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The Environment Protection Act, 1986


In 1980, the Dept. of Environment was established in India. Later on it became the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 1985. Environment Protection Act, 1986 came into force soon after the Bhopal Gas Tragedy.

Objective of Environment Protection Act

Objective is, to provide the protection and improvement of environment. In EPA, article 48A, specify that the State shall protect and improve the environment.

Also, to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country. Acc. to Sec 51(A) every citizen shall protect the environment. EPA is applicable to whole India, including J&K.

Environment Protection Act

Powers Provided By The Act To Central Govt.

To make rules to regulate environmental pollution; To notify standards and maximum limits of pollutants of air, water, and soil for various areas and purposes; Prohibition and restriction on the handling of hazardous substances and location of industries (Sections 3-6).

Sec (3): may constitute authority or authorities for the purpose of exercising of performing such of the powers and functions;

Under Sec (4): may appoint a person for inspection;

Under Sec (5): may issue directions in writing to any officers or any authority to comply;

Sec (6): it empower the government to make rules to achieve the object of the Act.

Under Sec (7): persons carrying on industry, operation etc. not to allow emission or discharge of environmental pollutants in excess of the standards.

Under Sec (8):  persons handling hazardous substances must comply with procedural safeguards.

Penalty under Environment Protection Act:

Whoever Person found to be the cause of pollution, may be liable for punishment for a term which may extend to five years or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees or both (Sec 15, 16, 17). If not comply fine of Rs.5000 per day extra, still if not comply for more than one year, then imprisonment may extend up to 7 years.

Section 17 specifies that Head of the department/ in-charge of small unit may be liable for punishment if the owner loccupier produce enough evidence of innocence. The state gov. have power to close or cancel or deny the authorization to run the factory/institution/hospital whichever is causing pollution.

Environmental laws

Following is a list of the environmental legislations that have come into effect:

General, Forest and wildlife, Water, Air etc. General 1986 The Environment (Protection) Act; 1986 – The Environment (Protection) Rules; 1989 – The objective of Hazardous Waste (Management and Handling) Rules; 1989 – The Manufacture, Storage, and Import of Hazardous Rules; 1991 – The Public Liability Insurance Act and Rules and Amendment, 1992. 1989 – The Manufacture, Use, Import, Export, and Storage of hazardous Micro-organisms/ Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells Rules;

Forest And Wildlife in Environment Protection Act

1927 – The Indian Forest Act and Amendment, 1984; 1972 – The Wildlife Protection Act, Rules 1973 and Amendment 1991; 1980 – The Forest (Conservation) Act and Rules, 1981.


1882 – The Easement Act; 1897 – The Indian Fisheries Act: 1956 – The River Boards Act ; 1970 – The Merchant Shipping Act : 1974 – The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act ; 1991 – The Coastal Regulation Zone Notification.


(Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules; 1982 – The Atomic Energy Act ; 1987 – The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Air 1948 – The Factories Act and Amendment in 1987 ; 1981 – The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act; 1982 The Amendment Act ; 1988 – The Motor Vehicles Act.

Other Laws Concerning Environment Safety

  • Water Prevention & Control of Pollution Act 1947
  • Air Prevention & Control of Pollution Act 1981 & Rules 1982
  • Water Prevention & Control of Pollution CESS Act 1977 & Rules 1978

Issues dealt:

  • Permissible water consumption for certain manufacturing processes
  • Pay cuss as per consumption
  • Declare monthly water consumption, effluent treated, quality of treated effluent.
  • Arrangement to treated effluent. Submit information regarding generation of air effluents like quantity character and control method.
  • Monitor and maintain permissible levels for three classes i.e. industrial area, residential area, sensitive area.

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