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Relaxation of norms in the EIA possible for project expansion

October 2019

With respect to the environment impact assessment (EIA), the Environment Ministry is dabbling with the prospect of relaxing various green norms which is set to benefit the mining and infrastructure sectors. The EIA is carried out prior to giving development projects the final approval.

As reported, a major exemption from the EIA includes the expansion of development projects with a production capacity increase of up to 25 per cent as stated in the draft of the Environment Impact Assessment Notification 2019.

Among other relaxations, projects with a proposed capacity expansion up to 40 per cent have also been exempted from the requirement of public consultations, although there are some provisions. According to the EIA Notification 2006, which will be replaced by the new draft upon approval, it was a prerequisite for expansion of projects to seek environmental clearances and public consultations.

Reportedly, numerous relaxations have already been introduced in the EIA Notification 2006 by the Environment Ministry by means of several notifications, orders and memorandums. The draft of the EIA Notification 2019 is simply stated to be an avenue to put together all the changes made.