Government has released a draft law on Environment Impact Assessment Notification(EIA),2019.The draft law is an update to the EIA 2006.
The law makes the District Magistrate(DM) the chairperson of the District Environment Impact Assessment Authority(DEIAA) that will accord environment clearance for minor mining projects.
Minor mining broadly refers to sand and stone mining in plots smaller than 25 hectares.
However,State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) have objected to the draft law.
They have said that making District Magistrate(DM) the chairman of the DEIAA would be self-serving for grant of environmental clearance.Also, the DM doesn’t have technical expertise in matters of environment and ecology.
EIA is a process which studies all aspects of the environment and seeks to anticipate the impact (positive and/or negative) of a proposed project or development on the environment. EIA is mandatory under the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986 for 29 categories of developmental activities involving investments of Rs. 50 crores and above.