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A. GPCB being the chief regulator for implementation of environmental protection and pollution control in the State, plays an important role in securing sustainable development by enforcing various laws, rules, regulations notifications etc. pertaining to prevention and control of pollution. It is also responsible for monitoring of pollution and for preventive and curative action. (mitigatory measures).

A. GPCB's primary role is that of a regulator. However, it goes beyond regulation in order to advise all stake-holders involved in environment management and pollution control for compliance of the laws to organize the systems necessary for securing this objective and also to sensitize the laws and their implications.

A. GPCB is an autonomous statutory body. In certain administrative and technical matters, it is responsible to State Government, Central Pollution Control Board and Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt.of India. In critical matters, it is bound to go by the directions given by the State Government, CPCB or MoEF as the case may be.

A. Normally the GPCB's No Objection Certificate (and Consent under Water Act and Air Act would be required for setting up of an industrial unit. In regard to 32 specified industrial and infrastructure projects, environmental clearance of the MoEF, Govt.of India is also required. These industry specific details would be available from the information provided in this Website. For the industrial units, to be located on the coastal stretches of bays, estuaries, creeks, rivers and back waters, CRZ clearance also is required.

A. No. It is also concerned with municipal waste, bio-medical wastes, plastic issues, used acid lead batteries, hazardous chemicals and some other aspects related to pollution.

A. The important enforcement powers vesting in GPCB are laying down standards and securing their compliance, inspection and monitoring of all sources of pollution, issuance of notices with time limit to comply with the legal requirements, closure of the defaulter unit in grave cases and prosecution in cases of serious violation.

A. Yes. If for serious violation of law, no action is taken by the authority, a citizen can approach the court of law after giving 60 days notice to GPCB.

A. Complaint about violator of pollution control laws can be brought to the notice of the Regional Office of GPCB, Head Office of GPCB at Gandhinagar or to the State Government.

There are certain matters in which the authority lies with the District Collector, Municipal Corporation Municipality, Local bodies, Police department and other authorities in terms of the laws they are implementing. In such cases, the right forum will be those authorities to deal with such matters.

A. Clearances like Consent to establish and Environmental Clearance or CRZ clearance need to be obtained before setting up of an industrial unit and Consent/Authorization are mandatory before starting of the production. Running a polluting industry without the mandatory clearances is an offence and such unit will be liable to face stringent actions like closure and prosecution. Clearances are given for stipulated period and they need to be renewed before the term expires. Activities like contaminating the land by illegal dumping of hazardous wastes will invite penal provisions like fine and restoration of the contaminated land at the cost of the polluter, in addition to other steps.

A. No. The laws stipulate that all development should be carried out with minimal occurrence of pollution. Technologies are available for controlling pollution as per the norms prescribed for different processes. Therefore, the perception that pollution is the price for securing fast development is erroneous.

A. In simple terms, it means that the development process should be carried out in such a way that damage to environment is minimal. It also means that the present generation, should utilize the resources in such a manner that the ability of posterity to have quality of life is not undermined. It also means that irreversible damage to environment should not take place in the process of development.

A. The entire spectrum of laws and regulations which the GPCB is regulating has the aim of minimizing pollution and thereby securing sustainable development. It also advises and enforces measures for prevention of pollution by way of adoption of cleaner technologies and recycling and reuse of wastes. In grave situation, it acts to the extent of closing down the polluting unit which may damage the ecology in an irreversible fashion.

A. GPCB is the chief regulator for a clutch of laws enacted and notified by the Government of India. However, it terms of other laws and also as implementing authority under environmental laws, authorities like District Magistrate, Govt. Departments like Home Department, Transport Department, Labour Department, Inspectorate of Factories, Health Dept., Local Bodies, Forests and Environment Dept., Civil Supplies Dept., Urban Development Dept., Industries Dept. etc. have very important role to play in controlling pollution.

A. A citizen can do much by adopting a code of conduct for himself to desist from all activity which may pollute the environment. He can also bring to the notice of the authorities including GPCB about the violation of laws meant to protect environment. He can also sensitize the neighborhood about the right practices for preventing the damage to environment through Neighborhood Associations, Voluntary Organizations etc. In extra-ordinary situation, citizens have the legal right to approach the Court of Law after giving 60 days notice to GPCB in the prescribed format.

