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Kid's Corner - Environmental Laws

Why Environmental Laws ?  

Laws and regulations are a major tool in protecting the environment. To put those laws into effect, government agencies create and enforce regulations. In this section, you'll find a basic description of how laws and regulations come to be, what they are, and where to find them, with an emphasis on environmental laws and regulations. The Indian constitution is amongst the few in the world that contains specific provisions on environment protection. 

Forest Laws  
Forest Conservation Act, 1980
Forest (Conservation) Rules, 1981
National Forest Policy, 1988
The Forest Act is administered by forest officers who are authorized to compel the attendance of witness and the production of documents, to issue search warrants and to take evidence in an enquiry into forest offences. The forest Act is administered by forest officers who are authorized to compel the attendance of witness and the production of documents.
  
Laws to protect the Wildlife    
The Wildlife Act of 1972 was passed to make provision for control of wild life by formation of Wild life Advisory Board, regulation on hunting and establishment of sanctuaries, national parks.
The Wildlife (Transaction and Taxidermy) Rules, 1973
The Wildlife (Stock Declaration) Central Rules, 1973
The Wildlife (Protection) Licensing (Additional Matters for Consideration) Rules, 1983
Recognition of Zoo Rules 1992 Wildlife (Protection) Rules, 1995
Wildlife (Specified Plants - Conditions for Possession by Licensee) Rules, 1995
Wildlife (Specified Plant Stock Declaration) Central Rules, 1995

Water Pollution prevention Laws    
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1974
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, as amended up to 1988
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules, 1975
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) (Procedure for Transaction of Business) Rules, 1975
The water (prevention and control of pollution) cess Act, 1977, as amended by Amendment Act, 1991.
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Rules, 1978
The Water Act of 1974 was the result of discussions over a decade between the center and states and was passed by the Parliament.

The Act vests regulatory authority in the state boards and empowers these boards to establish and enforce effluent standards for factories discharging pollutants into bodies of water.

The Water Cess Act of 1977 was passed to help meet the expenses of the Central and State water boards. The Act creates economic incentives for pollution control through a differential tax structure (higher rates applicable to defaulting units) and requires local authorities and certain designated industries to pay a cess (tax) for water consumption. To encourage capital investment in the pollution control, the Act gives a polluter a 25% rebate of the applicable cess upon installing effluent treatment equipment and meeting the applicable norm.

The 1988 amendment strengthened the Acts implementation provisions and a board may take decisions regarding closure of a defaulting industrial plant. The water act is comprehensive and applies to streams, inland waters, subterranean waters, sea or tidal waters. The legislation establishes a Central Pollution Control Board, and State Pollution Control Boards for Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tripura and West Bengal, as well as the Union Territories. Each board, Central or state, consists of a chairman and five members, with agriculture, fisheries and government-owned industry all having representation.

Air -  Prevention and Control of Pollution   
The air (prevention and control of pollution) act of 1981
The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules, 1982
The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) (Union Territories) Rules, 1983

The Air Act of 1981, states that all industries operating within designated air pollution control areas must obtain a permit from the state board. The states are also required to provide emission standards for industry and automobiles after consulting the Central Board
   
The Environmental Protection Act (EPA) of 1986  
The EPA was passed to protect and improve human environment and to prevent hazards to human beings, other than plants and property. The EPA was passed to protect and improve human environment and to prevent hazards to human beings, other than plants and property. In the wake of Bhopal Gas tragedy, the government of India enacted the Environmental (Protection) Act of 1986 (EPA) under Article 253 of the constitution. The purpose of the Act is to implement the decisions of the United Nations Conference on Human environment of 1972. The EPA is an umbrella legislation designed to provide a framework for Central Government coordination of the activities of various Central and State authorities established under previous laws, such as Water Act and Air Act. The scope of the EPA is broad, with "environment" defined to include water, air, land and the inter relationships which exists among water, air and land and human beings and other living creatures, plants, micro-organisms and property. The law also promulgates rules on hazardous waste management and handling.
  
Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control)  Rules, 2000   
This rule aims at controlling noise levels in public places from various sources, inter-alia, industrial activity, construction activity, generator sets, loud speakers, public address systems, music systems, vehicular horns and other mechanical devices have deleterious effects on human health and the psychological well being of the people. The objective of the rule is to regulate and control noise producing and generating sources with the objective of maintaining the ambient air quality standards in respect of noise.
 
Coastal Zone    
Coastal Regulation Zone - Notification dated May 21, 2002
Coastal Regulation Zone - Notification
Aquaculture Authority - Notifications
Coastal Zone Management Authority Notifications

India's lengthy coast stretches over 6,000 kilometers, supporting numerous fishing communities and driving the economies of coastal villages, towns and cities. The legislative framework for controlling marine pollution is provided by the Territorial Waters, Continental Shelf, Exclusive economic Zone and Other Maritime Zones Act of 1976.
Development along coastal stretches is severely restricted under a regime comprising the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification of 1991, the approved Coastal Zone Management Plans (CZMPs) for each state or region.
  
Hazardous Substances Act    
Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 1989.
Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 1989.
Manufacture, Use, Import, Export and Storage of Hazardous Microorganisms, Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells Rules, 1989.
Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998
Re-cycled Plastics Manufacture and Usage Rules, 1999.
Dumping and Disposal of Fly ash Notification.
Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Amendment Rules, 2000 - Draft Notification.
Municipal Solid Wastes (Management & Handling) Rules, 2000.
Batteries (Management & Handling) Rules, 2001.
Re-cycled Plastics Manufacture and Usage Amendment Rules, 2002
Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical (Amendment) Rules, 2000 - Draft Notification
Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Amendment Rules, 2002 the laboratories allowed to use of pathogenic micro-organism or genetically engineered organisms or cells for the purpose of research, 2000 Notification.
  
Hazardous substances pervade modern industrialized societies. Indian industry generates, uses, and discards toxic substances. Hazardous substances include flammables; explosives; heavy metals such as lead, arsenic and mercury; nuclear and petroleum fuel by product; dangerous microorganism; and scores of synthetic chemical compounds like DDT and dioxins. Exposure to Toxic substances may cause acute or chronic health effects. Toxic substances are extensively regulated in India. The first comprehensive rules to deal with one segment of the toxics problem, namely hazardous wastes, were issued by the Central Government in July, 1989.Radioacctive wastes, covered under the Atomic Energy Act of 1962, and wastes discharged from ships, covered under the Merchant Shipping Act of 1958, are explicitly excluded from the Hazardous Wastes Rules.
  
For more information about latest Acts and Laws, Please visit the Acts and Laws Section under the Legislation from the CoE home page.

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In this Section
Air pollution
Biodiversity
Climate Change
Environmental Laws
Forest
Solid Waste
Water
 
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http://coe.mse.ac.in 2003-09. Madras School of Economics - Systems Department