Air Pollution

Dust mitigation plan must for firms


Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Dust mitigation plan, CPCB, National Ambient Air Quality Standards

Mains level: Rising air pollution and ways to tackle it


Mitigation plan for dust mandatory

  1. The Environment Ministry has made it mandatory for companies seeking environment clearance to ensure that they put in place a dust mitigation plan
  2. A study by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and commissioned by the Delhi government reported, in 2015, that road dust, burning of biomass and municipal solid waste, constituted the lion’s share of the city’s air pollution


  1. The requirements say that roads leading to or at construction sites must be paved and black-topped
  2. There could be no soil excavation without adequate dust mitigation measures in place
  3. A water sprinkling system was mandatory
  4. The grinding and cutting of building materials in open area is prohibited
  5. The standards were developed by the Central Pollution Control Board as part of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)

Role of dust in air pollution

  1. Dust is a generic term for a vast mix of metals and non-metals — silicon, aluminium, titanium, manganese, copper, barium, antimony, selenium and zinc
  2. Road dust contributed 56% of all PM10 pollution, while it was 38% for PM2.5


National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)

  1. Ambient air quality refers to the condition or quality of air surrounding us in the outdoors
  2. National Ambient Air Quality Standards are the standards for ambient air quality set by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) that is applicable nationwide
  3. The CPCB has been conferred this power by the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
  4. A new National Air Quality Index (AQI) has been launched in October 2014 to disseminate information on air quality in an easily understandable form for the general public
  5. The measurement of air quality is based on eight pollutants, namely, PM10, PM2.5, NO2, SO2, CO, O3, NH3, and Pb
  6. National Ambient Air Quality Standards are prescribed for all of these pollutants
  7. The 2005 World Health Organization’s “WHO Air quality guidelines” offer global guidance on thresholds and limits for 4 key air pollutants that pose health risks – particulate matter (PM), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2)
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