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Questions in Parliament on Pollution due to incinerators & mercury

Written By Krishna on Thursday, May 24, 2012 | 1:59 AM

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS
RAJYA SABHA

ANSWERED ON 15.05.2012

Harmful effects of mercury emission

420 8PROF. SAIF-UD-DIN SOZ

Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS be pleased to state :-

(a) whether emissions of mercury is harmful to human life;
(b) the level of mercury emissions in the country;
(c) whether any reports of harmful effects of mercury are available with the Ministry; and
(d) the steps taken by the Ministry by way of remedial action?

Answer: MINISTER OF STATE (INDEPENDENT CHARGE) FOR ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS (SHRIMATI JAYANTHI NATARAJAN)

(a) to (d) Mercury could be harmful to human health depending on its chemical form, dose, duration and route of exposure. Mercury is not included in the notified ambient air quality standards which are monitored. Caustic soda manufacturing industries had been directed to switch over from mercury cell to membrane cell technology. Ministry of Environment and Forests had constituted a Task Force to evolve a policy on “Environmentally Sound Management of mercury in Fluorescent Lamps”.

A Technical Committee, constituted by this Task Force, had prepared “Guidelines for Environmentally Sound Mercury Management in Fluorescent Lamps Sector”. These guidelines prescribe the best practices at various levels, such as at manufacturer’s level and include aspects relate to mercury consumption, process technology, raw mercury distillation, on-site storage, treatment, recycling and disposal of mercury bearing wastes, mercury spill management.

The best practices at consumer’s level include handling of used/broken lamps, consumer awareness pertaining to collection, transport, treatment and disposal of used fluorescent lamps. Ministry of Environment and Forests and Central Pollution Control Board have written to all the State Governments and Union Territories to encourage establishment of recycling units so that the fused Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and Fluorescent Tube lights (FTLs) are properly collected and the mercury is recovered and recycled scientifically and safely.

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS
RAJYA SABHA

ANSWERED ON 15.05.2012

Pollution due to incinerators in the country

4218 SHRI RAJIV PRATAP RUDY

Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS be pleased to state-

(A)whether there exists any pollution control measures for incinerators operating in the country;
(b) the details of the types and numbers of incinerators working in the country, State-wise;
(c) whether there have been cases of hazardous pollution due to these incinerators during the last three years;
(d) the details of the action taken by the Ministry to ensure that such incinerators do not pose a threat to adjoining residential areas; and
(e) the details of the number of incinerators that will be set up?

ANSWER: MINISTER OF STATE (INDEPENDENT CHARGE) FOR ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS (SHRIMATI JAYANTHI NATARAJAN)

(a)&(b) : A number of incinerators are installed at common facilities for disposal of hazardous waste, bio-medical waste and municipal solid waste. Besides, such incinerators are also installed in health care facilities and at individual industries. Air pollution control device (APCD) is required to be provided with the individual incinerator.

There exist 177 incinerators for common bio-medical waste treatment facilities (CBMWTF), 692 incinerators at health care facilities (IHCF), 22 common hazardous waste incinerators and 127 captive hazardous waste incinerators. Out of these 1018 incinerators, 273 incinerators are operating without APCDs, as reported by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

(c)&(d) : Environmental standards have been notified for various categories of incinerators. Concerned State Pollution Control Board and CPCB seek compliance of the notified norms, as applicable. 29 non-compliant CBMWTF, five non-compliant IHCF and two industry specific captive incinerators have been directed under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 by the CPCB. In case of one captive incinerator in Gujarat, Gujarat State Pollution Control Board has been directed under the Air Act, 1981 by CPCB for ensuring compliance of environmental norms.

(e):Data on the number of incinerators likely to be set up is not available in the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
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