The Challenges and Issues associated with the Promulgation of the Environmental Norms as Mandated by the MOEF&CC on 7th December 2015
The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has notified the revised standards for coal-based Thermal Power Plants in the country, with the primary aim of minimizing pollution. These standards are proposed to be implemented in a phased manner. Thermal power plants are categorized into 3 categories, namely those:- (i) Installed before 31st December, 2003 (ii) Installed after 2003 upto 31st December, 2016 and (iii) Installed after 31st December, 2016. The new standards are aimed at reducing emission of PM10 (0.98 kg/MWh), sulphur dioxide(7.3 kg/MWh) and Oxide of nitrogen (4.8 kg/MWh), which will in turn help in bringing about an improvement in the Ambient Air Quality (AAQ) in and around thermal power plants. The technology employed for the control of the proposed limit of Sulfur Dioxide - SO2 & Nitrogen Oxide - NOx will also help in control of mercury emission (at about 70-90%) as a co-benefit. Limiting the use of water in thermal power plant will lead to water conservation (about 1.5 M3/MWh) as thermal power plant is a water-intensive industry. This will also lead to a reduction in energy requirement for drawl of water. The norms have been promulgated but the power sector has not been given enough time to prepare for functioning in more stringent manner.