CHENNAI: A study by the Healthy Energy Initiative has revealed that none of the 11 public sector-owned Thermal Power Plants in Tamil Nadu is compliant with the monitoring requirements and emission norms set by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB).
The study report added that all eleven plants had even failed to monitor the emissions for varied periods ranging from 2 per cent to 100 per cent of the time in the year 2021. For instance, Tuticorin Thermal Power Station had 'No Data' for 100 per cent of the time in 2021 for both Particulate Matter (unit 1) and Nitrogen oxides (NOx) (Unit 4) emissions. "This means no monitoring of all of these pollutants throughout the year. 'No Data' is the absence of data and shows a lack of commitment by regulatory bodies to even monitor the emissions from thermal power plants."
Durga Moorthy of Health Energy Initiative - India opined that although the Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission is committed to no new coal-based thermal power plants in the State, these regulatory roadblocks by TNPCB show that the Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission should steer its focus on pushing enforcement of emission norms and regulating the non-compliant existing power plants in the first place to curb air pollution.
"Amidst establishing the fact that Respiratory illnesses are very high among under 5 years of children living around Ennore - which is one of the thermal power plant clusters in the State, by a 2021 dated health study, the health impacts of the pollutants from thermal power plants are ignored. Apart from respiratory illness, cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, and premature death in people with heart or lung disease are some of the health impacts due to Particulate matter emissions," Dr Vishvaja Sambath of Health Energy Initiative - India, said.
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