Environment (Protection) Act, 1986:
On July 1, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, put out a note, proposing amendments in the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
- The EPA establishes the “framework for studying, planning, and implementing long-term requirements of environmental safety and laying down a system of speedy and adequate response to situations threatening the environment.”
- With a set of amendments, the Environment Ministry proposes to modify provisions of the Environment Protection Act (EPA), by replacing clauses that provides for imprisonment with ones that only requires violators to pay a fine.
- These, however, don’t apply to violations that cause grave injury or loss of life.
- The changes proposed include the appointment of an ‘adjudication officer’ who will decide on the penalty in cases of environmental violations such as reports not being submitted or information not provided when demanded.
- Funds collected as penalties would be accrued in an “Environmental Protection Fund.”
- In case of contraventions of the Act, the penalties could extend to anywhere from five lakh to five crore, the proposal notes, but the clause on provision of a jail term for the first default has been sought to be removed.