for Installation of Emission-Control Technologies
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) revised the environmental standards for coal-based thermal power stations in 2015. The deadline to comply with the standards expired in 2017; no progress was however made by the industry. The Ministry of Power (MoP) and Central Electricity Authority (CEA) prepared a phasing plan for implementation of emission control technologies. The plan however was heavily back loaded with about 70 per cent capacity achieving compliance only in 2021-22. The MoP claimed that the revised deadline was determined by assessing the time required to install pollution control equipment.
Early this year, the Supreme Court of India took notice of non-compliance of coal-fired thermal power plants with the 2015 environmental norms. Power plants within 300 km of the Delhi-NCR region were identified as a key source of air pollution. The Supreme Court noted the deliberate pushback from the industry on the issue of compliance with the norms, and directed the MoP and MoEF&CC to submit action plans to implement the standards. In December 2017, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) sent Section 5 directions to all coal-based power plants, allotting timelines for compliance as per the CEA’s phasing plan. CPCB’s notices, however, accelerated the timeline for compliance till December 2019 for plants based within a radius of 300km of Delhi-NCR.