UPSC Ecology And Environment Environment Notes - Environment Management

Notes - Environment Management

Category : UPSC


Environment Management



Environmental management system (EMS) refers to the management of an organization's environmental, programs in a comprehensive, systematic, planned and documented manner. It includes the organizational structure, planning and resources for developing, implementing and maintaining policy for environmental protection.

More formally, EMS is "a system and database which integrates procedures and processes for training of personnel, monitoring, summarizing, and reporting of specialized environmental performance information to internal and external stakeholders of a firm.


Environment Management System

The most widely used standard on which an EMS is based

International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001. Alternatives include the EMAS.

An environmental management information system (EMIS) is an information technology solution for tracking environmental data for a company as part of their overall environmental management system.

An EMS can also be classified as

  • a system which monitors, tracks and reports emissions information, particularly with respect to the oil and gas industry. EMSs are becoming web-based in response to the EPA's mandated greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting rule, which allows for reporting GHG emissions information via the internet.
  • a centrally controlled and often automated network of devices now frequently wireless used to control the internal environment of a building. Such a system namely acts as an interface between end user and energy (gas/electricity) consumption.


Brief history of environmental management systems

In 1992, BSI Group published the world's first environmental management systems standard, BS 7750. Prior to this, environmental management had been part of larger systems such as Responsible Care. BS 7750 supplied the template for the development of the ISO 14000 series in 1996, by the International Organization for Standardization, which has representation from committees all over the world (ISO) (Clements 1996, Brorson & Larsson, 1999). As of 2010, ISO 14001 is now used by at least 223149 organizations in 159 countries and economies.


BSI Group

BSI Group, also known as the British Standards Institution (BSI), is the national standards body of the United Kingdom. BSI produces technical standards on a wide range of products and services, and also supplies certification and standards-related services to businesses.

BSI Group headquarters building in Gunnersbury, West London, featuring the BSI Group logo.

BSI Group was founded as the Engineering Standards Committee in London in 1901. It subsequently extended its standardization work and became the British Engineering Standards Association (BESI) in 1918, adopting the name British Standards Institution in 1931 after receiving a Royal Charter in 1929. In 1998 a revision of the Charter enabled the organization to diversify and acquire other businesses, and the trading name was changed to BSI Group.

The Group now operates in 182 countries. The core business remains standards and standards related services, although the majority of the Group's revenue comes from management systems assessment and certification work.


ISO 14000 Standard

ISO 14000 is a family of standards related to environmental management that exists to help organizations:

(a) minimize how their operations (processes, etc) negatively affect the environment (i.e. cause adverse changes to air, water, or land)

(b) comply with applicable laws, regulations, and other environmentally oriented requirements and (c) continually improve in the above.

The current version of ISO 14001 is ISO 14001:2015 which was published in September 2015.

ISO 14000 is similar to ISO 9000 quality management in that both pertain to the process of how a product is produced, rather than to the product itself. As with ISO 9001, certification is performed by third-party organizations rather than being awarded by ISO directly. The ISO 19011 and ISO 17021 audit standards apply when audits are being performed.

The ISO 14000 family includes most notably the ISO 14001 standard, which represents the core set of standards used by organizations for designing and implementing an effective Environmental Management System (EMS). Other standards included in this series are ISO 14004, which gives additional guidelines for a good EMS, and more specialized standards dealing with specific aspects of environmental management. The major objective of the ISO 14000 series of norms is "to promote more effective and efficient environmental management in organizations and to provide useful and usable tools that are cost-effective, system-based, and flexible, and reflect the best organizations and the best organizational practices available for gathering, interpreting, and communicating environmentally relevant information".

ISO 14000 series is based on a voluntary approach to environmental regulation. The series includes the ISO 14001 standard, which provides guidelines for the establishment or improvement of an EMS. The standard shares many common traits with its predecessor, ISO 9000, the international standard of quality management, which served as a model for its internal structure (National Academy Press 1999), and both can be implemented side by side. As with ISO 9000, ISO 14000 acts both as an internal management tool and as a way of demonstrating a company's environmental commitment to its customers and clients.


ISO 14001 standard

ISO 14001 sets out the criteria for an Environmental Management System (EMS). It does not state requirements for environmental performance, but maps out a framework that a company or organization can follow to set up an effective EMS. It can be used by any organization that wants to improve resource efficiency, reduce waste, and drive down costs. Using ISO 14001 can provide assurance to company management and employees as well as external stakeholders that environmental impact is being measured and improved. ISO 14001 can also be integrated with other management functions and assists companies in meeting their environmental and economic goals. ISO 14001, as with other ISO 14000 standards, is voluntary, with its main aim to assist companies in continually improving their environmental performance, while complying with any applicable legislation. Organizations are responsible for setting their own targets and performance measures, with the standard serving to assist them in meeting objectives and goals and in the subsequent monitoring and measurement of these.

The requirements of ISO 14001 are an integral part of the European Union's Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS).


Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS)

The Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is a voluntary environmental management instrument, which was developed in 1993 by the European Commission. It enables organizations to assess, manage and continuously improve their environmental performance. The scheme is globally applicable and open to all types of private and public organizations. In order to register with EMAS, organisations must meet the requirements of the EU-EMAS-Regulation. Currently, more than 4,600 organisations and more than 7,900 sites are EMAS registered.


Goals of EMS

The goals of EMS are to increase compliance and reduce waste.

  • Compliance is the act of reaching and maintaining minimal legal standards. By not being compliant, companies may face fines, government intervention or may not be able to operate.
  • Waste reduction goes beyond compliance to reduce environmental impact. The EMS helps to develop, implement, manage, coordinate and monitor environmental policies. Waste reduction begins at the design phase through pollution prevention and waste minimization. At the end of the life cycle, waste is reduced by recycling.
  • To meet these goals, the selection of environmental management systems is typically subject to a certain set of criteria: a proven capability to handle high frequency data, high performance indicators, transparent handling and processing of data, powerful calculation engine, customised factor handling, multiple integration capabilities, automation of workflows and QA processes and in-depth, flexible reporting.


Features of EMS

An environmental management system:

  • Serves as a tool, or process, to improve environmental performance and information mainly "design, pollution control and waste minimization, training, reporting to tom management, and the setting of goals."
  • Provides a systematic way of managing an organization’s environmental affairs.
  • Is the aspect of the organization's overall management structure that addresses immediate and long-term iron of its products, services and processes on the environment. EMS assists with planning, controlling and monitoring policies in an organization.
  • Gives order and consistency for organizations to address environmental concerns through the allocation of resources, assignment of responsibility and ongoing evaluation of practices, procedures and processes.
  • Creates environmental buy-in from management and employees and assigns accountability and responsibility.
  • Sets framework for training to achieve objectives and desired performance.
  • Helps understand legislative requirements to better determine a product or service's impact, significance, priorities and objectives.
  • Focuses on continual improvement of the system and a way to implement policies and objectives to meet a desired result. This also helps with reviewing and auditing the EMS to find future opportunities.
  • Encourages contractors and suppliers to establish their own EMS.


The PDCA Cycle


An EMS follows a Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA), Cycle. The diagram shows the process of first developing an environmental policy, planning the EMS, and then implementing it. The process also includes checking the system and acting on it. The model is continuous because an EMS is a process of continual improvement in which an organization is constantly reviewing and revising the system.

This is a model that can be used by a wide range of organizations from manufacturing facilities to service industries to government agencies.




Example Of EMS: A Case Study

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Environment Management in India

Need of Environment Management in India

Environment Management systems are needed in India because:

  1. India is the world's fourth largest (6.4%) and second fastest growing producer of greenhouse gases.
  2. Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai are three of the world's ten most polluted cities.
  3. Two-thirds of city dwellers lack sewerage; one-third lack portable, clean water.
  4. India's urban population grows equivalent to another New York City every year.


Trends in Environment in India

Impact Assessment and Planning (IAP)

Assessing environmental and social impacts prior to setting up operations and obtaining environmental approval from the authorities is almost mandatory in most project categories. IAP assessment may be required for not only newly constructed facilities, but also for operations that will be undertaken in a current building.


Environment Liability and Clean-up

Foreign invested has resulted in more current and historic environmental liabilities associated with property transactions in India.


Sustainability and Regulatory Compliance

The increasing desire of Indian companies to meet world-class standards has led to establishing companies in India to take on sustainability initiatives.


Climate Change

While India still lags the West in coming up with efficient regulation based on the development versus environment database, there is an increasing awareness in India that climate change need to be checked to control its effect on the environment.





Objectives of Environment Management in India

Conservation of Critical Environment Resources

Environment management becomes essential to conserve critical ecosystems and resources, and invaluable natural and made-made heritage, which are essential for life support, livelihoods, economic growth and human well-being.

Intra-generation Equity

To ensure equitable access to environmental resources and quality for all sections of society, and in particular, to support poor communities.

Environmental Governance

To apply the principles of good governance with respect to transparency, rationality, accountability, and reduction in time and costs, to the management and regulation of use of environmental resources.


Water Resource Management


The stage of ground water development in India is 61%. The development of ground water in different areas has not been uniform. Intensive development of ground water in certain areas in the country has led to over-exploitation leading to decline in the level of ground water and sea water intrusion in coastal areas. Out of 5842 numbers of assessment administrative units, 802 units are 'over-exploited', 169 units are 'critical', 523 units are 'semi-critical', 4277 units are 'safe' and 71 units are 'saline'. Government of India, through the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, has taken significant steps to manage groundwater through the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP).

