Environment Protection Act, 1986, India
The Environment Protection Act, 1986 was constituted on 19 Nov, 1986, to provide for the protection and improvement of environment and for matters connected with environment.
There are four main chapters and different clauses under various chapters which lay down the standards, policies and act of environmental degradations and policies for improvement of environment and prevention of human beings from environmental hazards. I will describe here the main outlines of this act.
First chapter of Environment Protection Act describes the definitions of various entities that are related to environment. Here are excerpts of some of the definitions that are directly taken from the Act.
“Environment” includes water, air and land and the inter-relationship which exists among and between water, air and land, and human beings, other living creatures, plants, micro-organism and property.
“Environmental Pollutant” means any solid, liquid or gaseous substance present in such concentration as may be, or tend to be, injurious to environment.
“Environmental Pollution” means the presence in the environment of any environmental pollutant.
“Hazardous Substance” means any substance or preparation which, by reason of its chemical or physico-chemical properties or handling, is liable to cause harm to human beings, other living creatures, plant, micro-organism, property or the environment.
Second chapter of Environment Protection Act describes the role of central government to take measures for environment protection and its improvement along with the economic development. It includes the appointment of officers, power to give directions, rules to regulate environmental pollution, laying down procedures and standards for industrial waste, emissions, hazardous waste etc.
Third chapter of Environment Protection Act deals with the prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution. As per the guidelines, a person running an industry or operation can not emit or discharge environmental pollutants in excess of the permissible limit. Central government or its officers may take samples of air, water, soil or other substance from any factory for the purpose of analysis and upon failure to satisfy the norms, shall liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
Chapter four of Environment Protection Act lists miscellaneous clauses which are not pertaining to environment but are guidelines for functioning and conduct of officers and government representatives.
This article is a summary of Environment Protection Act, 1986, India. The complete act is available at http://envfor.nic.in/legis/env/env1.html