Enviornment Prelims cum Mains

Recalcitrant industries face closure

The News

  • In a bid to enforce stricter emission monitoring norms, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has directed State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB) to close down industrial units that haven’t installed Online Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems (OCEMS).


Key Highlights

  • The CPCB has since 2015 made it mandatory for industries to install OCEMS, particularly so-called Grossly Polluting Industries.
  • It is mandatory for a new industrial unit to install an OCEM to commence operations.
  • The industries that require OCEMS include distilleries (including fermentation industry), sugar, fertiliser, pulp & paper (paper manufacturing with or without pulping), pharmaceuticals, dyes and dye-intermediates, pesticides, tanneries, thermal power plants, iron and steel, zinc, copper and aluminium smelters.
  • The government claims a compliance of nearly 80% last year.
  • In 2014, the CPCB said there were 3,266 of these Grossly Polluting Industrial units under the 17 categories above, out of which 2,328 are compliant to environmental standards.
  • More than 550 are non compliant and 367 have been closed down.



  • The grossly polluting industries such as Power, Cement, Iron & Steel, Chlor-alkali, Pharmaceuticals, Fertilizers, Refineries, Pesticides, Distilleries, Sugar, Pulp & Paper, Textile, Tanneries, and other categories of industries emit particulate matter, gaseous pollutants and effluent discharge into atmosphere.
  • The SPCBs and PCCs have prescribed standards for various pollutants emitted/ discharged by the industries as notified under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  • For strengthening the monitoring and compliance through self-regulatory mechanism, online emission and effluent monitoring systems need to be installed and operated by the developers and the industries on, ‘Polluter Pays Principle’.
  • Central Pollution Control Board in 2014 issued directions under section 18(1) b of the Water and Air Acts to the State Pollution Control Boards and Pollution Control Committees for directing the 17 categories of highly polluting industries for installation of online effluent quality and emission monitoring systems to help tracking the discharges of pollutants from these units.


What is monitored?

Parameters required to be monitored in the stack emissions using Continuous Emission Monitoring system include

  • Particulate Matter
  • HF (Fluoride)
  • NH3 ( Ammonia)
  • SO2 (Sulphur Dioxide)
  • NOX (Oxides of Nitrogen)
  • Cl2 (Chlorine)
  • HCl (Hydro Chloric acid) and HF (Hydro Fluoric Acid)
  • TOC (Total Organic Carbon) / THC (Total Hydro Carbon) / VOC (Volatile
  • Organic Carbon)- CnHm
  • Process parameters: Carbon Monoxide, Temperature, Pressure, Flow,
  • Moisture Content, O2 (Oxygen), CO2,


What is Online Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems (OCEMS)?

  • The Continuous Emission Monitoring (CEM) System comprises of the total equipment necessary to determine the concentration of gaseous emission and/or particulate matter concentration.
  • They are capable of analytical measurements and a computer program to provide results in units of the applicable emission limits or standards.
  • The data recorded/observed is gathered either through analog outputs to a recording system or send directly to a DAS (Data Acquisition System) for storage and onward transmission.
  • Data Acquisition System includes special modules for data treatment and further transmission to the Central Data Acquisition and Handling System in SPCB/ CPCB central office.


 Advantages of OCEMS

  • OCEMS provide continuous measurement of data for long periods of time, at the monitoring site of interest, without skilled staff being required to perform the analysis.
  • All the major steps in traditional analysis like sample collection, transportation, conditioning, calibration and analysis procedures including Quality Control are usually automated in on-line analyzers.
  • In case of sudden disturbance in the system, the on-line analyzers provide timely information for taking immediate corrective/preventive steps compared to conventional methods.


What are Grossly Polluting Industries (GPIs)?

  • GPIs were identified as industries discharging effluent into water course
  • Industry discharging pollution load of BOD (Biological oxygen demand) 100kg per day.
  • Those handling hazardous chemicals as specified in manufacturing, import, Storage of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 1989 under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986


GPIs along Ganga

  • One of the functions entrusted to Central pollution control board under National Ganga River Basin Authority Project is inventorization, monitoring and surveillance of pollution load discharging into river Ganga.
  • There are 764 industries in the main stem of Ganga and referred tributaries Kali (E) and Ramganga.
  • Total water consumption in the industries is 1123 MLD and waste water generation is 501 MLD.
  • Sector-wise and State-wise data for waste water generation along Ganga is given in the pie charts below.


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