CPCB’s notification on environmental clearance kept in abeyance

The Madras High Court has kept in abeyance the notification of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) making the process of environmental clearance as a one-time measure to establish an industry relating to mining and extraction of natural resources owing to lack of methodology in including the State Boards in the process.
CPCB’s notification on environmental clearance kept in abeyance

Chennai

A division bench comprising Justice S Manikumar and Justice Subramonium Prasad before whom the plea came up said, “When we posed a specific question as to whether the CPCB has consolidated the reports from the State Boards so as to have a uniform methodology for the ease of business and to ensure that the State Boards are involved in the process and that steps are not duplicated in the process of issuing environmental clearance, CPCB’s counsel states that the said exercise is yet to be completed.”

“Going through the materials on record, prima facie, we are also of the view that if the State boards are actively involved in granting of environmental clearance and the precautions taken by the State Pollution Control Board while granting clearance are also taken into account, then the impugned notification need not be struck off subject of course to the final arguments to be made by CPCB,” the bench added.

Advocate A Yogeswaran, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that though the government has issued the instant notification making the process of environment clearance as a one-time measure both for establishing and consent to operate an industry, the Government has still not evolved a methodology for involving the State Boards in the process and to avoid duplication of exercise.

Hence, in the absence of any specific guidelines or methodology the impugned notification at this stage is unworkable, he added and sought the court to call for the records of CPCB culminating in the directions issued on November 2, 2018 and quash the same. The plea has been posted to April 22 for further hearing.

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