conservation and sustainability report...
INTRODUCTION Environment is cradle of life. It is a basic human need and a finite life support system. To protect this, one needs a stringent enforcement system meant for its conservation, sanitation sanitation and supply. Environmental laws are meant to set standards for what people and institutions must do to control or prevent environmental pollution. After enactment it becomes the job of the central and state governments to make sure that those who are subject to these environmental protection laws know what they must do to comply. The primary role of the central and state Pollution Control Boards is the enforcement of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and its constituent statutory framework. framework. The Indian Constitution recognises the basic fundamental right of its citizens; the right to a clean and healthy environment. Article 21 of the constitution insists that no person shall be deprived of his/her life or personal liberty except according to the procedure laid down by the law. The Supreme Court of India in the case of Subhas v. State of Bihar held Bihar held that the right to environment is a fundamental right of every citizen in India as included in the right to live. The ruling states that the State has the responsibility to protect the environment as laid down under the Article 51A(g) of the Constitution of India. India. In this case the Supreme Supreme Court underscores the the fact that environmental rights indeed are human rights and they constitute everything from civil, political, economic, and social rights of people and communities in general and this link is inseperable.
WHAT IS POLLUTION Pollution
is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that
causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems
substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light. Pollutants, the components of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants. Pollution is often classed as point source or nonpoint source pollution. The most appropriate definition of environmental pollution would be the introduction of different harmful pollutants into certain environment that make this environment unhealthy to live in. The most common pollutants are usually chemicals, garbage, and waste water. Environmental pollution is happening in many parts of the world, especially in form of air and water pollution. The best examples for air pollution are some of China's cities, including capital Beijing, and the best example for water pollution is India with its Ganges river pollution problem. Globally speaking environmental pollution problem is much bigger than we think it is, even in many our cities there are problems with dirty air, or sound pollution from traffic and different other disturbing noises. The most severe environmental pollution is happening in developing countries of the third world because not only to they lack any form of sustainable management but they also lack even the basic sanitation so you can imagine how bad the environmental condition in these countries. Many developed countries have introduced certain laws to not only regulate various types of pollution but also the laws to mitigate the adverse effects of
pollution. Pollution levels need to be controlled all the time if we want to keep our environment safe and healthy. Without proper pollution control environment soon becomes unhealthy. unhealthy. Preventing introduction introduction of pollutants into into some environment environment is the best way to protect environment from pollution. To do so it is important to develop ecological conscience of nearby communities, and effective waste management in form of recycling.
TYPES AND CAUSES OF POLLUTION The increase in the pollution over the years by man has caused severe damage to the earth‘s ecosystem. It is responsible for global warming which is leading to the end if all the lives on earth. Over the years there is an extreme increase in the rate of human diseases, and death rate of various animals and plants on earth, and that is all because of the pollution caused by man himself. The term pollution refers to the act of contaminating ones environment by introducing certain hazardous contaminants that disturb the ecosystem and directly or indirectly affect the living organisms of that ecosystem. Pollution in general is the activity of disturbing the natural system and balance of an environment. Following are some of the hazardous types of pollution affecting our lives: Air Pollution
Air pollution is perhaps the most common and the most dangerous type of pollution. It involves the direct release of chemicals into the environment. The chemicals then become the part of the air around us that all the living things take in. The increase in the rate of diseases such as asthma and lung cancer today is due
to the increase in the air pollution around us. Air pollution is also a cause of global warming and acid rain. Chief causes of Air Pollution
Basically the air pollution is caused by the burning of fuel that directly releases hazardous chemicals into the air. Smog hanging over cities is the most familiar and obvious form of air pollution. But there are different kinds of pollution —some visible, some invisible —that contribute to global warming. Generally any substance that people introduce into the atmosphere that has damaging effects on living things and the environment is considered air pollution.
Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is the main pollutant that is warming Earth. Though living things emit carbon dioxide when they breathe, carbon dioxide is widely considered to be a pollutant when associated with cars, planes, power plants, and other human activities that involve the burning of fossil fuels such as gasoline and natural gas. In the past 150 years, such activities have pumped enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to raise its levels higher than they have been for hundreds of thousands of years. Other greenhouse gases include methane — which which comes from such sources as swamps and gas emitted by livestock — and and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were used in refrigerants and aerosol propellants until they were banned . In 1987, M.C. Mehta successfully used Damages remedy in M.C. in M.C. Mehta Mehta v Union of India in a Shri Oleum Gas leak Supreme Court ruled that case Rylands v Fletcher Fletcher down in affected by accident without any exception as laid the enterprise is strictly liable to all those who are inherently dangerous activity e.g. toxic gases escape, when an industry is engaged in a hazardous or current problems fully.
The 75% of the earth‘s surface is covered with water and more than half of the total population of earth‘s species resides in water. Water pollution is a major global problem which requires ongoing evaluation and revision of water resource policy at all levels (international (international down to individual aquifers and wells). It has been suggested that it is the leading worldwide cause of deaths and diseases, and that it accounts for the deaths of more than 14,000 people daily. An estimated 700 million Indians have no access to a proper toilet, and 1,000 Indian children die of diarrheal sickness every day. Moreover, our life greatly depends on water and life without water is impossible. Water pollution not only affects the fish and animals living in the water but also affects the whole food chain by also transferring the contaminants to the consumers depending on these animals. Water used from a polluted lake directly contaminates its user. Many of the water creatures are on the verge of extinction due to the dramatic increase in the water pollution. Water is typically referred to as polluted when it is impaired by anthropogenic contaminants and either does not support a human use, such as drinking water , and/or undergoes a marked shift in its ability to support its constituent biotic communities, such as fish. Natural phenomena such as volcanoes volcanoes,, algae blooms, blooms, storms, and earthquakes also cause major changes in water quality and the ecological status of water. Cause Of Water Pollution
Water pollution is caused by the direct incorporation of hazardous pollutants. The specific contaminants leading to pollution in water include a wide spectrum
of chemicals, pathogens, and physical or sensory changes such as elevated temperature and discoloration. While many of the chemicals and substances that are regulated may be naturally occurring (calcium, sodium, iron, manganese, etc.) the concentration is often the key in determining what is a natural component of water, and what is a contaminant. High concentrations of naturally occurring substances can have negative impacts on aquatic flora and fauna. Many of the chemical substances are toxic toxic.. Pathogens can produce waterborne diseases in either human or animal hosts. Alteration of water's physical chemistry includes
in pH)),electrical in pH
eutrophication. Eutrophication Eutrophication is an increase in the concentration of chemical nutrients in an ecosystem to an extent that increases in the primary productivity of the ecosystem. Depending on the degree of eutrophication, subsequent negative environmental effects such as anoxia (oxygen depletion) and severe reductions in water quality may occur, affecting fish and other ani mal populations. Oxygen- depleting substances may be natural materials, such as plant matter (e.g. leaves and grass) as well as man-made chemicals. Other natural and anthropogenic anthropogenic substances may cause turbidity (cloudiness) which blocks light and disrupts plant growth, and clogs the gills of some fish species.
Soil pollution involves the contamination of soil by the release of harmful substances into the soil. Unlike air pollution, which has a direct affect on human lives, soil pollution causes an indirect damage to humans and other animals. The lives of all the living things depend on three sources: water, light and soil. The plants which are the producers of the food chain take up their nutrients, which are essential for their living, from the soil. The nutrients taken by the plants are then transferred to the consumers that depend on these plants. Hence a soil consisting consisting of contaminants contaminants will not only affect the plants growing on the soil but it it will also indirectly indirectly harm the entire food chain. Causes Of Soil Pollution
Soil pollution is mainly caused by the release of industrial waste. This waste is directly incorporated into the soil by large industries and factories. Soil pollution is also caused by human acts as mining and deforestation etc. Soil pollution is a result of many activities and experiments done by mankind which end up contaminating the soil. Here are some of the leading soil pollution causes: 1. Industrial wastes such as harmful gases and chemicals, agricultural pesticides, fertilizers and insecticides are the most common causes of soil pollution. 2. Unfavorable and harmful irrigation practices. 3. Ignorance towards soil management and related systems.
