EIA rules amended: projects near LoC, those of strategic value won’t need green nod

Source: The post is based on the article “EIA rules amended: projects near LoC, those of strategic value won’t need green nod” published in Indian Express on 20th July 2022.

What is the News?

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has notified amendments to the Environmental Impact Assessment(EIA) Rules, making several exemptions to gaining environmental clearance.

What is Environmental Impact Assessment(EIA)?

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What are the exemptions notified by Ministry?

Highway projects of strategic and defence importance: The amendment exempt Highway projects of strategic and defence importance, which are 100 km from the Line of Control, among other locations, from an environmental clearance before construction.

– The exemption to be accorded to highways of strategic importance does away with the need for green clearance for the construction of the controversial Char Dham project. The case is presently being heard in Supreme Court, which has set up a high-powered committee to look into the matter.

Biomass-Based Thermal Power Plants: Thermal power plants up to 15 MW based on biomass or non-hazardous municipal solid waste using auxiliary fuel such as coal, lignite or petroleum products up to 15% have also been exempted — as long as the fuel mix is eco-friendly.

Fish Handling Ports and Harbour: Fish handling ports and harbours with less pollution potential compared to others, and caters to small fishermen, are exempted from environmental clearance.

Toll Plazas: Toll plazas that need more width for installation of toll collection booths to cater to a large number of vehicles, and expansion activities in existing airports related to terminal building expansion without an increase in the airport’s existing area, rather than expansion of runways, etc., are two other projects exempted.

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