  • NRDWP provides grants for construction of rural water supply schemes with special attention on water-stressed and water quality affected areas, rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge measures. It promotes conjunctive use of surface, groundwater and rooftop rainwater harvesting and actively supports convergence with other development programmes such as the MNREGS and Watershed Development Programmes. Support activities include setting up of State Water and Sanitation Missions and Water and Sanitation Support Organisations at State level, and community involvement in water quality monitoring.
  • Andhra Pradesh Farmer Managed Groundwater Systems (APFAMGS) project's primary focus is behavioral change leading to voluntary self-regulation. In seven drought prone districts of Andhra Pradesh, thousands of farmers have voluntarily taken a number of steps to reduce groundwater pumping, for tiding over the problem of groundwater depletion. The "main aim of the project include capacity building of the farmers in the catchment Hydrological Units (HUs) on water budgeting and collective decision making. Farmers have the rainwater gauge to measure the rainfall in their areas and also use long rope scale to measure the depth of groundwater in observation wells. This helps them in making efficient decision for using groundwater.
  • National Water Mission and the National Drinking Water and Sanitation Council prepare a convergent approach with the Ministries of Water Resources, Agriculture. Environment and Forests, Power, Industry and others. The Central Ground Water Authority is requested to regulate drilling of non-drinking water supply wells in over-exploited blocks. The Water Quality Assessment Authority, Central Pollution Control Board and the National River Conservation Directorate identify and take steps for suitable prevention and regulation of pollution of drinking water sources.
  • Drip and sprinkler irrigation systems in water stressed areas are useful in conserving groundwater. Irrigation sprinklers are sprinklers used for irrigating agriculture, crops, vegetation, or for recreation, as a cooling system, or for the control of airborne dust, landscaping and golf courses. The sprinkler system irrigates the field and thus it is widely used in sandy areas as it checks the wastage of water through seepage and evaporation.
  • Best groundwater management process include monitoring of ground water levels and rainfall, monitoring and regulating over-abstraction of ground water in over-exploited regions water efficient agricultural practices, recycling and reuse of wastewater, water treatment by industry, and environmental water protection from industrial effluents, fertilizers, pesticides and untreated sewage. Stress need to be laid on the roles of Irrigation and Agriculture Departments in increasing efficiency of water use in agriculture.
  • Rooftop Rain Water Harvesting is the technique through which rain water is captured from the roof catchments and stored in reservoirs. Harvested rain water can be stored in sub-surface ground water reservoir by adopting artificial recharge techniques to meet the household needs through storage in tanks. The Main Objective of rooftop rain water harvesting is to make water available for future use. Capturing and storing rain water for use is particularly important in dry land, hilly, urban and coastal areas.
  • Hariyali is a watershed management project, launched by the Central Government, which aims at enabling the rural population to conserve water for drinking, irrigation fisheries and afforestation as well as generate employment opportunities.


Water Quality Management


  • Scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) have developed Amrit, a low-cost arsenic filter using nano-filtration technology. This technology can be used for removing arsenic from drinking water.
  • Corporate Water Stewardship focuses on to use of water that is socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial, achieved through a stakeholder-inclusive process that involves site and catchment-based actions. Good water stewards understand their own water use, catchment context and shared risk in terms of water governance, water balance, water quality and important water-related areas.
  • ECO-India, a three-year project, is co-funded by the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and the Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST). It is focused on developing innovative and sustainable approaches for producing potable water at a community level. The first rural community deployment is set for West Bengal, India. The FP7 consortium will develop energy efficient systems for advanced filtration and disinfection of drinking water supplies from surface-water ponds and groundwater tube wells with arsenic contamination, using Dry den Aqua and Trust water technology. In addition, UFZ will lead the development of field-deployable arsenic sensors for screening tube-wells.
  • Inland water quality-monitoring network is operated under a three-tier programme, Global Environment Monitoring System (GEMS), Monitoring of Indian National Aquatic Resources System (MINARS) and Yamuna Action Plan (YAP). Water samples are being analysed for 28 parameters consisting of 9 core parameters, 19 other physico-chemical and bacteriological parameters apart from the field observations. Bio-monitoring is also carried out on specific locations. In view of limited resources, limited numbers of organic pollution related parameters are monitored for micro pollutants (toxic metals and POPs).


Recycling Waste Water

Recycling the world's waste water, almost all of which goes untreated would ease global water shortages while protecting the environment. People have been using fresh water faster than nature can replace it, contributing in some regions to hunger, disease, conflict and migration. Two-thirds of humanity currently live in zones that experience water scarcity at least one month a year. Half of those people are in China and India. Besides reducing pollution at the source, policy initiatives must focus on removing contaminants from waste water flows, reusing water, and recovering useful by-products. The potential for reusing liquid waste can be understood by the fact that astronauts on the International Space Station drink recycled urine and use it wash up. In Jordan and Israel, 90% and 50% of agricultural water, respectively, has been recovered for reuse. Besides being recycled, waste water can also be a rich source nutrients, minerals and energy. Harvesting phosphorus from urine supplied by urine-diverting toilets reduces waste water's nutrient load. More than a fifth of global phosphorus demand worldwide could be met by recycled human urine and feces. Waste can also be converted into fuel.


