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Environment Ministry amends Hazardous and Other Wastes Rules 2016

The Union Environment Ministry has amended the Hazardous and Other Wastes Rules, 2016 in order to strengthen the implementation of environmentally sound management of hazardous waste in the country.

Mar 7, 2019 10:34 IST
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The Union Environment Ministry has amended the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 through a notification dated March 1, 2019 in order to strengthen the implementation of environmentally sound management of hazardous waste in the country.

The amendments have been introduced keeping in consideration the ease of doing business and boosting make in India initiative by simplifying the procedures under the Rules, while at the same time upholding the principles of sustainable development and ensuring minimal impact on the environment.

Key Amendments

Solid plastic waste has been prohibited from being imported into the country including in Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and by Export Oriented Units (EOU).

Exporters of silk waste have now been given exemption from requiring permission from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

Electrical and electronic assemblies and components manufactured in and exported from India if found defective can now be imported back into the country, within a year of export, without obtaining permission from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

The industries that do not require consent under Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981, will now be exempted from requiring authorisation also under the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016.

However, the exemption would only stand provided that hazardous and other wastes generated by such industries are handed over to the authorised actual users, waste collectors or disposal facilities.

Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016

  • The Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 were established on April 2, 2016 to ensure resource recovery and disposal of hazardous waste in an environmentally sound manner.
  • For the first time, the rules included the provision to distinguish between hazardous waste and other wastes. The other wastes that comprise waste tyre, paper waste, metal scrap and used electronic items were recognised as a resource for recycling and reuse.
  • Under the rules, the import of metal scrap, paper waste and various categories of electrical and electronic equipment for re-use purpose was exempted from the need of obtaining Environment Ministry’s permission.
  • Further, the basic necessity of infrastructure to safeguard the health and environment from waste processing industry was prescribed as Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) specific to waste type.
  • The rules also outlined the responsibilities of state governments for environmentally sound management of hazardous and other wastes.
  • Under the rules, the state governments are required to allot industrial space for recycling, pre-processing and other utilisation of hazardous or other waste as well as to register the workers involved in recycling, pre-processing and other utilisation activities.
  • Further, the rules prohibit the import of waste edible fats and oil of animals, or vegetable origin, household waste, critical care medical equipment, tyres for direct re-use purpose, solid plastic wastes including pet bottles, waste electrical and electronic assemblies scrap and other chemical wastes especially in solvent form.
  • The rules also directed the State Pollution Control Board to prepare an annual inventory of the waste generated, waste recycled, recovered, utilised including co-processed, waste re-exported and waste disposed of and submit the same to the Central Pollution Control Board by September 30 every year.
  • The rules further identified hazardous waste as any waste, which by reason of characteristics, such as physical, chemical, biological, reactive, toxic, flammable, explosive or corrosive, causes danger to health, or environment.
  • It mandated scientific disposal of hazardous waste through collection, storage, packaging, transportation and treatment, in an environmentally sound manner, minimizing the adverse impact on human health and environment.
  • Under the rules, the hazardous waste can be disposed at a captive treatment facility installed by the individual waste generators or at Common Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs).
  • There are 40 Common Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs) available in 17 states and union territories.

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