SC for fresh probe by Central Pollution Control Board in PPL
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Last Updated: Friday, October 30, 2009, 19:09
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has asked the Central Pollution Control Board to make a fresh inspection of Paradeep Phosphates Ltd in Orissa which has allegedly violated environment laws.

While the apex court had earlier turned down the Orissa government's plea seeking closure of its unit, it had asked the company to follow environment laws and stringently treat effluents before releasing them.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan asked the Central Pollution Control Board to make a "fresh inspection" of Paradeep Phosphates Ltd (PPL) and file its report within eight weeks.

"In view of the latest position, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is directed to make a fresh inspection of the company... The State Pollution Control Board will be at liberty to cooperate with CPCB," the Bench ordered.

Fresh inspection was ordered after the Orissa State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) alleged PPL had not fully complied with the directions of the apex court and was still discharging pollution.

Earlier, CPCB had seconded the state government's recommendation for closure of the PPL factory in the state for violating environmental laws. It had pointed fingers at the way effluents were being treated by the company at its Paradeep plant in Orissa.

However, Paradeep Phosphates had refuted the charge and said steps had been taken to reduce pollution and the effluent treatment plant was commissioned and the reuse of processed effluent water had started in 2004.

The company had said it was trying to initiate measures suggested by CPCB to check release of effluents in the nature.

OSPCB had issued closure notice to the company after the firm was allegedly found to be operating without authorisation and was releasing hazardous pollutants.

The state pollution control board had alleged the firm had grossly inadequate hazardous waste management practices in place, a charge refuted by the company.

"The hazardous wastes being discharged to water bodies caused large-scale damage to marine life and underground water and even directing the unit to operate for a day would not be in public interest and would be harmful for the people residing in the area," the state board had argued.

PPL said the inspection report was wrong and the board had failed to follow proper procedures while collecting samples and during inspection.

Earlier, CPCB, in its report, had said though the effluent treatment plant has been in operation, there are still concentrations of nitrogenous compounds exceeding the stipulated norms.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, October 30, 2009, 19:09

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