Creating a More Resilient Environment to Climate Change

There is a need to create more resilient environment to adapt to climate change. A coalition of nations, river basin organizations, business and civil society can be made for more resilient to climate impacts. This concept was seen with the creation of the international Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation to make water systems more resilient to climate impacts. The "Water Resilience Focus" event under the Lima to Paris Action Agenda on climate change also focused on other key partnerships and coalitions to make river basins, lakes, aquifers and deltas more resilient to climate change and reduce human interference with oceans.

Climate changes, along with unsustainable use of water, are causing widespread impacts on societies and economies, creating droughts, floods and warming which affect all water systems and trigger negative and often fatal impacts. This concept highlights individual commitments to implement adaptation plans, strengthening water monitoring and measurement systems in river basins and promoting financial sustainability and new investment in water systems management.


The Delta Coalition includes 12 countries (Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Japan, South-Korea, Mozambique, Myanmar, Netherlands, Philippines, Vietnam, France and Bangladesh) to bring deltas to global policy discussions, build partnerships and focus on action, aiming to increase resilience for almost 250 million people in deltas in these 12 countries.



Managing River Ganga

Ganga is an important Indian river which sustains a large pool of aquatic life. The degrading condition of Ganga is a major concern and needs an immediate action plan to save it from further ecological damage. Several steps have been taken by the government to ensure healthy environment of Ganga.

The National Green Tribunal has banned camping activity in the entire belt of Kaudiyala to Rishikesh on the banks of river Ganga in Uttarakhand. Rafting does not cause any serious pollution river or environment. NGT prohibits the use of any plastic items in the entire belt and restricts using mechanized riverbed mining in the Ganga till Haridwar.

Ganga project activities include ghat and crematoria construction/ repair, river front beautification, installation and repair of sewage treatment plants (STPs). Ganga pollution can be controlled by treating the effluents coming from tanneries, sugar mills, distilleries and other industrial units in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur.


Introducing Water Management Topics in Curriculum

Rajasthan River Basin and Water Resources Planning Authority has incorporated geo-tagging and advanced scientific techniques for water conservation works and aims to include water conservation lesson in school syllabus. New generation need to learn and understand importance of water conservation right from the beginning. The curriculum should be designed in such a way that it imparts a detail information on the importance of water conservation along with the methods and technology to be used for water conservation.


Pollution Control

Industrial pollution control

  1. Pollution charge

Charge system will levy a fee or tax on the amount of pollution a firm or source generates. It is important for the firm to reduce emissions to the point, where its marginal abatement cost is equal to the tax rate. The charge system encourages the industries to reduce the pollutants further. The charges thus collected can form a fund for restoration of the environment. Another form of pollution charge is a deposit refund system, where consumers pay a surcharge when purchasing a potentially polluting product, and receive a refund on return of the product after useful life span at appropriate centers. The concept of extended producers' responsibility brought in to avoid accumulation of dangerous products in the environment.


  1. Tradable permits

Under this system, firms that achieve the emission levels below their allotted level may sell the surplus permits. The firms which are required to spend more to attain the required degree of treatment/allotted levels, can purchase permits from others at lower costs and may be benefited.


  1. Government subsidy reduction

Subsidies can provide incentive to address environmental problems. However, it has been reported that the subsidies encourage economically inefficient and environmentally unsound practices, and often leads to market distortions due to differences in the area. However, in the national interest, subsidies are important to sustain the expansion of production. In such cases, the subsidy may be comparable to the net social benefit.


  1. Eco-labeling

Eco-labeling is the practice of supplying information on the environmental characteristics of a product or service to the general public. These labeling schemes can be grouped into three types.


  1. Wastewater treatment

Segregation at source of pollutant generation is important. Preliminary treatment involves a number of unit processes to eliminate undesirable characteristics of wastewater. Processes include use of screen, grit chambers for removal of sand and large particles for grinding of coarse solids, pre-aeration for odour control and removal of oil.




  1. Emission Control

The revised emission standards for thermal power plants were notified with respect to Paniculate Matter (PM), Sulphur Dioxide\[(S{{O}_{2}})\], Nitrogen Oxide\[(N{{O}_{x}})\], Mercury (Hg) and water consumption on December 7, 2015, and shall come into force from December 6, 2017. The government had taken other steps to clean up the environment in areas adjoining thermal power plants. It included installation of continuous emission/effluent monitoring systems (CEMS), revised norms for fly ash utilisation, industry specific action plans for critically polluted areas where significant number of thermal power plants are located and development of green belt in surrounding areas.


  1. Effluent Treatment Plants

Recently, the Supreme Court of India has ordered industries to set up Effluent Treatment Plants or (ETPs). These are used by leading companies in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry to purify water and remove any toxic and non-toxic materials or chemicals from it. These plants are used by all companies for environment protection. An ETP is a plant where the treatment of industrial effluents and waste waters is done. The ETP plants are used widely in industrial sector, for example, pharmaceutical industry, to remove the effluents from the bulk drugs. During the manufacturing process of drugs, varied effluents and contaminants are produced. The effluent treatment plants are used in the removal of high amount of organics, debris. dirt, grit, pollution, toxic, non-toxic materials, polymers etc. from drugs and other medicated stuff. The ETP plants use evaporation and drying methods, and other auxiliary techniques such as centrifuging, filtration, incineration for chemical processing and effluent treatment.


