Environment Ministry Notifies Stricter Standards for Coal Based Thermal Power Plants to Minimise Pollution
The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has notified the revised standards for coal-based Thermal Power Plants in the country, with the primary aim of minimising pollution. These standards are proposed to be implemented in a phased manner. Thermal power plants are categorised into 3 categories, namely those:- (i) Installed before 31st December, 2003 (ii) Installed after 2003 upto 31st December, 2016 and (iii) Installed after 31st December, 2016.
The new standards are aimed at reducing emission of PM10(0.98 kg/MWh), sulphur dioxide(7.3 Kg/MWh) and Oxide of nitrogen (4.8 kg/MWh), which will in turn help in bringing about an improvement in the Ambient Air Quality (AAQ) in and around thermal power plants. The technology employed for the control of the proposed limit of Sulfur Dioxide – SO2 & Nitrogen Oxide – NOx will also help in control of mercury emission (at about 70-90%) as a co-benefit. Limiting the use of water in thermal power plant will lead to water conservation (about 1.5 M3/MWh) as thermal power plant is a water-intensive industry. This will also lead to a reduction in energy requirement for drawl of water.
The standards have been made stringent for recent plants, compared to earlier ones and most stringent for those plants to be set up in future. These standards are based on the recommendation of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) after consultations with stakeholders. The Ministry had extensive consultations with stakeholders and also placed these standards on its website for seeking views/comments from the general public. After detailed discussions in the Expert Committee in the Ministry, these standards were notified in the Gazette of India on 7th December 2015.