4. Improper septic system and management and maintenance of the same. 5. Acid rains, when fumes released from industries get mixed with rains. 6. Fuel leakages from automobiles, that get washed away due to rain and seep into the nearby soil. 7. Unhealthy waste management techniques, which are characterized by release of sewage into the large dumping grounds and nearby streams or rivers. Effects of Soil Pollution
The effects of pollution on soil are quite alarming and can cause huge disturbances in the ecological balance and health of living creatures on earth. Some of the most serious soil pollution effects are: 1. Decrease in soil fertility and therefore decrease in the soil yield. How can one expect contaminated soil to produce healthy crops. 2. Loss of soil and natural nutrients present in it. Plants also would not thrive in such soil, which would further result in soil erosion. 3. Increase in salinity of the soil, which therefore makes it unfit for vegetation, thus making it useless and barren. 4. Disturbance in the balance of flora and fauna residing in the soil. 5. Generally crops cannot grow and flourish in polluted soil. Yet, if some crops manage to grow, they would be poisonous enough to cause serious health problems in people consuming them.
6. Foul smell due to industrial chemicals and gases might result in headaches, fatigue, nausea, etc., in many people. 7. Soil pollutants would bring in alteration in the soil structure, which would lead to death of many essential organisms in it. This would also affect the larger predators and compel them to move to other places, once they lose their food supply. NOISE POLLUTION
Unlike other the above mentioned types of pollutions does not involve hazardous chemicals or their incorporation into the environment, rather noise rather noise pollution is the increase in the rate of noise in the environment. Noise is defined as an unpleasant sound that has an adverse affect on the human ear.Noise can be extremely dangerous. And it is all around us. It penetrates into human mind and controls it.Too much noise leads to severe psychological illness and badly affects the behaviour.It leads to hypertension, stress, aggression and annoyance. Moreover, it causes depression and forgetfulness. Noise pollution is excessive, displeasing human, animal, or machine-created machine -created environmenta environmentall noise that disrupts the activity or balance of human or animal life. The word noise may be from the Latin word nauseas nauseas,, metaphorically meaning disgust or discomfort. The source of most outdoor noise worldwide is mainly construction and transportation systems,, including motor vehicle noise, aircraft noise, systems noise, and rail noise. noise. Poor urban Poor urban planning may give rise to noise pollution, since side-by-side industrial and residential buildings can result in noise pollution in the residential area. High noise levels can contribute to cardiovascular effects in humans, a rise in blood pressure, and an increase in stress and vasoconstriction, vasoconstriction, and an increased incidence of coronary artery disease. In animals, noise can increase the risk of
death by altering predator or prey detection and avoidance, interfere with reproduction and navigation, and contribute to permanent hearing loss. Causes Of Noise Pollution
Noise pollution is caused by the moving vehicles, manmade machines and loud music. Other than that noise can be caused by anything, but these three sources are the main reasons for the noise pollution around us. Noise health effects
describe problems in both health and behavior. Unwanted
sound (noise) can damage physiological and psychological health. Noise pollution can cause annoyance and aggression, hypertension hypertension,, high stress levels, tinnitus tinnitus,, hearing loss, sleep disturbances, disturbances, and other harmful effects. ef fects. Furthermore, Furthermore, stress and hypertension are the leading causes to health problems, whereas tinnitus can lead to forgetfulness, severe depression and at times panic attacks High noise levels can contribute to cardiovascular cardiovascular effects effects and exposure to moderately high levels during a single eight hour period causes a statistical rise in blood pressure of five to ten points and an increase in stress andvasoconstriction andvasoconstriction leading to the increased blood pressure noted above as well as to increased incidence of coronary of coronary artery disease. disease.