  1. Corporate Investments

State-owned Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Limited has made an agreement with specialty chemicals maker Evonik Industries for setting up a multi-million hydrogen peroxide and propylene oxide project at Dahej in Gujarat. This project would be based on an innovative, environment-friendly HPPO technology. The world's first facility to manufacture carbon foam batteries will be set up at Bavia near Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Firefly Energy India is planning to build a plant to produce carbon foam batteries. State Bank of India has invested in the Carbon Disclosure Project, which is an organisation based in the United Kingdom which works with shareholders and corporations to disclose the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of major corporations.


Corporate social responsibility (CSR) represents the policies, practices and initiatives a company commits to in order to govern themselves with honesty and transparency and have a positive impact on social and environmental wellbeing. The Indian government has been trying to make it mandatory for companies to spend at least 2% of net profitability on CSR. A mutually time targeted programme is implemented under Corporate Responsibility for Environment Protection (CREP)


Air Quality Management

  1. Use of BS-IV vehicles

The Supreme Court ruled that health of citizens was more important than commercial interests of auto makers as it banned the sale and registration of Bharat Stage (BS)-III emission norm-compliant vehicles from 1 April, 2017 Bharat Stage or BS norms are standards for vehicular emissions. They lay down the permissible levels of pollutants that come out of the exhaust pipes of motor vehicles. The aim is to check air pollution and emissions that lead to global warming. India is set to enforce a new generation of vehicular pollution norms on 1 April, 2017 called BS IV. Only BS IV compliant vehicles can be manufactured, sold and registered, across the country after April 1. Centre for Science and Environment, estimates that the transition will lead to a significant decrease in PM emissions. Emissions can fall by as much as 80% from new trucks and by 50% from cars. Reductions in Hydrocarbon and \[N{{O}_{x}}\] emissions from may come down by 41-80 % depending on the engine size. The difference between BS III and BS IV is that the latter are stricter and permit lower quantities of pollutants to be emitted by vehicles.




CO(g/km) Carbon Monoxide

HC (Hydro carbons) + \[N{{O}_{x}}\]  Nitrogen Oxides (g/km)

RSPM (Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter)

Sulphur Content in Diseset










500 PPM



0.35 (Combined)


100 PPM



0.18 (Combined)


50 PPM



  1. Ahmedabad's Air Action Plan

It has been developed using the suggestions and best practices prescribed by civic experts, medical practitioners and community leaders, both national and international (Mexico City, Beijing and Los Angeles). It is based on two strategies - a city-wide air quality monitoring system, called Air Quality Index (AQI), and a broad public information and education campaign called Air Information & Response (AIR) Plan. The Air Action Plan is modeled on the Heat Action Plan that was first implemented by Ahmedabad in 2013 and has now been scaled to 11 cities across India. Its aim was to protect communities from heat stress and longer, more intense heat waves that were becoming increasingly frequent due to climate change.

  1. Roll-on Roll-Off (RORO) Service

This service was launched in the National Capital and included a multi-modal transportation model aimed at reducing Delhi's air pollution. The RO-RO have a direct impact on its air ambient quality and the capital would breathe clean air. According to plans, heavy commercial vehicles passing through Delhi will be loaded on flat railway wagons at railway terminals outside the capital and will get unloaded at the other end of the city. RO-RO service aims to reduce carbon emission and congestion on the roads of the NCR as about 66,000 diesel trucks pass through Delhi and its adjoining areas in a day.


  1. Central Pollution Control Board

The government agency is implementing the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981 to restore air quality. It is a statutory organisation under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC). It was established in 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of pollution) Act, 1974. CPCB runs nation-wide programs of ambient air quality monitoring known as National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP). The network consists of 621 operating stations covering 262 cities/towns in 29 states and 5 Union Territories of the country. Under N.A.M.P., four air pollutants vi., Sulphur Dioxide (S02), Oxides of Nitrogen as N02, Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) and Respirable Suspended Paniculate Matter (RSPM/ PM10) have been identified for regular monitoring at all the locations. The monitoring of meteorological parameters such as wind speed and wind direction, relative humidity (RH) and temperature were also integrated with the monitoring of air quality.


  1. Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as Automobile

Fuel in Delhi and some other cities most of the public transport is running on CNG instead of diesel. CNG happens to be a very viable alternative to traditional fuels particularly for use in the automobile industry. Being low in pollutants, high in calorific value and heat yield, economical and available in abundance globally, CNG is the perfect alternative fuel for most automobiles. CNG is environment friendly as it reduces vehicular exhaust emissions significantly. Carbon Monoxide emissions are reduced to a maximum of 90 % and Hydrocarbon emissions by 60% as compared to vehicles that use Petrol.

Carbon Dioxide emissions, a cause for global warming, are also reduced significantly by 10%. There is the Closed Loop kit where the exhaust gases are inspected by the sensors and the volume of intake gas is tweaked accordingly to minimize pollution.


