Regulator's Workshop on Power Sector - Compliance and Enforcement

November 24, 2016

Centre for Science & Environment, India Habitat Centre, Core 6A, 4th Floor, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110 003

Minutes of the meeting

A. The roundtable began with an overview of the of the new environment standards by Priyavrat Bhati, Programme Director, CSE.  The overview covered the rationale for new standards, the basis on which the new levels were arrived at and the environmental benefits from implementing the norms.  

  1. The presentation clarified that pollution control technology to achieve proposed standards is mature and widely available and will work for Indian coal characteristics. Moreover the costs are manageable.

  2. Survey of plants showed very little progress has been made.  While the timelines were initially achievable, now they are challenging for many plants. It was suggested that progress needs to be tracked closely to ensure compliance.

  3. Tariff applications need to be expedited to ensure cost recovery by plants and also to enable companies to raise financing.  CEA and CERC need to establish benchmark technology and costs; CSE will give inputs to CEA/CERC to expedite these guidance reports.

The overview was followed by a presentation by Mr. RP Sharma, CSE - “Technologies to meet new emission norms” - which gave various pollution control technologies for PM, SO2 and NOx control.

B. A round table discussion among the officials of various SPCBs discussed the reasons for delay in implementation and possible solutions. The discussions resulted in the following plan of action:

  1. State PCBs will ask coal-based power plants about the implementation status. CSE will circulate a template document for data collection, which was reviewed by the participating SPCB officials, to all the state PCB for ease of data collection.

  2. CSE will collect the data from the PCBs, collate the information and prepare a report that will be shared with PCBs. The report will help policy makers take proactive steps, if required and also to fine tune timelines on a plant-by-plant basis. 

  3. CSE will organize workshop (s) for SPCB officials to build capacity. This would encompass, at the minimum, various pollution control technologies to enable PCBs to guide/advise plants. Member Secretary of Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board offered to organize plant visit for regulators to view installation of pollution control technologies. Other pollution control boards – Maharashtra, Jharkhand, etc., also offered that they could help to organize workshops in their states.

  4. Based on the implementation report and inputs from SPCBs, CSE will attempt to compile action steps, penalties/incentives to enforce compliance. 

C. The round table was followed by discussions on continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS). Sanjeev. K. Kanchan, Programme Manager, CSE made a presentation on the status of CEMS implementation in India. The presentation covered the findings of CSE’s survey on CEMs installation and learning’s from regulators' exposure visit to Germany. Post presentation, the discussion highlighted the following points:

  1. Capacity building of regulators and industries is crucial for CEMS implementation. The SPCB representatives requested CSE to organise short training programmes in their states. It was agreed that CSE will discuss with the interested boards and will organise the training programmes on mutually agreed dates. The logistics of the training will be managed by the boards.

  2. The certification and laboratory accreditation system is a must for quality assurance and quality control of CEMS installations. The SPCB officials agreed that development of such systems must be initiated on urgent basis. 

  3. The participants shared that data manipulation has been noticed even with CEMS installations. Therefore data validation system needs to be adopted. CSE shared the example of Germany, how the CEMS data is assessed in conjugation with key operational data that automatically verifies the data quality. 

  4. The participants were informed that draft guidelines of CEMS have been put on CPCB website for public comment. The participants should provide the feedback on the same. The participants shared that if the new guidelines/documents/notices etc. are introduced by CPCB with prior involvement of SPCBs, it will be easy for them to implement those in their states. 

  5. CSE shared that it is developing a broader guidance manual with the help of European experts which will be used for capacity building of stakeholders.  

D. At the end, Nivit Kumar Yadav, Senior Programme Manager, CSE summarized the highlights of the decade old association of CSE with regulators starting from the publication “TURNAROUND: Reform Agenda for India's Environmental Regulators”. Followed by discussions with the below key action points, 

  1. The boards are interested in short term training programme (2-3 days) in their states. 

  2. They want to collaborate with CSE to do research and find solutions to manage the emerging environmental issues and challenges. 

  3. Himachal Pradesh Pollution Control Board will be signing an MoU with CSE on waste management training programme.

  4. There is lots of confusion with respect to new waste rule notified in 2016. Participants want short term training programmes either in their state or in Delhi on the five new waste rules.