However, the Ministry has decided to levy environment compensation of Rs 0.05 to Rs 0.20 per unit if the power plants were operated beyond the deadline.
A task force will be constituted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to “categorise thermal power plants (TPPs) in three categories based on their location”, the ministry said in the notification dated April 1.
According to the notification, the thermal power plants in non-attainment cities, which consistently failed to meet the national ambient air quality standards, and those within 10 km of critically polluted areas are required to meet the emission norms by December 31, 2023. Coal-fired power plants in the rest of the areas have to comply with the new standards by December 31, 2024.
It said that TPPs declared to retire before December 31, 2025, are “not required to meet the specified norms in case such plants submit an undertaking to the CPCB and the CEA (Central Electricity Authority) for exemption on the ground of retirement,” the notification said.
If the TPPs which declared to be retired, continued in service beyond the deadline, it would be levied environment compensation at the rate of Rs 0.20 per unit of electricity generated.
A senior official of the Tangedco said it has already begun the process of installing an electrostatic precipitator (ESP) to bring down the particulate matter emission under the new norms in all its thermal power plants at North Chennai, Mettur and Tuticorin.