  1. National Air Quality Index

A colour-coded national air-quality index has been used to monitor the air quality. The Ministery for Environment, Forests & Climate Change launched 'The National Air Quality Index' (AQI) to judge the air quality. The formulation of the index was a continuation of the initiatives under Swachh Bharat Mission. Air pollution has been a matter of environmental and health concerns, particularly in urban areas. Central Pollution Control Board along with State Pollution Control Boards has been operating National Air Monitoring Program (NAMP) covering 240 cities of the country. In addition, continuous monitoring systems that provide data on near real-time basis are also installed in a few cities.




  1. Graded Response To Air Pollution

A graded response highlights the actions required to be taken as and when the concentration of pollutants, in this case particulate matter, reaches a certain level. At the current level of pollution lying between poor and moderate, the measures that are to be enforced under the plan include strict ban on garbage burning, closing brick kilns, mechanised sweeping of roads, enforcing ban on fire-crackers among others. If pollution increases to the next level, very poor, tougher measures are to be enforced including hiking parking fees by up to 4%, banning diesel generator sets and increasing frequency of metro. In this plan, odd-even car rationing scheme and halt on construction activities may be implemented across Delhi-NCR if air quality remains at the emergency level for 48-hours.


  1. Cess on Diesel Vehicles

Cess on diesel vehicles will lead to the reduction in air pollution. The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) for the National Capital Region (NCR) has recommended to levy a green cess of 20-22% on diesel vehicles. EPCA recommended a cess of 20 % on the cost of vehicles with engines that are smaller than 1,500cc in size, and 22% on those over l, 500cc. The main reason behind EPCA's recommendation is to remove the existing incentive for buying diesel vehicles. Removing the fuel price differential, through the imposition of ECC (environment compensation charge) will be a step in removing the incentive for diesel vehicles. This is needed to reduce public health risk as diesel emissions are among the more harmful pollutants.


  1. Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

Hybrid and electric vehicles are relatively much less polluting than the traditional petrol and diesel vehicles. The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) aims to achieve national fuel security by promoting hybrid and electric vehicles in India. There is an ambitious target to achieve 6-7 million sales of hybrid and electric vehicles year on year from 2020 onwards. Government has launched Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME India) scheme under NEMMP. The aim of the Government through this scheme will be to allow hybrid and electric vehicles to become the first choice for the purchasers so that these vehicles can replace the conventional vehicles and thus reduce liquid fuel consumption in the country from the automobile sector.


  1. Ethanol as a Fuel

Which is produced from sugarcane, maize, wheat, etc., can be mixed with gasoline to form different blends. As the ethanol molecule contains oxygen, it allows the engine to more completely combust the fuel, resulting in fewer emissions and thereby reducing the occurrence of environmental pollution. Since ethanol is produced from plants that harness the power of the sun, ethanol is also considered as renewable fuel. Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme was launched in January, 2003 which aimed to promote the use of alternative and environment friendly fuels and to reduce import dependency for energy requirements.


Air Quality Monitoring App

The government of Rajasthan has introduced mobile application RajVayu for sharing information about air quality index of Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur. The app was launched on the World Environment Day (5th June). With this, Rajasthan becomes first state in country to launch such app for sharing information about air quality index of cities. RajVayu app gathers information based on the data collected by sophisticated air quality monitoring equipment and weather sensors. The app has been built by Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) jointly with Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM). It can share details about the air quality, such as levels of pollutants likes\[S{{O}_{x}}\],\[N{{O}_{x}}\], CO, Ozone particles and Particulate Matter (PM) with the city residents and tourists. It can also provide information about temperature, wind speed, humidity, weather forecast and advisories. This app is based on the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting Research (SAFAR-India) which is presently connected in Delhi, Mumbai and Pune. The services of this application would be expanded other cities in the state including in Ajmer, Alwar, Bhiwadi, Kota and Pali. Another application named 'Drishti' has been launched for monitoring of pollution levels in industrial regions.


Noise Pollution

Noise pollution has major mental impact on living organism. Several initiatives have been taken to control noise pollution from various sources. The Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has made it mandatory for all automobile manufacturers to provide emission and noise pollution details for every vehicle they produce by April 2017. The ministry has amended Form 22 under the Central Motor Vehicles Act, 1989 through which manufacturers provide the initial certification of compliance of vehicles. It will include pollution standards, safety standards of component quality and road-worthiness certificate for all vehicles. The Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways wants to award five star ratings to vehicles based on their emission and noise pollution standards.


Amended Form 22: It makes mandatory for all automobile manufacturers to provide emission and noise pollution deals for every vehicle including makers of electric rickshaws and electric carte. It will include the engine number, chassis number and emission norm of the vehicle. It will apply to all vehicles including petrol, CNG, LPG, electric, diesel and hybrid. Automobile manufacturers need to specify the levels of each pollutant like carbon monoxide, hydro carbon, non-methane \[HC,\,\,HC\,+,PM\]etc. for petrol and diesel vehicles. They will also have to specify the sound level for horn and pass-by noise values of all vehicles. Earlier, Form 22 only certified that the vehicle in question complied with the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1989.


