be ensured as expeditiously as possible. The rules made under the Act, provides procedures for filing an appeal.


This is an Act to provide for the protection and improvement of environment and for matters connected there with. This is a comprehensive umbrella legislation.

Salient feature are :

  1. Central Govt. or any officer delegated by it has powers to :

    1. Take measures of protecting and Improving the quality of environment. (Section - 3)

    2. Laying down environmental standards. (S- 3(2) (iii))

    3. Laying down procedure, safeguards and remedial measures for accidents. (S- 3(2) (iv))

    4. Laying down procedure and safeguards of handling of hazardous substances. (S- 3(2) (vii))

    5. Carrying out investigation and research reality to problem of environment. (S- 3(2) (ix))

    6. Obtaining information. (S- 3(2) (xii))

    7. Entry and inspection etc. (Section 3(2) (x))

    8. Giving directions including direction for closure, prohibition or regulations of industry/process/operation or stoppage/regulation of supply of electricity. water or any other service. (Section -5)

    9. Industries to be established in Doon valley area categorised under Red, Orange & Green category, where Red category is totally prohibited, orange category industries can come up with permission of Government when such permission is sought by SPCB while green category industry can be established in approved industries are of Doon valley after obtaining "No objection certificate' from the SPCB without referring the same to the central Govt.

  2. Hazardous wastes (Management & Handling Rules), 1989 (as amended in 2000): Under these rules :

    1. Every occupier and operator of a facility handling hazardous waste (categories of wastes notified) has to apply and obtain authorization from State Pollution Control Board and also report accidents to SPCBs.

    2. Import of hazardous wastes is banned for dumping and disposal. However, these may be allowed for processing by Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India.

    3. The hazardous waste exporting country has to obtain permission from central govt. for proposed trans-boundary movement of hazardous waste.

    4. Identification, inventory and study of disposal site is responsibility of State Govt.

  3. Hazardous chemicals (Manufacture, Storage & Import of hazardous chemicals) Rules, 1989 : Responsibilities of occupier dealing in hazardous chemicals (as listed in schedule) or involved in storage (beyond threshold limits in schedule) include :

    1. Identification of Major Accident Hazards (MAH) & take steps to prevent such accidents apart form providing information, training & equipment to dealing persons.

    2. Notify major accidents to concerned authorities.

    3. Isolated storage : Account mentioned in Schedule 2 of Industrial activity regarding hazardous waste.

    4. Written reporting

    5. Preparation of safety reports/updating such reports

    6. Preparation of on site Emergency Plan.

    7. Preparation of Off - Site Emergency Plan responsibility of chief inspector of factories.

    8. Import of Hazardous Chemicals: Person responsible for import of hazardous chemicals shall inform the details of recipient port of entry, mode of transport quantity and product safety information. He shall abide by safety communicated.

  4. Biomedical Waste Rules 1998 (as amended) : The rules relate to safe handling and management of biomedical waste being generated from hospitals, nursing homes, research institutions, etc. standards for treatment and disposal has been laid down. Each occupier of a facility handling these wastes must obtain authorization of State Pollution Control Board and follow the provisions of the rules. Time schedule for installation of treatment facilities have to be followed.

  5. Environmental Statement : This is mandatory for every industry, operation process requiring consent under section 25 of Water Act or under section 21 of Air Act or both or authorization under Hazardous Waste Management rules. This is to be submitted in form-V to State Pollution Control Boards on of before 15th May, of every financial year.

    One special feature of EP Act 1986 is provision of taking cognizance of offence in court of law by any person after giving notice of 60 days to Central Govt.

    Other related rules of EP Act are:

    1. Manufacture Use Import Export and Storage of Genetically Engineered Micro-organisms or cell.

    2. Scheme of labeling Environment friendly product ('ECOMARK').

    3. Coastal Zones Regulation notifications i.e. to restrict certain developmental activities along the coastal zone.



This is an Act to provide for the collection and levy of cess with a view to augment the resources of Pollution Control Board.

  1. The Act is applicable to all states where Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act is in force except J & K.

  2. The cess is payable by every person carrying on any industry and using water for various purposes as prescribed under Schedule - II of the Act.

  3. The cess is based on water consumption, quality and purpose for which water is used as below :

  4. Purpose for which water is consumed

    Rate of Cess under section 2 of section 3 Rate of Cess sub section 2 a of section 3
    Industrial Cooling Spraying .5 Paise per KL 10 paise per KL
    Domestic Purpose 2 Paise per KL 3 Paise per KL
    Processing where by water gets polluted and pollutants are easily biodegradable. 10 Paise per KL 20 Paise per KL
    Processing where by water gets polluted and pollutants are not easily biodegradable. 15 Paise per KL 30 Paise per KL
  5. Every specified industry/local body has to affix meters for use of water and file cess returns by 5th day of every month in specified form to State Pollution Control Board.

  6. If is not paid with in the date prescribed in order, the same may result in imposition of interest (U/S -7) and penalty (U/S-11) of the Act

  7. Rebate @ 25% of cess is applicable, if effluent/sewage treatment plant is installed, provided, provision of Water Act. 1974 are complied and quantity of water used does not exceed the norms specified U/R 6 of cess rules 1978.

  8. Provision of appeal exists for aggrieved persons to appellate authority, against the order of case Assesment (U/S 6) or Penalty order (U/S-11) of the Act.

  1. Person carrying on any industry or operation not to discharge/emit any air pollutant beyond prescribed standard (Section - 7).

  2. Person not to handle any hazardous substance expect in accordance with prescribed procedure (Section - 8).

  3. Person carrying on any industry is bond to mitigate the environmental pollution caused due to any accident or un for seen act and shall inform such occurrence to authorities prescribed this regard. (Section - 9).

  4. Power and procedure of taking samples of environmental pollutants by the officers empowered by the central government. (Section - 11).

  1. Failure to avoid by the provision of the Act and rules made these under may attract penal consequences both by way of punishment up to 5 years with five up to one lakh rupees and in case of continuation of failure with additional five of rs. five thousand till such failure continues. (Section - 15).

  2. Court should not take cognizance of offences unless it has been filled by the control govt. person having given a sixty day prior notice of his intention to make a complaint, is also competent to fine a complaint. (Section - 22).

  3. No civil court shall have justification over the matter arising out of any order, action under this Act and rules. (Section - 22).


Expansion or modernization of any activity which leads to extension of pollution load or a new project listed in schedule - 1 to the rules shall not come into operation unless it requires the clearance of the central govt.


This Act has been enacted for redressed of the person who have been affected by accident occurring while handling any hazardous substance.

The owner is liable to compensate the person (other that the workman) who have suffered to death or injury due to any accident.