New environment impact norm cuts time for public hearing

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News: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has released draft EIA notification.

Facts:

  • It proposes an update to Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification of 2006
  • The current EIA specifies a “minimum of 30 days” for people to respond. The draft EIA notification gives a “minimum of 20 days” of notice period.
  •  It also requires that the public-hearing process be wrapped up in 40 days, as opposed to the existing norm of 45 days.

Additional Information:

  • EIA is a process which studies all aspects of the environment and seeks to anticipate the impact (positive and/or negative) of a proposed project or development on the environment. 
  • EIA is mandatory under the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986 for 29 categories of developmental activities involving investments of Rs. 50 crores and above.
  • Objectives:
    • to identify, predict and evaluate the economic, environmental and social impact of development activities 
    • to provide information on the environmental consequences for decision making and 
    • to promote environmentally sound and sustainable development through the identification of appropriate alternatives and mitigation measures.