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Environmental Impact Analysis

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What is an EIA?

The Environmental Impact Analysis (EIA) is one of the most broadly used tools for recognizing and preventing the adverse ecological effects of development activities. The EIA compares alternatives, which could be used to recognizing a project, with the best combination of economic and environmental costs and benefits. In a nutshell EIA is just an information-gathering exercise carried out by the developer and other bodies to assess the negative impact of the project on the environment.

The really important thing about environmental assessments is the emphasis on using the best available sources that are environmentally friendly.

Why EIA is required?

New proposals or proposals need expansion, modernization or change in product mix are required to be placed before Appraisal Committee, shall require Prior Environment Clearance from the concerned Regulatory Authority before start of any infrastructure development or installation or establishment or excavation or modernization work.

Categorisation of EIA Activities

Under the EIA Notification all the activities are divided into Two Categories i.e. Category A & Category B. The Category B is bifurcated into B1 & B2.

The Category A activities get prior Environmental Clearance from the Central Government (Moef & CC) & while Category B Projects get clearance from State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) or Union Terriortry Environment Impact Assessment Authority (UTEIAA).

In the absence of a duly constituted SEIA a Category ‘B’ project shall be considered at Central Level as a Category ‘B’ project;”

List of Projects Requiring Prior Environmental Clearance

According to the New Notification of EIA there are 43 business activities that falls in different sectors, require Prior Environmental Clearance

  • Mineral Projects
  1. Mining of Minor Minerals
  2. Mining of Major Minerals including Coal
  • Offshore and Onshore Oil & Gas including CBM and Shale Gas
  1. Exploration all projects
  2. Development and Production (including infrastructure facilities e.g. Gas Collecting or gathering station.
  • River valley projects
  • Irrigation
  • Thermal power projects
  • Nuclear Power or processing of nuclear fuel  
  • Coal washeries
  • Chemical Projects
  1. Mineral Beneficiation involving physical process and physicochemical processes
  2. Chemical processing of ores/ concentrate
  • Pellet plants or agglomeration plants
  • Metallurgical industries (ferrous &non ferrous)
  1. Integrated Steel Plants
  2. Sponge Iron Plants
  3. Non-ferrous smelting and refining
  4. Ferro Alloy Plants
  5. Secondary metallurgical industry (Toxic metals)
  6. Secondary metallurgical industry (Nontoxic metals)
  • Plants
  1. Cement Plants
  2. Standalone clinker grinding units
  • Lead acid battery manufacturing (excluding assembling and charging of lead acid battery
  • Petroleum refining Industry
  • Oven Plants
  1. Coke oven plants 0.8 million ton per annum
  2. Coal Tar processing units or Calcinations plant
  • Asbestos milling and asbestos based products
  • Chlor-alkali industry or Production of Halogens
  • Soda ash Industry
  • Skin/hide processing including tanning industry
  • Chemical fertilizers and standalone ammonia plants.
  • Manufacturing of Acids
  • Pesticides including insecticides; herbicides; weedicides; pestcontrol; etc., and their specific intermediates (excluding formulations)
  • Manmade fiber manufacturing
  • Petro-chemical complexes (industries based on processing of petroleum fractions,natural gas, production of carbon black)
  • Petroleum products and petrochemical based processing including production of carbon black and electrode grade graphite(processes other than cracking & reformation and not covered under the complexes)
  • Synthetic Organic Chemicals
  1. Dyes & dye intermediates
  2. Bulk drugs and intermediates excluding drug formulations
  3. Synthetic rubbers
  4. Basic organic chemicals, other synthetic organic chemicals, chemical intermediates, synthetic resins and synthetic adhesives
  • Distilleries and molasses-based manufacturing units
  • Manufacturing of paints, varnishes, pigments, intermediates (excluding blending / mixing)
  • Pulp & Paper Industry
  • Sugar Industry
  • Manufacturing of explosives, detonators, fuses including management and handling activities
  • Pipelines
  1. Oil & gas transportation pipeline passing through Ecologically Sensitive Areas.
  2. Slurry pipelines (coal, lignite and other ores) passing Ecologically Sensitive Areas.
  • Air Ports and Heliports including terrestrial and water ports
  • All ship breaking yards including ship breaking units
  • Industrial Estate including parks & complexes areas.
  • Common hazardous waste, Treatment Storage and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs)
  • Common Bio-Medical Waste Treatment Facilities
  • Ports, harbours, breakwaters and capital dredging (inside and outside the ports or harbours and channels)
  • Highways or Expressways or Multi-modal corridors or Ring Roads
  • Aerial ropeways
  • Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETP)
  • Common Municipal Solid Waste Management Facility (CMSWMF) involving land filling and / or incineration
  • Building Construction and Area Development projects
  • Elevated roads or standalone flyovers or bridges

Process of Environmental Clearance

The Prior Environment Clearance process for Category ‘A’ or Category ‘B1’ will consist of a maximum of six stages. The six stages, in sequential order, are:

Stage (1): Scoping

In this TOR are discussed by the experts.

