Businesses providing jobs should not be closed for lack of prior environmental impact assessment: SC


The court said subsequent environmental remediation was not prohibited by law

That’s what the court said retroactively Environmental remediation is not prohibited by law

The Supreme Court has ruled that a facility that contributes to the country’s economy and provides a livelihood cannot be closed due to a “technical irregularity” in the absence of prior environmental clearance, regardless of whether the unit actually causes pollution or not .

Friday’s ruling by a chamber led by Judge Indira Banerjee came in an appeal filed by a plastic manufacturing unit in Haryana.

The National Green Tribunal had ordered the unit closed due to lack of prior environmental clearance. However, the Supreme Court found that the entity employs over 8,000 people. She had applied to the statutory authorities for approval of the foundation and operation. In addition, the entity had already applied for an environmental impact assessment “ex post facto”.

The court found that other branches of the same entity were “completely environmentally friendly entities with no commercial initiation”. The court called the lack of a “prior” environmental clearance a mere “procedural error.”

“The court cannot disregard the economy or the need to protect the livelihoods of hundreds of employees and others employed in the project and others dependent on the project when such projects meet environmental standards,” said Judge Banerjee, who read the ruling wrote. observed.

That’s what the court said retroactively Environmental remediation is not prohibited by law.

“Subsequent environmental approvals should not normally be granted, and certainly not on request. At the same time, subsequent releases and/or approvals and/or the elimination of technical irregularities cannot be refused with pedantic rigidity without considering the consequences of the cessation of operation of a steel mill in progress,” the judgment reads.

The court added that the “deviant industry” could be penalized under the polluter pays principle and recover the cost of restoring the environment from it.

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