How to get Pollution License/Certificate for business in India

Posted by legalitysimplified on March 11th, 2020

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If you are planning on starting any business which could potentially generate pollutants such as chemical waste, detergent washing, fly ashes, smoke emissions (including cooking smoke), medical waste to name a few – also referred to as trade effluents, then you will need to make an application to the respective State Pollution Control Board and obtain a pollution license/Certificate or a consent to establish your business.

This consent to establish (let’s call it CTE) will have to be obtained prior to commencement of construction or any similar activities to start the business.

Once the construction/ set up phase is complete, then you will have to apply and obtain a consent to operate (abbreviated as CTO). This CTO will usually be valid for a period of 5 years, which may vary State to State.

What Industries typically requires Pollution Consent?

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has developed the criteria of categorization of industrial sectors based on the Pollution Index which is a function of the emissions (air pollutants), effluents (water pollutants), hazardous wastes generated and consumption of resources.

See the list of industries that the Central Pollution Control Board has specified, as requiring a pollution license in the red, orange, green and white category.

As the name suggests, the Red category industry has the highest pollution index, such as big manufacturing industries, large hotels, hospitals, etc. The orange category is a relatively medium-sized enterprise, which still generates comparatively high levels of pollutants. Whereas the Green category is the set of the industry with low pollution Index. And finally the white category, which is practically non-polluting.

Exempted Industries from Obtaining the Pollution Consent

Industries falling under the white category which is practically non-polluting does not need a pollution license/ or CTO. A simple intimation to concerned pollution control board about intention to set up such an industry/ business will suffice.

These White Category of industries has to however satisfy these condition to be eligible for this pollution license exemption:- 

  1. The industry is established/being established in the demarcated Industrial Estates/Zones classified by the State Authorities viz PSIEC, Department of Industries, PUDA, CTP under draft Master Plan or in mixed category area or predominantly Industrial areas within Municipal limit of a Town/City after classification of the area by CTP/STP/DTP. 
  2. The investment in the industry is not more than Rs. 1 Crore on plant and machinery. 
  3. There will not be any discharge of trade effluent from the industry into stream or well or sewer or onto land and/or that industry will not discharge any air pollution including noise into the atmosphere. 
  4. The industry will not discharge any toxic/hazardous wastes and will not handle any toxic/hazardous chemicals.

Documents Required for obtaining CTE (Consent to Establish) :

Every application for CTE shall be made in Form II in the case of any industry. This process has been moved online. You can refer to any state’s pollution control Board website. Here is an example of the State of Tamil Nadu.

Consent fee shall be paid Along with the application, depends on the category of the Industries with the following documents.

  1. Copy of attested Sale Deed /Lease Deed or any other relevant documents as proof to ensure possession of the site/factory for which application is made by the applicant. 
  2. Copy of attested Memorandum of Articles in case of Public/Private sectors or registered partnership deed in case of the partnership company
  3. Layout plan showing the location of various process equipments, utilities like boiler, generator etc, effluent treatment plant, outlet location, non-hazardous and hazardous waste storage yard. 
  4. Topo sketch showing the distance of water bodies, roads, existing/proposed residential areas, agricultural lands, important religious locations, educational institutions, ancient monuments, archeological places and other sensitive areas for 1 KM. radius from the units. 
  5. The detailed manufacturing process for each product along with a detailed process flow chart.
  6. Details of Water Balance and wastewater balance for the process. 
  7. Details of Material balance for each product and process. 
  8. Land use classification certificate as obtained from CMDA/ DTCP/LPA. 
  9. Auditor’s Certificate with break up details for the proposed Gross fixed Assets duly certified by a Chartered Accountant in the prescribed format. 
  10. Consent fee under Water and Air Acts payable to the Board. 
  11. Groundwater clearance obtained from the competent Authority(If applicable). 
  12. Sewage Treatment Plant(STP) proposal which must contain details of design characteristics of sewage, treatment methodology, mode of disposal, design criteria for various units, detailed drawing of STP and its layout, a diagram showing the hydraulic profile and mode of disposal of treated sewage and its adequacy(If applicable). 
  13. Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) proposal which must contain details including breakup quantity of water requirement with sources, breakup quantity of trade effluent, sources of trade effluent, characteristics of wastewater, treatment methodology, mode of disposal, design criteria for various units, detailed drawing of ETP and its layout, diagram showing the hydraulic profile and mode of disposal of treated effluent and its adequacy (If applicable). 
  14. Air pollution control (APC) measures proposal which must contain the details regarding fuels used, sources of emission, characteristics, concentration and quality of pollutant, proposal along with design criteria and drawing for the proposed APC measures, adequacy of APC measures and stack, odour/noise-causing operations and its specific odour/noise control measures(If applicable). 
  15. In the case of hazardous chemicals used as raw materials, the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) should be enclosed for each and every item. If the quantity of the hazardous chemicals handled is more than the threshold limit, the unit shall furnish any one or combination of the following documents as required under the MSIHC Rules (If applicable).: Risk assessment report/Onsite emergency preparedness plan/Off-site emergency preparedness plan. 
  16. In the case of transport of hazardous chemicals, details of chemicals transported, method of transport and its safety measures (If applicable). 
  17. Industries attracting EIA Notification shall submit Environmental Clearance obtained from the MOEF/SEIAA along with the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (If applicable). 
  18. CRZ clearance obtained from the competent Authority (If applicable).

What if you don’t obtain this Consent to Establish

Whoever contravenes the provisions of section 25 or section 26 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year and six months but which may extend to six years and with fine.

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