Stage (2): Preparation of Draft EIA Report

After getting the TOR from the EAC / SEAC environment impact assessment report is prepared on the basis of TOR.

Stage (3): Public Consultation

In this views of public are addressed and emphasis were laid on their views

Stage (4): Preparation of Final EIA

A final EIA report is prepared in which new TOR are also mentioned.

Stage (5): Appraisal and

In this detail study of all the documents is done by the Experts.

Stage (6): Grant or Rejection of Prior Environment Clearance.

After hearing all the comments from the public, officers and scrutinizing the documents the EAC/SEAC make the decision to grant or reject the Prior Environmental Clearance.

The Prior Environment Clearance process for Category ‘B2’ that are required to be placed before Appraisal Committee, will consist of a maximum of three stages. The three stages, in sequential order, are:

Stage (1): Preparation of EMP Report

In case of Category B2 projects preparation EMP report is necessary. EMP Stands for environment management plan & it covers the design, construction, commissioning, and operation and maintenance phases of each project component. The EMP recognizes the main environmental issues across the project and provides methods and plans for managing them effectively

Stage (2): Appraisal

In this detail study of all the documents is done by the Experts.

Stage (3): Grant or Rejection of Prior Environment Clearance

After hearing all the comments from the public, officers and scrutinizing the documents the EAC/SEAC make the decision to grant or reject the Prior Environmental Clearance.

The Prior Environment Permission process for Category ‘B2’ that are not required to be placed before Appraisal Committee, will consist of a maximum of two stages. The two stages, in sequential order, are:

Stage (1): Preparation of EMP Report

In case of Category B2 projects preparation EMP report is necessary. EMP Stands for environment management plan & it covers the design, construction, commissioning, and operation and maintenance phases of each project component. The EMP identifies the main environmental issues related to the project and provides strategies and plans for managing them effectively

Stage (2): Verification of completeness of the application by the Regulatory Authority

Stage (3): Grant or Rejection of Prior Environment Permission

Process flow Chart for Environmental Clearance

Validity of Prior Environment Clearance

The validity of period of the prior Environmental Clearance involves 2 phases of the project:

(a) Construction or Installation Phase

The construction or installation phase means period from the date of grant of prior-EC Completion of all construction activities, in case of construction projects Completion of installation of plant and machinery including commencement of production operations in all other cases.

  • Mining projects: Project life as estimated by the Appraisal Committee subject to a maximum of fifty years; or up to the period of validity of mining lease.
  • River valley projects or Irrigation projects Nuclear Power Projects and processing of nuclear fuel Fifteen years.
  • All other projects Ten years.

(b) Operational Phase

The validity of the operational phase shall lapse if the construction and / or installation, as the case may be, are not completed within the corresponding validity period.

Grant or Rejection of Prior Environment Clearance

The Regulatory Authority shall consider the recommendations of the Appraisal Committee and convey its decision to the project proponent within thirty working days of the minutes of meeting of the Appraisal Committee or within ninety working days of the receipt of the complete application with requisite documents, except as provided below

The Regulatory Authority shall normally accept the recommendations of the Appraisal Committee. In cases where it disagrees with the recommendations of the Appraisal Committee, the Regulatory Authority shall request reconsideration by the Appraisal Committee within forty-five working days of the minutes of meeting of Appraisal Committee while stating the reasons for the disagreement.

On expiry of the period specified for decision by the Regulatory Authority, the decision of the Regulatory Authority, and the final recommendations of the Appraisal Committee shall be public documents.

Clearances from other regulatory bodies or authorities shall not be required prior to receipt of applications for prior-EC

Dealing of Violation cases

  • The cognizance of the violation shall be made on the:-
  1. Reporting by any Government Authority
  2. Found during the appraisal by Appraisal Committee
  3. Found during the processing of application, if any, by the Regulatory Authority.
  • The cases of violation will be appraised by Appraisal Committee.
  • The CPCB shall issue guidelines for assessment of ecological damage from time to time.
  • The project proponent shall prepare the report of assessment of ecological damage as per the guidelines issued by the CPCB in this regard from time to time.
  • The collection and data analysis for assessment of environmental damage, preparation of alternative plan and natural and community resource augmentation plan shall be done by an environment laboratory.

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Author
Shamshad Alam
Experienced Digital Marketer with a demonstrated history of working in the internet industry. He likes to write about the latest technology trends, Skilled in Digital Marketing likes. Search Engine Optimization, SMO, SEM, PPC, Content Writing, and, Designing, etc.