This Article briefly discusses the important provisions of the newly passed Environmental Conservation Rules 2023. This Rule is a leap forward from the existing regulation and addresses many of the previous lacking.
The Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act was passed in 1995 to reduce environmental pollution in Bangladesh in order to promote environmental protection, raise environmental standards, and exercise control. This Act has undergone numerous amendments. To determine the requirements for air, water, sound, soil, and other environmental components, the government has passed the Environment Conservation Rules, 1997, in accordance with section 20 of the BECA, 1995. The Regulations have widely defined criteria for disposing of waste from different categories of industry with regard to the management of toxic and hazardous substances.
In accordance with section 20 of The Bangladesh Environment Conservation of Act No. 1 of 1995, the Government in March, 2023 passed the Bangladesh Environment Conservation Rules, 2023. This Article discussed various important provision of the Regulation.
Rule -3 Application and Remedies for Environmental Pollution or Degradation Damages Remedies
Sub-section (1) of Section 8 of the Act requires the Director-General to dispose of an application within 30 working days by means of public hearing. The Director General may extend the application period by 15 working days, if necessary, by stating the reason.
Rule-4 Notice for Collection of Samples
According to the provisions of Section 11 of the Act, if an officer authorized by the Director General wants to take samples of air, water, soil or other substances for the purpose of analysis, the owner, occupier or agent of the factory, premises or place concerned shall give a notice in accordance with Form-2.
Rule 5 Classification of Industrial Institutions and Projects for the purpose of issuing environmental and location clearance certificate
Industrial projects and units must be classified based on their activities, pollution, and potential harm to the environment and health. The categories are
c. Orange; and
Green categories are Units or projects that have a low impact on the environment and human health. Yellow Category industrial units or projects have a moderate impact on the environment and human health. Orange Categories are institutions or projects that have a significant impact on the environment and human health. Red category has a strong impact on the environment and human health and must reduce environmental impact by protecting environment also by taking pollution control measures.
6. Obligation to obtain Location Clearance and Environmental Clearance Certificate
Before instituting new yellow, orange and red industries mentioned in rule 5 and taking up the project, first the location clearance and then the Environmental Clearance Certificate should be obtained from the Director.
– For green categories industrial unit Environmental Clearance Certificate must be obtained from the director.
– In the case of all categories of industrial unit or projects set up in government or private export processing zones, economic zones or industrial cities of Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation, it is not necessary to take location clearance certificate, only Environmental Clearance Certificate should be taken from the Director.
– Without taking Location Clearance Certificate no development of land or construction of any infrastructure for this purpose shall be allowed for the establishment of an industrial unit of the yellow, orange and red categories.
– Gas, electricity, water, or other essential services cannot be provided to new industries, institutions or projects of yellow, orange and red categories without obtaining Location Clearance Certificate.
– New industrial Units of green, yellow and red categories will not be allowed to conduct trial production or launch projects without obtaining Environmental Clearance Certificate.
7. Application procedure for Location clearance and Environmental Clearance Certificate
Application should be submitted to the district office, if there is no district office the application should be submitted to the office or departmental office without jurisdiction. In metropolitan area an application should be submitted to metropolitan office. Application must be submitted to district office if there is no separate office for metropolitan area. Application should be submitted to regional office or divisional office if multiple districts under the same division. If the same category is widespread, the application should be submitted to the head office of the department.
Procedure for issuance of Environmental Clearance and Location Clearance Certificate
9. Procedure for issuance of environmental clearance certificate to green class industrial units and projects- green categories industrial units or project entrepreneurs should fill in the applicable sections as per Form 3 schedule 7 for obtaining environmental clearance certificate. Rule 10 and 11 Procedure to provide projects and industrial units in the yellow category with location clearance certificates as per Form 3 schedule 6. After obtaining the location clearance certificate, yellow class related industrial units or project entrepreneurs should apply for environmental clearance certificate. Rule 12 and 13 for granting Location Clearance Certificate to orange category industrial units and projects- The project entrepreneurs and industrial unit should fill in the applicable sections as per Form 3 schedule 6 and guideline of schedule-9 shall be followed. Within 21 (twenty-one) working days of the application submission, the applicant should receive the Location Clearance Certificate. Provided that if the application is rejected, the concerned applicant shall be notified in writing and the reasons for it within 5 (five) working days of the decision. For granting Environmental clearance certificate to orange category industrial units and projects. The project entrepreneurs and industrial units according to rule-7 should apply to the concerned office of the director.
