The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board has unveiled several revolutionary consent management policies for ‘ease of doing business’ in the state, while also safeguarding natural environment and curbing pollution.
The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), established in 1970, implements a range of environmental legislation in the state of Maharashtra. It functions under the administrative control of Environment Department of the Government of Maharashtra.
The vision of MPCB is to improve the Board’s functional efficiency, increase transparency in operation and adequate response to growing need of environmental protection and sustainable development in State of Maharashtra.
The perception of people towards treating Environment related compliances as one of the major hurdles in ease of doing business especially with respect to the time involved in securing such permits / consents/ clearances thereby not only hampering growth of the state but also industrial contribution towards economy. MPCB, being the apex State body regulating such permits for setting up of new industry in Maharashtra and in tandem with the Hon’ble Chief Minister’s vision to carry forward “Make in Maharashtra” campaign, has initiated reforms to simplify the entire consent management process end-to-end, including consent approvals (Consent to Establish, Consent to Operate and renewal of Consent), filing of annual returns as well as authorizations (for Biomedical Waste (BMW), Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), construction & debris waste, Plastic Waste, battery waste, Electronic waste etc. ). This reform underlying the simplified consent management process is transformational in nature and is an example of a best practice for “ease of doing business” conceptualized and implemented by MPCB.
Maharashtra Pollution Control Board is mandated for Prevention, Control and Abatement of Pollution and secure execution thereof. MPCB is granting Consents and Authorizations to all such establishments covered under Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. After announcing of “Make in India” Program Maharashtra Pollution Control Board has initiated action towards implementation of “Ease of doing Business & Make in India initiatives”. M.P.C. Board has initiated various progressive steps to help industries in getting permissions/NOC/Consent by simplifying licensing processes and adopting computerized Consent application processing for reducing time of processing., Randomized risk based inspection & sampling, Auto renewal scheme for consent as per the reforms suggested by DIPP towards implementation of “ Ease of doing Business & Make in India initiatives”. The detail of progressive steps taken by the Board is as below;
Reduction in time span for processing to expedite disposal/ grant of Consent and Authorization:
MPCB has shortened the time limit from 120 days prescribed in the enactment to 60 days for processing of consent application to expedite disposal/grant of consent at different levels.
Upload inspection report within 48 Hours:
MPC Board has issued necessary directives to its officials towards uploading the inspection report within 28 hrs on Board IMIS system.
Randomized Risk based inspection & sampling:
The field staff of MPC Board is mandated for periodical collection of samples from polluting industries in general and high pollution potential industries in particular. Limited manpower available with the Board and discretionary sampling of industries has posed limitations on effective performance of pollution control from polluting activities in the state and to address the increased risk to the environment due to polluting industries MPCB has targeted large and medium scale industries classified as Red and Orange category industries for visit and sampling. Also the main objective include is to identify willful defaulter through surprise visits which will be pursued for suitable legal actions.
To ensure the transparency and strong monitoring mechanism of the Field Officers performance, Board has decided to introduce the “Randomized Risk Based Inspection & Sampling (RRBIS)” through software based tool for selection of industries based on pollution potential. List of the industries for sampling and inspection for each Field Officer shall be generated for his jurisdiction through Randomized Risk based inspection & sampling software and same shall be monitored through automated software based tool.
Scheme of Auto-Renewal of Consent based on self-certification for Red, Orange & Green Category industries.
Earlier, Board was implementing auto-renewal policy for all Categories of industries coming under purview of CAC/CC only. It was thought the work load about consent management can be further substantially reduced by extending the scheme of auto-renewal for all the remaining Red, Orange & Green Category of industries. Accordingly, it was decided to implement Auto-Renewal Policy for all categories of industries i.e. Red, Orange & Green Category industries. Now the Auto-Renewal scheme is made applicable based on self-certification for the entire remaining category of industries.
Introduce a system for online application:
The online portal has been developed and put into operation from 1st Feb-2016. This allows online application and payment without the need for a physical touch point. The Proponent will get information about their application status through email and SMS. The provision is also there to make the payment online through e payment gate way. The Proponent can download their consent document from the portal also views their documents, visit report, instruction letter etc. online. This services has also been integrated with Apale Sarkar and Maitri Portal.
Simplified Consent Application form for Green Category industry:
The Board has decided to introduce Simplified Consent application form for obtaining Consent for ‘Green’ category of industries. The eight pages Consent application form has been simplified and reduced to two page by removing unnecessary field so as to ease the project Proponent while applying for consent.
Grant of Renewal of Consent to Operate for a minimum period of Five Years for Large/ Medium scale and a minimum period of Three Years for Small scale industries excluding Sugar industries:
Maharashtra Pollution Control Board has decided to grant renewal of consent for a minimum period of Five Years for Large/ Medium scale and a minimum period of Three Years for Small scale industries excluding Sugar industries to ease the process, to have an uniform approach and thereby avoiding frequent repetition of Consent renewal application after it’s expiry of short period. The Consent granting Authority shall renew Consent to Operate of Large/ Medium scale of Red category industries for the minimum period of Five Years and for the minimum period of Six Years of Large/ Medium scale of Orange & Green category industries. In case of Small scale Red & Green category industries, renewal of Consent to Operate shall be granted for the minimum period of Three Years and for Small scale Orange category industries a minimum period of Four Years shall be taken into consideration so as to ease the levying of the Consent fees. This will also help the officers of the Board to have enough time to concentrate more on monitoring and pursuing compliance of various conditions imposed in the consent. This will also reduce the unnecessary follow-up of the Project Proponent with the Authority granting consent and thereby they will also able to concentrate on their business activities and compliance of environmental norms.
Environmental Registration Enablers:
In order to facilitate industries, the non-polluting white category of industries have been exempted from obtaining consent from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board.
Uniform Integrated Enforcement Policy for Consent Management
In order to further facilitate transparency, integration of post-consent application cycle, filing of complaints, damages, severity, penalties, remediation costs, etc; Maharashtra is the first State to publish and implement an Enforcement Policy through MPCB. The simplified consent management process is anchored by Uniform Integrated Enforcement Policy for Consent Management and supported by “ec MPCB” web portal and randomized risk-based inspections methodology. Not only the policy simplifies inspection & sampling needs but it also enables entrepreneurs to lower scrutiny period of such application from 120 to 60 days (speedy), empowers industries through provision of appeals against non-grant of consent, eases self-certification for renewal and finally online grant of consent with minimum period of 5 years for Red category and 6years for Orange/Green category of industries thereby resulting in immense resource optimization at both the ends of MPCB as well as industry. Finally, such policy shall not only render speedy approvals but also shall support sector specific approach for pollution control through very well defined actions for non-compliance, unambiguous & clear ground for imposing BG regimes.
Maharashtra State Environment Care Centre
Maharashtra Pollution Control Board has setup State Environment Care Centre (SECC) at MPCB, Sion, Mumbai for centrally receiving online real time monitoring data from the 17 categories of highly polluting industries, industrial stacks, effluent treatment Plant (ETP), Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) and from Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS) located across the state. The SECC has been inaugurated with the auspicious hand of Hon’ble Chief Minister of the State on 20/04/2016. The data generated through Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS) for eight parameters viz SOx, NOx, PM10, PM2.5, O3, CO, NH3, and Benzene is being compiled and hosted on MPCB website for dissemination of information to Public at large. Also, Air Quality Data is being shared at National Level (CPCB) for calculating Air Quality Index.