SC bans use of pet coke in NCR

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

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Central Pollution Control Board, Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA)

Mains level: Lethargy on part of the executive and active involvement of judiciary in providing measures to control air pollution


News

Prohibition on the industrial use of pet coke and furnace oil in NCR regions

  1. The Supreme Court directed the prohibition of industrial use of pet coke and furnace oil in NCR regions from November 1, 2017
  2. In its order on May 2, the court had directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to fix sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxide standards for these industries
  3. The order follows the recommendation of the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) to ban the sale, distribution, and use of furnace oil and pet coke in the NCR
  4. Their use is already prohibited in Delhi

Fine on Environment ministry, order to demolish parking lot near Taj Mahal

  1. SC also imposed a fine of Rs. 2 lakh on the Ministry of Environment for not fixing any emission standards for industries using pet coke and furnace oil in the NCR region
  2. The Supreme Court said fixing emission norms for industries using these toxic materials was vital for public health
  3. In a separate hearing, the same SC Bench ordered the demolition of a high-tech, multi-parking lot built a kilometer from the Taj Mahal

Back2Basics

Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA)

  1. It is a Central Government constituted committee for the National Capital Region in compliance with the Supreme Court order dated January 7, 199893
  2. It was constituted under subsection (1) and (3) of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 by MoEFCC
  3. This authority was constituted with sole objective of assisting SC for protecting and improving the quality of environment and preventing, controlling and abating air pollution in Delhi NCR

Harmful effects of use of furnace oil and pet coke

  1. Petroleum coke, also called pet coke or petcoke, is a solid carbon material that resembles coal; it is a product of oil refining
  2. Petroleum coke or Pet Coke is used by industries as fuel and contains various dangerous chemicals and heavy metals such as Chromium, Vanadium, etc
  3. Pet coke also has high Sulphur contents which on burning releases large amounts of Sulphates into the atmosphere
  4. These harmful chemicals cause air pollution and lead to various health risks
Air Pollution
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