Environment ministry publishes draft on new rules and public can send their comments
GN Bureau | May 20, 2015
As India takes lead in world climate change policies, the ministry of environment, forests and climate change has drafted new emission and water consumption standards for thermal power plants.
The draft notification has been published on the ministry’s website and the public comments are allowed for next one month. Final norms are expected to be announced after a 30-day comment period.
Draft notification: click here
These new standards seek tighter norms that are expected to cut down emissions of particulate matter (PM) and other harmful chemical compounds to a large degree. Proposed standards for new plants (after 2017) will cut down emissions of particulate matter by 25 per cent, sulphur dioxide (SO2) by 90 per cent, nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 70 per cent and mercury by 75 per cent compared with the state-of-the-art plants
The new norms will also require all existing cooling tower-based plants to restrict water consumption to 3.5 cubic metre per watt hour.
Also, all existing once-through-cooling (OTC) system plants will need to be replaced with cooling tower-based systems that consume no more than 4 m3/MWh. This can have a remarkable reduction in freshwater withdrawal up to 80 per cent. The cumulative decrease is set to be from around 22 billion cubic metre in 2011-12 to around 4.5 billion cubic metre in 2016-17.
Compared with the industry-average, the emissions cut will be significant. For instance, the particulate emission norm for an average Indian power plant is 150 milligram per normal cubic metre (mg/Nm3). Under the proposed standards, a plant installed in 2017 will have to meet a particulate standard of 30 mg/Nm3 – a reduction of 80 per cent.
The new norms will require all existing cooling tower-based plants to restrict water consumption to 3.5 cubic metre per watt hour (m3/MWh). Plants which will be set up after January 2017 have to achieve 2.5 m3/MWh. Also, all existing once-through-cooling (OTC) system plants will need to be replaced with cooling tower-based systems that consume no more than 4 m3/MWh. This can have a remarkable reduction in freshwater withdrawal by thermal power plants – cumulatively, freshwater withdrawal will decrease from around 22 billion cubic metre in 2011-12 to around 4.5 billion cubic metre in 2016-17, an 80 per cent dip.
Meanwhile, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), New Delhi, has lauded the move. CSE Deputy Director General Chandra Bhushan said: "We welcome this move. It will have an impact on the pollution caused by the thermal power sector in India."
A report prepared by the CSE early this year had recommended tighter norms to help curb pollution. Other than PM emissions, which are projected to drop by 25 per cent, a number of other highly polluting chemicals are also set to be curbed. This include sulphur dioxide (SO2) by 90 per cent, nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 70 per cent and mercury by 75 per cent. India currently has standards only for PM, which are quite lax compared to global norms.
The CSE had also released its environmental rating of the coal-based thermal power sector, under its Green Rating Project. Forty seven plants, adding up to 55 per cent of the nation's capacity ranked poorly on all the parameters. The disproportionately high pollution levels had attracted Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's attention, prompting budgetary support of additional Rs 100 per tonne cess on coal that will be used to invest in clean generation.
On May 23 this year, the ministry of environment issued ‘Rules on prevention of cruelty to animals (regulation of livestock market)’ with the purported aim of regulating animal markets. When one reads the rules – notwithstanding the lame efforts from union ministers to issue clarificati
BEML, a mini ratna category-1 enterprise of the defence ministry, has set a target of using 100 percent renewable energy for its own consumption. In this connection, BEML’s 9 MW Windmill Park installed at Bagalkot District in Karnataka was recently
Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), a Maharatna enterprise, has recorded nearly 14 percent growth in its intellectual capital in 2016-17 fiscal. During the year, a record 508 patents and copyrights were filed by the company, translating into filing of nearly two patents/copyrights
National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) has joined hands with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Odisha, to organise outreach programmes for industries and other stakeholders on GST implementation. Series of interactive programmes are being
Taking prime minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Housing for all by 2022’ forward, Employees` Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has amended the EPF Scheme, 1952 to provide assistance in acquiring affordable houses to the EPF members by allowing withdrawal from PF to
IndianOil is currently transporting bulk LPG from Mangalore to various LPG bottling plants in north Kerala through about 100 bullet trucks every day, which ply on narrow highways. A pipeline connecting the proposed LPG import terminal to Kochi Refineries Limited and the LPG bottling plants at Udayamperoo