THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT (EPA) OF 1986
 

 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. Since the Act entered the statute book, the Act has served to back a vast body of subordinate environmental legislations in India. 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.

 The Act also defines the responsibilities of handlers, circumstances for granting authorization, conditions of disposal sites, rules for importing hazardous wastes, reporting of accidents, packaging and labeling requirements and an appeal process for potential handlers who have been denied authorization. Rules were also promulgated on the manufacture, storage and import of hazardous or toxic chemicals, microorganisms, genetically engineered organisms, or cells. For issues regarding microorganisms and cells, biosafety and approval committees can be convened with experts in pertinent fields serving as chairmen, co-chairmen and members.