- The Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) has granted the Terms of Reference (ToR) to Vedanta Ltd’s Cairn Oil & Gas, to carry out Environment Impact Assessment (EIA). It is to be carried out for drilling a total of 274 offshore and onshore oil and gas exploration wells in the Bay of Bengal, Nagapattinam, Karaikal, Villupuram and Puducherry.
- 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.
- Environment Impact Assessment Notification of 2006 categorised projects into two categories: Category A and Category B based on potential impacts over an area and on human health and natural and man-made resources.
- The Ministry of Petroleum had granted Vedanta Ltd. licences of hydrocarbon exploration and production for two blocks in 2017. The policy which deals with the award of hydrocarbon acreages towards exploration and production is called Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP).
- HELP has brought all hydrocarbons such as oil, gas, coal bed methane etc. under a single licensing framework. It introduced Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP). Under OALP, exploration companies can select their operation blocks without waiting for the formal bid round from the Government.
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