Oil Degrading Bacteria

Scientists have found three new strains of oil-degrading bacteria in Kochi, Kerala. Earlier, laboratory tests of these new strains conducted were successful. The field trials will be conducted by the Malabar Botanical Garden and Institute of Plant Sciences (MBGIPS), Kozhikode and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL). The study will allow the development of bioremediation agents to clean up petroleum pollutants from the environment.

Enzymes in oil-degrading bacteria (microorganisms) can degrade and utilise hydrocarbons as a source of carbon and energy. Scientists from successfully isolated key hydrocarbon-degrading enzyme produced by the bacteria. The three new strains isolated by MBGIPS include two species of Burkholderia and one species of Pseudomonas. These oil-degrading bacteria have been sequenced and submitted to the Genebank database on organisms.



World Bank' Aid to Minimize Coal Use

The global development lenders such as World Bank and

Asian Development Bank (ABD) should provide help countries including India to shift away from coal for energy purpose. The idea of funding was proposed by the World Coal Association to finance countries to help them to shift to more efficient technologies so that they can meet their COP21 commitments. Coal is needed to meet energy demands. Even if countries opt for renewable energy they are not going to do away with coal in overall energy mix. In absence of any funding, countries invest in inefficient sub-critical thermal plants, which have much higher \[C{{O}_{2}}\] and particulate matter (PM) emissions. The aid by global development lenders will help countries to adopt super critical and ultra-super critical (USC) plants technologies.


Benefits of Aid:

  • Super critical and ultra-super critical (USC) plants technologies are capable of substantially reducing \[C{{O}_{2}}\] emissions and virtually eliminate PM emissions.
  • The aid will help countries in reducing their emissions from coal, rather than reducing coal itself and meet target provided in Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).
  • The target of Paris Agreement on Climate Change about reducing the emissions from coal power plants can be achieved.


Forest Fire Mitigation

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology released its report on forest fires which revealed that the frequency of forest fires across Central Indian forests and the Himalayan Pine forest have increased by 55% in 2016. The States of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh accounted for l/3rd of the forest fires. The Committee said that Chir pine needles, which are highly inflammable due to its high resin content, are main factor in occurring and spreading of forest fires. Incidents of fire in broad leaves forests were found to be minimal. The Committee also suggested that a national policy on managing forest fires should be prepared.


Major Recommendations to Prevent Forest Fire

  • Planting of broad tree leaves in forests, and after a period of five years, systematic replacement of chir pine trees in forests by broad leaves.
  • Procurement of sweeping machines to clear roadsides of chir pine needles and dry leaves in vulnerable areas.
  • Advocated large-scale incentives and programmes (including under the MGNREGA) to collect pines for use as fuel, and other incineration.
  • A dedicated toll-free number for reporting incidents of forest fire in each state.
  • Using corporate social responsibility funds for creating awareness campaigns on forest fires.
  • Training on fire brigade officers of all states and equipping them with forest fire equipment so that in the event of forest fires they do not have to depend on outside agencies like NDRF.
  • Creating ponds and other water harvesting structures within the forest to reduce river bank erosion and providing a handy tool for supply of water to douse forest fires.




Waste Management

Around 62 million tonnes of waste is generated annually in the country at present, out of which 5.6 million tonnes is plastic waste, 0.17 million tonnes is biomedical waste, hazardous waste generation is 7.90 million tonnes per annum and 15 lakh tonne is e-waste. The responsibility of waste generators has been introduced to segregate waste into three categories - Wet, Dry and Hazardous Waste. The waste generator need to pay 'User Fee' to the waste collector and a 'Spot Fine' for littering and non-segregation. In case of hilly areas, land for construction of sanitary landfills in the hilly areas should be identified in the plain areas, within 25 kilometers. Waste processing facilities will have to be set up by all local bodies having 1 million or more population within two years.


Some of the developments in the waste management sector in India are given below:

  • The source segregation of waste has been made compulsory to channelize the waste to wealth by recovery, reuse and recycle.
  • No person is allowed to throw, bum, or bury the solid waste generated by him, on streets, open public spaces outside his premises, or in the drain, or water bodies.
  • All hotels and restaurants need to segregate biodegradable waste and set up a system of collection or follow the system of collection set up by local body to ensure that such food waste is utilized for composting/biomethanation.
  • Resident Welfare and market Associations, gated communities and institution with an area >5,000 sq. m are required to segregate waste at source- in to valuable dry waste like plastic, tin, glass, paper, etc. and handover recyclable material to either the authorized waste pickers or the authorized recyclers, or to the urban local body.
  • The bio-degradable waste should be processed, treated and disposed through composting or bio-methanation within the premises as far as possible. The residual waste shall be given to the waste collectors or agency as directed by the local authority.
  • New townships and Group Housing Societies have been made responsible to develop in-house waste handling, and processing arrangements for bio-degradable waste.
  • The developers of Special Economic Zone, industrial estate industrial park to leave at least 5 % of the total area of the plot or minimum 5 plots/ sheds for recovery and recycling facility.
  • All industrial facilities using fuel and located within 100 km from a solid waste based Refused derived fuel (RDF) plant shall make proper arrangements within six months from the date of notification of these rules to replace at least 5 % of their fuel requirement by RDF so produced.
  • High calorific wastes to be used for co-processing in cement or thermal power plants.




