- Discuss the provisions of the new notification.
- Point out the gaps.
The MoEF&CC has released a compliance module for projects granted environmental clearance under the Environmental Impact Assessment 2006. The module streamlines the compliance & monitoring process to avoid any delay in submission of compliance reports to regulatory authorities.
New rules : The EIA 2006 requires projects that cause pollution, displacement, destruction of natural resources to pass through a series of clearance steps according to standards, with prior consent of statutory agencies both at state and central levels. A compliance report under the notification, provides the status of compliance with the conditions stipulated and is submitted every 6 months from the grant of environment clearance to a project. However, project owners often fail to adhere to the timeline for submission of compliance reports. The new notification makes it mandatory to submit the compliance report online to bring more transparency & accountability in the monitoring regime.
- Provision for uploading environmental conditions in online form against which compliance status can be submitted by the project proponent. Compliance data from the portal can be directly used by regulators for project monitoring.
- The new notification has made it mandatory to submit a self-declaration justifying the status of each condition, like air & water quality, soil analysis, etc.
Gaps in the notification: the new notification is a step forward, but having few loopholes
- It is unclear if these reports & documents will be accessible to the public domain.
- No checks and balances to ensure that the proponent submits complete & quality information.
- It must be ensured that this does not end up as another revenue generation model for consultants hired for the work.
Data collated from these reports should actually be used to take strict actions against violators. Also, there is a need for publicly accessible platform where environmental & social impacts of projects are collated in a singular format to understand the cumulative impact of industrial activity in the region.