Environmental issues and Indian law
Since about late 1980s, the Supreme Court of India has been pro-actively engaged in India's environmental issues. In most countries, it is the executive and the legislative branches of the government that plan, implement and address environmental issues; the Indian experience is different. The Supreme Court of India has been engaged in interpreting and introducing new changes in the environmental jurisprudence directly. The Court has laid down new principles to protect the environment, re-interpreted environmental laws, created new institutions and structures, and conferred additional powers on the existing ones through a series of directions and judgments. The Court‘s direction on environmental issues goes beyond the general questions of law, as is usually expected from the highest Court of a democratic country. The Supreme Court of India, in its order, includes executive actions and technical details of environmental actions to be implemented. Indeed, some critics of India's Supreme Court describe the Court as the Lords the Lords of Green Bench or Garbage or Garbage Supervisor . Supporters of India's Supreme Court term these orders and the Indian bench as pioneering, both in terms of laying down new principles of law, and in delivering environmental justice. The reasons for the increasing interjection of India's Supreme Court in governance arenas are, experts claim, complex. A key factor has been the failure of government agencies and the state owned enterprises in discharging their Constitutional and Statutory duties. This has prompted civil society groups to file public interest complaints with the Courts, particularly the Supreme Court, for suitable remedies.
Public interest litigation and judicial activism on environmental issues extends beyond India's Supreme Supreme Court. Court. It includes the High Courts Courts of individual individual states. India's judicial activism on environmental issues has, some suggest, delivered positive effects to the Indian experience. The Supreme Court has, through intense inte nse judicial activism, the proponents proponents claim, become a symbol of hope for the people of India. As a result of judicial activism, India's Supreme Court has delivered a new normative regime of rights and insisted that the Indian state cannot act arbitrarily but must act reasonably and in public interest on pain of its action being invalidated by judicial intervention. India's judicial activism on environmental issues has, others suggest, had adverse consequences. Public interest cases are repeatedly filed to block infrastructure projects aimed at solving environmental issues in India, such as but not limiting to water works, expressways, land acquisition for projects, and electricity power generation projects. The litigation routinely delays such projects, often for years, while rampant pollution continues in India, and tens of thousands die from the unintended effects of pollution. Even after a stay related to an infrastructure project is vacated, or a court order gives a green light to certain project, new issues become grounds for for court notices notices and new public interest litigation. litigation. Environmental Pollution and Problems in india
Environmental pollution is rampant in India and the following are some bottlenecks to be aware aware of: Flaws in Process of Developing Policies The entire law making process in India is a flawed. There is a lack of stringent environmental laws to address the problem. In most cases, laws function like paper
tigers. For instance, the National Agricultural Policy is a policy which is not encapsulated in any law and therefore, it is ineffective. No single Indian law includes the contents and concerns of the policy document. Further, some classic examples of stand alone legislations are the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. Lack of Vision and Planning There is a lack of vision and planning on the part of the government of India, in foreseeing environmental issues. Further, there is a failure on the part of Government to formulate appropriate policies, programs and plans, to address the issue. Flaws in Law Making Process The law making process in India has many loopholes. It does not follow a logical and consistent path, neither during the drafting process nor after enforcement. Issues in the Process of Law Enforcement India still follows inadequate and outdated environmental laws. Further, various factors that contribute towards poor implementation of environmental laws in India, are: 1. Lack of proper understanding understanding of environmental laws. 2. Lack of appropriate skills amongst the law enforcement agencies. 3. Lack of coordination among the law enforcement authorities and officers. 4. Inadequate infrastructural facilities.
5. Shortage of skilled and trained legal personnel. 6. No initiatives are being taken to recruit law officers who possess knowledge, skills and understanding of environmental issues and laws. 7. Lastly, the tendency to centralize the decision making power and bureaucratized structure hampers the process of proper law enforcement. The political and bureaucratic intervention in day to day activities of the law enforcement authorities affects and curbs their professional competence competence and efficiency. efficiency.
