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| Last Updated:01/02/2019

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Air pollution: SC orders CPCB to fix emission norms for industries

The Supreme Court  ordered the Centre Pollution for Control Board (CPCB) to fix by June 30 emission standards for industries in the National Capital Region using pet coke and furnace oil that release Sulphur dioxide (SOx) and Nitrogen Oxide (NOx).


A bench headed by Justice MB Lokur issued the order after being told that there were no standards prescribed for the industries on this count. Senior counsel Harish Salve, who has been assisting the top court on pollution-related cases, said the court needed to have the emission standards in place.

Sulphur dioxide (SOx) and Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) -- the two harmful gaseous emissions – are considered major industrial pollutants after Carbon Dioxide (CO2). Pet coke is an inferior quality fuel and furnace oil has sulphur levels as high as 72,000 ppm and 23,000 ppm. SOx emissions are generated from the combustion of sulphur in the fuel.


Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) – a court-appointed panel -- has demanded an urgent ban on polluting industrial fuels.

The order comes close on the heels of the court’s order against polluting vehicles. The court had last month refused to give any concession to the automobile industry on implementation of Euro-IV emission norms from April 1, 2017. It had stopped sales of BS-III vehicles after rejecting the automobile manufacturers demand to dispose of their existing stock.


The NCR consists of Delhi, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan and the governments of these states have agreed to implement the norms.


The court fixed June 30 as the deadline for CPCB to fix emission norms and the industries will have time till December 31 to adhere to them.


“If you (industries) don’t, then you better shut down. Start preparing for it from now,” the bench said.


According to an EPCA report on air pollution, “Combustion sources -- vehicles, power plants and industry -- need more stringent and priority action.”