All Re-rolling, Cold Rolling and Cold Rolled Coils units that are established or operating with Consent To Establish (CTE) and Consent To Operate (CTO) from Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) must have Environment Clearance (EC), stated a circular issued by MPCB recently. According to Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification of 2006, the secondary metallurgical processing industries, the projects involving operation of furnaces only such as induction and electric arc furnace, submerged arc furnace with capacity of more than 30,000 tonnes per annum (TPA) would require EC.
Metallurgical industries cause great devastation of both terrestrial and aquatic environment on a local and regional scale. The major effects are due to pollution of air, soil, river water, and groundwater with heavy metals. The metallurgical industry has responded in a variety of ways. The steel industry has stopped the use of open hearth furnaces and switched over to cleaner technology.
Therefore, in compliance with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order such establishments must obtain EC from competent authority under the EIA notification 2006 on or before October 22, 2021. In order to address instant cases where such Re-rolling, Cold Rolling and Cold Rolled Coils units are established or operating with a CTE/CTO from the concerned State Pollution Control Board (SPCB), the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MOEF&CC) may consider directing the SPCBs to get a list of all such cases and take further quick actions so that they can apply for EC and get covered by the EIA notification 2006.
Since, these units are established or operating under the CTE/CTOs obtained from SPCBs, a period of one year may be allowed for this recommended conversion to EC. This will also insure that the units remain in operation for the allowed period and closures, unemployment and related social issues are avoided. During this period of one year, they will have to follow all the conditions imposed under the CTE/CTO. Failing in which further legal action will be initiated as per NGT orders. The circular that issued by MPCB will be in force with immediate effect.