National Solid Waste Association of India (NSWAI)

National Solid Waste Association of India (NSWAI) has been formed on 25th January 1996. It is also a member of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), and provides forum for exchange of information and expertise in the field of Solid Waste Management at the international level.


The objectives of NSWAI are as follows:

  • Inculcating solid waste management as a profession. Conduct research and development in solid waste management.
  • Development of expertise in solid waste management
  • Development of good solid waste management ideas.
  • Development of standards in solid waste management.
  • Improvement in law and its enforcement in the field of Solid Waste Management.
  • Awareness and community involvement in Solid Waste Management.
  • Professional recognition nationally and internationally and to get affiliation to the International Solid Waste Association.
  • Development of a National Policy on Solid Waste Management in India.


Soil Management

Soil plays a vital role in sustaining life by forming a growing medium for plants which is the primary source of energy and clean air. Vegetation cover prevents soil erosion, so more focus need be put on plantation of trees. Soil management can be achieved through the following ways:

  • Efforts have been made to stabilize sand dunes in western Rajasthan by the Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI).The Central Soil Conservation Board, set up by the Government of India, has prepared a number of plans for soil conservation in different parts of the country. These plans are based on the climatic conditions, configuration of land and the social behavior of people. Even these plans are fragmental in nature. Integrated land use planning therefore, seems to be the best technique for proper soil conservation.
  • Organic farming is an alternative agricultural system which originated early in the 20th century in response to rapidly changing farming practices. Organic agriculture continua to be developed by various organic agriculture organizations today. As of 2007 over 60 countries regulate organic farming. In 2005, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) created the Principles of Organic Agriculture, an international guideline for certification criteria.
  • Bio-fertilizer offers an economically attractive and ecologically sound means of reducing external inputs and improving the quality and quantity of internal sources. Bio-fertilizer is microorganism's culture capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen when suitable crops are inoculated with them. The main inputs are microorganisms, which are capable of mobilizing nutritive elements from non-usable form to usable form through biological process. These are less expensive, eco-friendly and sustainable. The beneficial microorganisms in the soil that are greater significance to horticultural situations are biological nitrogen fixers, phosphate solubilisers and mycorrhizal fungi. Liquid bio-fertilizer is considered as an effective alternative to the lignite based bio-fertilizer.


  • Many initiatives have been made to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.


United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification has proposed Science-Policy Interface (SPI) to facilitate a two-way science-policy dialogue and ensure the delivery of policy-relevant information, knowledge and advice on desertification/land degradation and drought (DLDD). The SPI is composed of 20 members and three observers, who are mostly scientific experts.


Biodiversity Management

Eco-Sensitive Zone

An Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) has been proposed by the government in Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai. ESZ acts as a buffer for further protection around Protected Areas (PAs) such as National Parks and Wildlife sanctuaries. Activities around such areas are regulated and managed so as to protect the environment. ESZ is notified under Section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest. Many states have opposed ESZ because of presence of minerals and resources side by side. Local people in many areas are also opposed to ESZ for loss of livelihood due to restriction placed by it on various activities.


Guidelines on ESZ classify activities under three categories:

Prohibited: Commercial mining, setting of saw mill, setting of industries causing pollution, establishment of major hydroelectric projects.

Regulated: Establishment of hotels and resorts, felling of trees, erection of electrical cables, drastic change of agricultural systems.

Permitted: Agriculture and horticulture practices by local communities, rain water harvesting, organic farming, etc.



Drone to Monitor Tigers

Conservation drones are being used to monitor tiger reserves. Besides monitoring of tiger population in the reserves, the unmanned aircraft would collect and transmit visual data on animal movements, poaching activities and instances of forest fire from inaccessible forest terrains on a real-time basis. The drones could be used for the management of habitats and species. The use of drones was suggested by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun. Drones were earlier used for conservation programmes in the forests of Assam and Madhya Pradesh. Drones were used in Panna Tiger Reserve. In April 2013, the test flight of a small aircraft, Maja, was undertaken in Kaziranga Tiger Reserve. Later, in January 2014, three other drones were tested in Panna Tiger Reserve, where WII has initiated a long-term tiger reintroduction and monitoring project.


Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Mechanism

Under this mechanism, a pan of the profit earned from exploiting natural resources can be used for conserving natural resources. The National Biodiversity Authority proposed this mechanism for biodiversity conservation. The board had earlier issued notices to more than 1,100 manufacturers and traders of Ayurvedic drugs that are commercially utilising these bio resources. Many of the companies use these natural plants and products as ingredients in medicinal and other products. 95% of the ABS amount shall is transferred to the account of the Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) of the respective region.

Other Topics

Notes - Environment Management

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