Air Quality Commission Bill for National Capital Region cleared

Source: The Hindu

What is the News?

Lok Sabha has passed the Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Bill, 2021.

About Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Bill, 2021:

  • The Bill provides for the constitution of a Commission for better coordination, research, identification, and resolution of problems related to air quality in the National Capital Region (NCR) and adjoining areas.
    • Adjoining areas have been defined as areas in states of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh adjoining the NCR where any source of pollution may cause an adverse impact on air quality in the NCR.
  • The bill also dissolves the Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority established in the NCR in 1998.

Key Features of the Bill:

Functions of the Commission: 
  • Planning and executing plans to prevent and control air pollution in the NCR
  • Providing a framework for identification of air pollutants,
  • Conducting research and development through networking with technical institutions among others.
Powers of the Commission:
  • Restricting activities influencing air quality
  • Investigating and conducting research related to environmental pollution impacting air quality
  • Preparing codes and guidelines to prevent and control air pollution and
  • Issuing directions on matters including inspections, or regulations which will be binding on the concerned person or authorities among others.

Note: In case of any conflict, the orders or directions of the Commission will prevail over the orders of the respective state governments, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), state PCBs, and state-level statutory bodies.

Composition:
  • The Commission will consist of a Chairperson and others members. The Chairperson and members of the Commission will have a tenure of three years or till the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier.
  • It will also include ex-officio members from the central government and concerned state governments and technical members from CPCB, the Indian Space Research Organisation and NITI Aayog.
Penalties:
  • Contravention of provisions of the orders and directions of the Commission will be punishable with imprisonment of up to five years, or a fine of up to one crore rupees, or both.
  • All appeals against the Commission’s orders will be heard by the National Green Tribunal.
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