A. The idea behind laying down standards is basically due to the realization that minimal pollution is rather inevitable in the production process. The environment has the capacity to absorb the minimal amount of pollution without any serious adverse impact. However, if this exceeds a certain limit than the damage to environment cannot be avoided. The standards are fixed at the threshold, where the pollutants released by the production process do not lead to such a situation. In other words the standards are decided to contain the release of pollutant to the environment and thereby protect the overall quality of environment. In some cases the standards are industry specific as well as location specific.

A. The standards are prescribed by the Ministry of Environment & Forest, Central Pollution Control Board and Gujarat Pollution Control Board.

A. Standards are prescribed for following parameters:

Water : pH, Colour, BOD, COD, Total Dissolved Solids, Temperature, Suspended Solids, Ammonical Nitrogen, Oil & Grease, Toxicants, Fluorides, Phenol, Cyanides, Heavy Metals, Pesticides, Bacteriology, Fical Coliforms and Fluorides.

Air : Suspended Particulate Matters, SOx, NOx, HCl, Cl2Ammonia, RSPM, etc.

A. Command and control refers to the present "Top down" approach under which the entire pollution control dispensation is prescribed from above. Prescriptions are in the form of orders which all are obliged to comply with. There is no scope for a bottom up approach under which each polluting unit can be given individual set of parameters.

A. In certain countries market based instruments have either replaced command and control or practiced in-conjunction with command and control. In this situation there is possibility of one unit trading its waste load with another unit. However, under the Indian situation as yet command and control reigns supreme with some scope for economic instruments. The industries also adopt voluntary schemes based upon CREP under which they voluntarily submit to adoption of measures aimed at environmental compliance beyond the legal norms. They also benchmark themselves against International Standards, like getting ISO 14001 certificate.

A. "End of the pipe treatment" connotes the present arrangements under which the industry is allowed to carry on with the production process and treat the waste as per the stipulated standards and dispose of the same. This concept is contrary to the possibility of adopting technologies and processes, which will reduce a waste generation at source.

A. The alternative is waste prevention and minimization, by adoption of suitable technologies and prevention of waste minimization. Waste can be segregated, recycled and reused so that the waste load entering to any medium comes down.

A. Yes. It is a question of using the right process technology and other measures for waste prevention mentioned above. With the advancement of new process technologies and raw materials there is steady improvement towards prevention of generation of waste in some industrial sectors. These processes, however, have not reached such a stage that complete prevention of waste generation by all industries is possible.

A. Cleaner Production, Cleaner Technology, ensuring mass balance, stochiometry and to improve the process with respect to yield, Reverse Osmosis, distillation, solvent recovery, clarification, purification, use of waste as a raw material, waste exchange etc are some of the proven methods.

A. The law is applicable to all units irrespective of size SSI units are eligible for very few exemptions.

A. The setting up of common facilities like TSDF, CETP, FETP, CBWTF, pipelines etc. render it possible for units particularly for small unit to reduce the cost of treatment of waste because of economy of the scale in operation. Besides for every unit to set up all waste disposal requirements individually may not be possible due to shortage of land. This problem also can be resolved through common facilities.

A. The common facilities in the State are CETPs (for effluent treatment), FETP, TSDF (for Hazardous Waste Disposal), Common incineration for incinerating certain kinds of waste, Common Bio-Medical Waste Treatment Facilities and Effluent Conveyance pipelines for transporting treated effluent to safer disposal points.

A. For making use of common facilities permission of the Gujarat Pollution Control Board as well as agreement of operator of the common facilities would be necessary.