Within 20 (twenty-one) working days of the application’s submission, the applicant should receive the Environmental Clearance Certificate. Provided that if the application is rejected, the concerned applicant shall be notified in writing and the reasons for it within 5 (five) working days of the decision. Rule14 Procedure for granting location clearance certificate to red category industrial units and projects should fill the Form 3 schedule 6 and guideline of schedule-9 shall be followed. Provided, however, that any additional information or documents required may be provided to the applicant for submission within a maximum of 7 (seven) working days. Also provided that, if the application is rejected, the concerned applicant shall be notified in writing and the reasons for it within maximum 7 (seven) working days of the decision.
20. Validity period of Location Clearance and Environmental Clearance Certificate- The period of Environmental Clearance Certificate for green category industrial units or projects shall be 5 (five) years from the date of issue which shall be renewable at 5 (five) year intervals. Yellow Category industrial unit or project Location Clearance Certificate or Environmental Clearance Certificate shall be valid for 2 (two) years from the date of issue which shall be renewable at 2 (two) year intervals. Orange and red Category Industrial units or Project Location Clearance or Environmental Clearance Certificate shall be valid for 1 (one) year from the date of issue which shall be renewable at 1 (one) year intervals. According to Rule-21 and 22 all categories of industrial unit or projects will expire after 30 (thirty) days. For renewal, the concerned industrial unit or project entrepreneurs should apply to the relevant office according to rule 7 by filling Form-4 and paying the fee mentioned in Schedule-7 for renewal of the location clearance certificate and form-5 schedule-7 for renewal of Environmental Clearance Certificate to the concerned industrial unit or project entrepreneur.
Appeal, Appellate Authority and Procedure
27. Appeal: Within 30 days of the day the notice, order, or direction was given, anyone who is dissatisfied they have been aggrieved by one of these issues has the right to file an appeal with the government-established Appellate Authority. Provided that no such appeal can be filed by any industrial unit or project entrepreneur who has not applied for Environmental Clearance Certificate.
28. Appellate Authority: For the purposes of the Act and Rules, an Appellate Authority shall be comprised of the following members:
a. He will serve as Chairman and Secretary for the Ministry of Environment and Forests, and Environmental Issues.
b. Additional Secretary (Environmental Pollution Control), Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change
c. The Joint Secretary (Environment-II), Ministry of Forests and Climate Change, who will also be the Member Secretary.
29. Procedure to be followed by the Appellate authority
1. The Appellate Authority shall fix the date for hearing the appeal and give notice to all parties concerned.
2. The Appellate Authority shall order both the parties to file reports on the relevant issues for the benefit of the appeal hearing.
3. The Appellate Authority may decide on an appeal application after acquiring all relevant information, including a written description of any essential documents provided with the application and, if required, oral testimony.
4. The relevant notification may cancel, modify, or amend the decision made by the order or instruction within 90 (ninety) working days of filing an appeal in the hearing process and may provide an appropriate decision in the review.
30. Procedure for hearing the appeal
1. If the appellant does not appear on the fixed hearing day, the Appellate Authority may dismiss the appeal. With the proviso that the Appellate Authority may extend the hearing date in view of the appellant’s request.
2. If an appeal application is rejected, an application for execution may be submitted to the appellate authority within 21 (twenty-one) working days after the day of the aforementioned order of rejection was issued.
3. The Appellate Authority shall issue an order in writing signed by the majority of the members and shall send it to the Director General of the concerned office.
4. The Location Clearance or Environmental Clearance Certificate approved in favor of the concerned industrial unit or project shall be granted and renewed until the appeal is settled.
Services, fees, and mode of payment
34. Various services and their fees Upon application of any person, industrial unit or project entrepreneurs or organization, the department shall supply analysis report of the samples of water, liquid waste, air and sound and also the information or data derived from such analysis. For services- appropriate fees are payable as described in Schedule -8.
35. Procedure for payment of fees: The fees prescribed under these rules shall be deposited in the government treasury by treasury challan, bank draft, pay order, or other electronic means and proof of payment of the fee shall be preserved by the depositor.
36. Environmental damage remedy and compensation – Under clause-7 of the Act, activities of responsible persons, industrial unit or projects may be suspended till the pollution is not controlled. In case of failure to pay compensation, the Location Clearance Certificate issued in favor of the concerned individual industrial unit or project shall not be suspended or renewed.
It is hoped that the discussion above would enable anyone to understand the environmental issues and its authorized procedures.
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