A bench headed by National Green Tribunal Chairman Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, on Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 taking note of the Supreme Court’s order in the case of Alembic Chemicals v Rohit Prajapati and Ors., held that industrial units cannot operate without procuring a prior Environmental Clearance under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
The observations were made while hearing an application filed by NGO Dastak that sought to quash the order of the State of Haryana that exempted manufacturers of Formaldehyde to procure an Environmental Clearance that otherwise require prior Environmental Clearance.
The NGO in its submissions highlighted that requirement of prior Environmental Clearance is mandatory and the states fi not have the power to exempt the industries. The applicant also submitted that the industries were using ground water and has been found to be non-compliant with the Manufacturer, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 1989.
The State of Haryana argued that the units were granted interim relief in the light of the re-drafting of the EIA with the zero draft being circulated to states and other stakeholders for comments.
The bench held that the States have no power either to exempt any industrial unit from procuring prior Environmental Clearance or to allow units to function without Environmental Clearance on payment of compensation.
The tribunal observed that Environment Clearance is mandated under Environmental Impact Assessment and the requirement cannot be dispensed with and any permit to allow the functioning of any unit without prior EC is a violation of law.