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GSPCB to recategorise industrial units

PANAJI” The Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) has decided to place the final list of reclassified industries notified by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in its next Board meeting in order to begin with the exercise of reclassification of the industrial sectors in the state into four different categories, based on their pollution potential.

The CPCB has recently notified the recategorisation on the basis of composite score (0-100 marks) of pollution index given in accordance with the weightage based on pollution parameters like quality of effluents (water pollutants) (40 marks), quality of emissions (air pollutants) (40 marks) and types of hazardous waste generated (20 marks).

A score higher than 60 would attract the label of ‘red,’ that between 30 and 59 would lead the industry to be categorised as ‘orange’ while ‘green’ label will be given to those scoring between 15 and 29, and the industry with a score less than 15 but up to 20 will be categorised as ‘white’ (non-polluting industry).

There are about 7,000 units in the state of which 80 per cent are classified as green. At present, the GSPCB uses the criteria of red, orange and green categories for consent management and vigilance purposes for carrying out inspections to verify compliance to the stipulated standards.

Speaking to this daily, chairman of GSPCB Jose Manuel Noronha said that the proposal will be placed before the members of the Board for their approval and thereafter the Board will carry out the exercise to review and reclassify the industrial sectors into different categories based on criteria of respective pollution potential index, and then the report will be forwarded to the government for notification.

The new mechanism also replaces a host of unwieldy state rules, which have different time-frames for renewal of approvals for different regions, with a uniform national system that will promote more efficient environmental monitoring.

According to the newly notified recategorisation of industries, no red category of industries will be permitted in the ecologically fragile or protected areas of the state. Furthermore, wherever possible, splitting of the industrial sectors is also considered based on the use of raw material, manufacturing processes adopted and, in turn, pollutants expected to be generated.

“The new rules will bring uniformity in the period for which consent to operate is given to industries,” a senior official of the GSPCB said. For the first time, the classification was based on “scientific parameters” decided by a committee of experts, he added.

Once the state government adopts the CPCB guidelines, the consent validity for red category industries will get changed from existing two years to five years. Orange category of industries will have to renew consent after every ten years, which presently is being done after five years. Green category industries will get one-time consent. However, no consent would be necessary for non-polluting industries.

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