New hazardous waste management rules notified
Dr K K Aggarwal
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change notified new rules for management of hazardous waste yesterday. For the first time, Rules have been made to distinguish between Hazardous Waste and other wastes. Waste tyre, paper waste, metal scrap, used electronic items, etc. are defined as other wastes and are recognized as a resource for recycling and reuse.
The salient features of Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management &Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 include the following:-
· The ambit of the Rules has been expanded by including ‘Other Waste’.
· Waste Management hierarchy in the sequence of priority of prevention, minimization, reuse, recycling, recovery, co-processing; and safe disposal has been incorporated.
· All the forms under the rules for permission, import/export, filing of annual returns, transportation, etc. have been revised significantly, indicating the stringent approach for management of such hazardous and other wastes with simultaneous simplification of procedure.
· The basic necessity of infrastructure to safeguard the health and environment from waste processing industry has been prescribed as Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs), specific to waste type, which has to be complied by the stakeholders and ensured by SPCB/PCC while granting such authorisation.
· Procedure has been simplified to merge all the approvals as a single window clearance for setting up of hazardous waste disposal facility and import of other wastes.
· The approval process for co-processing of hazardous waste to recover energy has been streamlined and put on emission norms basis rather than on trial basis.
· The process of import/export of waste under the Rules has been streamlined by simplifying the document-based procedure and by revising the list of waste regulated for import/export.
· The import of metal scrap, paper waste and various categories of electrical and electronic equipments for re-use purpose has been exempted from the need of obtaining Ministry’s permission.
· The basic necessity of infrastructure to safeguard the health and environment from waste processing industry has been prescribed as Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) specific to waste type.
· Responsibilities of State Government for environmentally sound management of hazardous and other wastes have been introduced.
· List of processes generating hazardous wastes has been reviewed taking into account technological evolution in the industries.
· List of Waste Constituents with Concentration Limits has been revised as per international standard and drinking water standard.
· State Government is authorized to prepare integrated plan for effective implementation of these provisions, and have to submit annual report to Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
· State Pollution Control Board is mandated to prepare an annual inventory of the waste generated; waste recycled, recovered, utilised including co-processed; waste re-exported and waste disposed and submit to the Central Pollution Control Board by the 30th day of September every year.