Pollution watch: Environment ministry notifies revised norms of emission standards for thermal plants

December 23, 2015

According to a Ministry Statement, the Union environment ministry has notified revised norms of emission standards for coal-based thermal power plants and made it mandatory for the existing ones to meet these parameters within two years .
Besides tightening the emission norms, the ministry through the notification -issued on December 7 -also fixed water consumption parameters for all the plants, making it mandatory for them to use water more efficiently.
Under the revised norms, the new power plants (to be commissioned from January 1, 2017 onwards) will have to achieve `zero waste water discharge’ standard by putting up adequate captive infrastructure. All upcoming power plants will be given environmental clearance only after getting such commitments under the new norms.
It stated that “The new standards are aimed at reducing emission of PM10 (particulate matter), Sulphur Dioxide, and Oxide of Nitrogen, 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 sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) will also help in control of mercury emission (at about 70-90%) as a co-benefit.”

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