A. Vapi and Ankleshwar were identified as critically polluted spots many years ago, when the arrangement for pollution control were not adequate in these places. A variety of facilities for effective control of pollution on individual basis and collective basis have been set up with the technical guidance of reputed institutions like NEERI, NIO, NPC etc. For example, there are CETPs, Common Treatment and Disposal facilities for hazardous waste. Pipeline for conveying treated effluent and incinerators to satisfactorily deal with polluting streams. Some of the facilities set up in these locations are unique and nationally recognized as state of the art facilities. The pollution problems of both these spots are continuously monitored and critically evaluated from time to time and these spots have brought about a qualitative improvement in the situation. GPCB has been playing regulatory and enabling role in this paradigm shift.

A. GPCB has taken up many corrective measures like river monitoring, identification and monitoring of polluted stretches of streams, intensive monitoring by Vigilance Squad as well as strict monitoring of individual industry by surprise monitoring. GPCB has laid down stringent norms for discharges into Amla Khadi, setting up of common facilities like CETPs, STPs by Municipal Corporations, TSDF, common Bio-medical waste treatment facilities, common incinerators for HW and toxic effluent and common conveying pipeline for treated effluent to safe disposal point. GPCB has directed individual industry to upgrade its treatment facilities to meet with GPCB norms and initiated action against the defaulters as and when found necessary. GPCB has prepared Air Action Plans for control of Air Pollution in Ahmedabad, Baroda, Surat, Gandhinagar, Ankleshwar & Vapi area and started implementation. GPCB has also identified illegal dumping sites and get the wastes shifted to the TSDFs and started the remedification of such sites through concerned Industrial Association and operator of TSDF.

A. Monitoring of the industrial unit means sending out the monitoring teams comprised of skilled technical & scientific officers to verify the compliance of conditions imposed in formerly NOC and now referred as Consent to Establish, Consent, Authorization etc. Monitoring includes performance evaluation of Environment Management System (EMS) in respect of Board's notices/directives and checking the compliance of Environmental Clearance conditions and that no violation of law takes place.

A. GPCB has set up mechanisms to analyze the reports received from the monitoring teams and the laboratory verifies the samples and also verifies the compliance of other techno-legal requirements that the unit has to comply with. Based upon the findings so arrived at enforcement measures are taken. In certain cases surprise checking through Vigilance Squad are also carried out. The pending cases of formerly NOC and now referred as Consent to Establish & CC&A are reviewed from time to time on the highest level in the GPCB.

A. GPCB Charter for good governance aims at bringing about quality change in its working by making it a knowledge based organization to cope up with the new challenges through capacity building series, streamlining procedure and also fixing the accountability. It also aims at transparency in working and improving the services rendered by it quality-wise and time-wise.

A. GPCB is neither pro industry nor anti industry. It is a regulatory body which is performing its functions in accordance with the law and keeping the environment protection and pollution control as its ultimate goal.

A. GPCB attends to the complaints promptly by inspection, monitoring and verification through its Regional Offices or by sending special teams or by vigilance squad to visit the site and report back. Complaints can be lodged with Environmental Engineer (Complaints), Public Awareness & Assistance Cell and Vigilance Cell by means of telephone or in writing. Both written and oral complaints are attended on a priority basis. Whenever applicants come with grievances in the office they are being heard promptly and action is taken quickly. If the applicant request for anonymity of his identity confidential the same is being maintained.

A. The Board has setup four Vigilance Squads headed by Senior Environmental Engineers / Senior Environmental Scientists, each stationed at Gandhinagar, Rajkot, Vadodara and Surat. They can be accessed through telephone, in person or by sending written application. The role of the vigilance squad is to act fast, and report to the highest level (Chairman and MS) for prompt action.

A. The Vigilance Squad acts without any loss of time.

A. Local Bodies are responsible for proper treatment and safe disposal of Municipal Solid Waste and sewerage as per the law and as per the standards laid down plastic issues. They need to take consent of GPCB and run these facilities as per the norms laid down. They need to properly attend to the complaints from the public with regard to disposal of sewerage and solid waste.

A. Sewage Treatment Plants and Solid Waste Disposal Facilities have to obtain the Consent/Authorization of the Board and the local bodies are mandated to run them according to the conditions laid down in Consent/Authorization.

