Frequently Asked Questions


Asked Questions.

  • What is an Environmental Impact Assessment/Statement?

    An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a procedure that identifies the potential impacts upon the environment involved in the undertaking of new developments and the subsequent changing of the natural environmental system.

    Environmental Impact Assessments is the method used for predicting potential impacts on the environment as a result of development. The Environmental Impact Statement is the integral document formulated as a result of the EIA process. There are three definite elements in the EIA process – Screening, Scoping and EIS

  • What is environmental auditing?

    Environmental auditing involves measuring the level of compliance or performance of a specific project, development or activity against a standard (e.g ISO 14001), legislation, environmental authorization, management plan/programme or objectives. Compliance monitoring will verify the implementation of conditions and determine the extent of compliance (both spatially and temporally), whilst performance monitoring will provide measurable insight into the progress towards compliance and achieving the specific strategies, objectives and performance targets of the EMP. The measurement scales for auditing compliance and performance are qualitative.

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  • What are the laws enforced by of the Pollution Control Boards?

    The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), constituted in September, 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, serves as a field formation and also provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Over the years, the CPCB and MoEF have enacted several acts and rules for Environmental Protection, Conservation and Control of various types of pollution, few important are listed below :

    Water related :

    • No.36 of 1977, [7/12/1977] - The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977, amended 1992.
    • No. 19 of 2003, [17/3/2003] - The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess (Amendment) Act, 2003.
    • No.6 of 1974, [23/3/1974] - The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, amended 1988.
    Rules :
    • G.S.R.830(E), [24/11/2011] - The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Rules, 2011.

    Air related :
    • No.14 of 1981, [29/3/1981] - The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981, amended 1987.
    Rules :
    • G.S.R.6(E), [21/12/1983] - The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) (Union Territories) Rules, 1983.
    • G.S.R.712(E), [18/11/1982] - The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules, 1982.

    Environment Protection :
    • No.29 of 1986, [23/5/1986] - The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, amended 1991.
    Rules :
    • S.O.844(E), [19/11/1986] - The Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986.

    Hazardous Substances Management :
    • G.S.R.1(E), [23/12/2010] - The Rules for the Manufacture, Use, Import, Export and Storage of Hazardous micro-organisms Genetically engineered organisms or cells,Notification.
    • G.S.R. 616(E), [20/09/2006] - The Rules for the Manufacture, Use, Import, Export and Storage of Hazardous micro-organisms Genetically engineered organisms or cells(Amendment).
    • G.S.R.347(E), [01/08/1996] - The Chemical Accidents (Emergency Planning, Preparedness and Response) Rules, 1996.
    • G.S.R.1037(E), [05/12/1989] - The Rules for the Manufacture, Use, Import, Export and Storage of Hazardous micro-organisms Genetically engineered organisms or cells.

    Others :
    • Bio-medical Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 1998
    • Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2000.
    • Plastics wastes Rules, 1999 o Coastal Regulation Zone Rules, 1991
    • E-waste Management and Handling Rules 2011
    • Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991

    Information on latest amended rules, acts and notifications is available on website of MoEF.

  • What is Occupational Health & Safety?

    Properly identifying and controlling risks to people’s health and safety from work activities to prevent people from being harmed, or becoming ill, due to work activities. Health and safety in the workplace concerns all of us, and the impact of poor health and safety on businesses, families and the whole economy is far reaching. There are moral, business, economic and legal reasons for ensuring health and safety is properly managed, as detailed below:

    People have the right to return home from work safe and sound. People matter, and the people best placed to make workplaces safer from harm are the staff and managers who work in them. Leadership from the top and the involvement of employees and their representatives are crucial.

    Good health and safety management can lead to real benefits such as saving money, improving productivity, raising morale and helping create a happier, healthier workforce.

    Accidents result in costs to the company, and not all of these costs are insured. Uninsured costs include lost time, sick pay, extra wages/overtime payments, and investigation costs.

    The main responsibility for managing health and safety rests with employers, who have duties under Sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

  • Do I need to have a Health & Safety policy?

    As a safety conscious employer, you will need to have certain arrangements, procedures or rules in place to make sure that accidents are prevented during the course of your day-to-day business. In a health & Safety policy, you put in writing your commitment towards providing safety and healthy work environment to your employees togetherwith the means and responsibilities for implementation and monitoring of the same. If you have five or more employees, we advice you should write your policy. In India, if you are carrying out manufacturing activity and in your premises if 10 or more workers are engaged in a manufacturing process with aid of power or if 20 or more workers are engaged in the manufacturing process without aid of power such premises, then your factory is covered under Factories act 1948 and under section 7A of the act, a Health and Safety policy is mandatory. Your Health and safety policy should contain:

    Policy statement
    This should be an expression of the management’s commitment to health and safety. It is a legal document. It should be dated, and signed, by the most senior person in the company.

    Organisation chart
    A diagrammatic chart showing the structure of the company, from the most senior level, e.g. Managing Director. This chart may look like a flow chart, and must clearly show levels in seniority.

    This section will state the individual health and safety responsibilities of all people (or groups of people) within the organisation. Arrangements

    This is likely to be the largest section in the Policy, and will set out the day-to-day arrangements that are in place for the management of health and safety matters.

    It may cover the following;

    • Fire and First Aid arrangements;
    • Arrangements for the selection and use of contractors; Safe handling and use of substances;
    • Training (including induction);
    • Managing risk assessments;
    • Specific Safety Rules related to working with equipment.

  • Who is a competent person?

    A Competent Person is defined as someone who ‘has sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities’ to enable them to carry out their duties.

    With context to Indian Factories Act, 1948, a competent person is a person or an institution recognised as such by the Chief Inspector for the purposes of carrying out tests, examinations and inspections required to be done in a factory under the provisions of this Act.

  • What is the difference between total coliform, E.coli and non-coliform bacteria?

    Total coliform bacteria are a group of easily cultured organisms used to indicate water quality. The US Environmental Protection Agency considers any total coliform to be unacceptable in drinking water. Total coliform bacteria consist of environmental and fecal types.

    Coliforms are easy to isolate, present in larger numbers and usually survive longer in an aquatic environment than viruses, parasites and more serious types of bacteria. Most of the total coliforms are not considered pathogens under normal conditions.

    E. coli is a species of coliform bacteria that is directly linked to fecal contamination by the wastes of warm-blooded animals, including humans. Some strains are pathogens in humans.

    Non-coliform bacteria are mainly environmental organisms and in large numbers can compete with total coliform and make it difficult for coliform(s) to be detected. High levels of non-coliform bacteria indicate a reduction in water quality.


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