ROLE OF JUDICIAL ACTIVISM AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION
Judicial activism is a novel strategy of the court being used through the social action to prevent and control environmental pollution. Any public spirited person can start social action in a court of law. The leading case in the field of environment decide by the Supreme court under the impact of judicial activism is 1
Municipal Council, Ratlam v. Vardichand . The apex court in this case identified the responsibilities of local bodies towards the protection of environment. The facts in this case were that the residents within Ratlam municipality were suffering for a long time from pungent smell from open drains. The odour caused by the public excretion in slums slums and liquid flowing on the street from distilleries distilleries force the people to approach the magistrate under section 133 of Cr. P.C. for a remedy. Following a direction from the magistrate to remove the drain, a six months time 1
AIR 1980 SC 1622
bound programme had to be adopted for constructing drainage and public latrines. The defendants challenged this order pleading financial constraints. Supreme court after thorough examination held that statutory bodies should not defy their public duties by urging in self defence, a self created bankruptcy of perverted expenditure budget. The plea of financial inability has no place where the municipalities have mandatory duty to protect the people from environmental hazards. Krishna Krishna Iyer, J., observed: ―...providing drainage systemssystems - not pompous and attractive, but in working conditions are sufficient to meet the needs of the people- cannot be evaded if the municipality is to justify its existence.‖ 2
In M.C. In M.C. Mehta v. Union of India popularly known as Taj Trapezium case petitioner urged that the foundaries, chemical/ hazardous industries industries and refinery of Mathura are major sources likely to damage d amage the Taj. The Mathura refinery emit a huge amount of Sulphur dioxide which when combined with oxygen in the presence of moisture in the atmosphere becomes sulphuric sulphuric acid which falls falls on the earth earth in form of of rain known as acid rain. Acid rain can degrade the marble surface. The impact of refinery emission, brick-kiln, vehicular traffic, etc, has polluted the area around Taj Trapezium. The petitioner contended that the white marble has become yellowish and at places it has blackened and hence he made request to the court to issue an order to prevent air pollution and save taj.
AIR 1997 SC 734
After examining the reports of experts the Court came to the conclusion that the emission generated by the Coke/coal consuming consuming industries are air pollutants and have damaging effect on the taj and the people living in the Taj Trapezium. Accordingly the court held that 292 industries located and operating in Agra must change over within time schedule to natural gas as industrial fuel or stop functioning with coal/coke and get relocated. The industries going to be shifted shall be given incentives according to Agra Master Plan and also the incentives normally extended to new industrial units. 3
In M.C. In M.C. Mehta Mehta v. Union of India India popularly known as Ganga Pollution (tanneries) case. case. In this case the Supreme Court in no uncertain terms observed: ―we are conscious that closure of tanneries may bring unemployment, loss of revenue but life, health and ecology ecology have greater importance to the people.‖ Even before this case the Andhra Pradesh High Court in T. Damodar Rao v. The 4
Special Officer, Municipal corporation of Hyderabad expressed similar views, which is the correct approach as to the relationship between the fundamental right to life as guaranteed under Article 21 and the right to unpolluted environment. environment. The observed: ―...the slow poisoning by the polluted atmosphere caused by environmental pollution and spoliation spoliation should should also be regarded regarded as amounting to violation of Article 21 of the Constitution.‖
AIR 1988 SC 1037 AIR 1987 AP 171
In Vellore Citizen’s Welfare forum v. Union of India also known as T.N. tanneries case, the tanneries were found discharging intricated effluent into agricultural fields, road slides, water ways and open land. Ultimately discharged in the river the main source of water supply to residents of area. In such a situation the Court issued the directions for maintaining the standards stipulated by the by the Pollution Control Board. The Court further directed the High Court of the State to constitute Special Bench ‗Green Bench‘ to deal with the case and other environmental matters.
AIR 1987 SC 2115
Environmental Law- C. S. Jaiswal Allahabad Law Agency
Paras Diwan – Diwan – Law Law and Environment
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I Would like to thank my Environment law teacher Dr. Manjula Batra for his constant support and Guidance throught the making of this assignment. I would also like to thank my colleagues and friends for their motivation and help.
ENVIRONMENT LAW ASSIGNMENT
POLLUTION It’s kinds and causes
Submitted by: ANKIT YADAV
B.A L.L.B (H)
3 year Roll No. 07