A. The reason for pollution of river stretches is illegal discharge into the rivers.

A. Yes. GPCB has monitored these river stretches and identified the reasons river-wise. An Action Plan is being prepared for remediation and implementation thereof will start very quickly. For cleaning of Sabarmati river, Government of India has sanctioned a scheme under the National River Action Plan.

A. Yes. Action Plans have been prepared and put in operation for controlling the air pollution of the cities like Ahmedabad, Vapi, Ankleshwar, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot and Gandhinagar.

A. GPCB has taken the following initiatives in order to make GPCB a "Knowledge based Organization":

(a) Setting up of a Journal Club.
(b) Setting up of an Expert Group to advise GPCB to identify the advances in critical industrial sectors and also suggest the pro-active and curative measures to prevent and mitigate adverse impact on environment.
(c) Skill upgradation Programme: The skill upgradation programme aims at improving the skill of the technical and scientific personnel by indepth study of the major areas, preparation of theme papers and discussion to finalize and translate the findings into action.
(d) Capacity Building Programme: Capacity Building Programme aims at the enhancement of all round managerial and technical capacities of the officers.
(e) Task Force: A Task Force has been set up to identify the problems coming in the way of implementation of the Bio-medical Wastes Rules and to secure implementation of the law in a time bound manner.
(f) Under the Annual Action Plan of GPCB, industries specific seminars are organized for updating the knowledge of environment protection and pollution control of those industries and to work out and implement solutions.
(g) Upgradation of Library.
(h) Providing Internet facility to all to tap the state of art knowledge on different subjects.

A. Yes. GPCB undertakes a variety of programmes for involving people across various groups like NGOs, National Green Cores, Eco Clubs, Schools, Colleges, Industries Associations and also by giving press notes and paid advertisements in the news papers to sensitize all concerned. Public Hearings for Environmental Clearance provides an open stage for people's involvement in project clearance.

A. Yes. GPCB officers participate in several interaction sessions.

A. No. In the cases falling under Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991, the affected party can approach the District Collector for awarding compensation against the damages.

A. The policy of GPCB in this regard is as per the provisions laid down in the notification published by the MoEF, GoI, under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 on 'Recycle Plastic (Manufacture And Usage) Rules, 1999' has now been amended as 'Plastics Manufacture, Sales & Usage Rules, 2003' on 17th June 2003

The most Important provisions are:
(1) No person shall manufacture, stock, distribute or sell carry bags made of virgin or recycled plastic bags which are less than 20 cms x 30 cms (8x12 inches) in size and which do not conform to the minimum thickness of 20 micron. [For the purposes of this rule, the minimum weight of 50 carry bags made of virgin or recycled plastics shall be 105 gms. plus or minus 5% variation and the carry bags of larger sizes shall be of proportionate increase in weight].
(2) No vendor shall use carry bags made of recycled plastic for storing, carrying, dispensing or packaging of foodstuffs.
(3) No vendor shall use containers made of recycled plastics for storing, carrying, dispensing or packaging of foodstuffs.
(4) Every occupier manufacturing carry bags or containers of virgin plastic or recycled plastic or both shall make an application to the State Pollution Control Board for grant of registration or renewal of registration for his unit.
(5) Carry bags and containers made of virgin plastic shall be in natural shade or white.

A. Any person aggrieved by the rejection order of Consent under Water can file an appeal with the Appellate Authority constituted by the State Government and in the case of Environmental Clearance of the Govt.of India, the aggrieved person can file the appeal with the National Environment Appellate Authority at the National Level.

A. Norms in this regard have been notified under the Motor Vehicles Act and the same are implemented by Transport Department.

A. The units which have got "ISO 14001" are provided incentives in terms of longer period of Consent/Authorization, reduction in the number of routine inspection and expeditious clearance of their renewal applications.

A. No relaxation in terms of regulation can be provided for such cases. However, GPCB has set up fast track to expeditiously clear such cases.

A. Yes, subject to the provisions contained in Rule 7(vi) of the Hazardous Waste (Management Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008, (Management & Handling) Rules, 1989 as amended upto 2003.

A. Yes. Normally all clearances are given within 4 months time. However, for fast track cases, the time taken is much less.