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India: Centre Notifies Norms for Fly Ash Utilization by Coal-Fired Power Plants

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has notified the latest amendments to the Environment (Protection) Act for better monitoring and utilization of fly ash by coal-based thermal power plants (TPPs) in the country.


The latest notification mandates all coal and lignite-based TPPs to utilize 100 percent fly ash in an environment-friendly manner for making construction sector products like bricks, ready mix concrete, among others. If the plants fail to achieve these targets the government can impose a penalty of Rs. 1,000 per tonne of fly ash. Fines have been introduced for the first time.


Now, the TPPs also have to achieve 100 percent fly ash utilization in three years, instead of the earlier five years. Besides, the utilization levels for the TPPs should not decline below 80 percent.


For monitoring fly ash utilization, the government will form a committee, headed by the Chairman of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) with members from the ministries of Power, Coal, Mines, Environment, Road Transportation and Highways and Heavy Industries. Other concerned stakeholders will be nominated by the committee’s Chairman.


Besides, the compliance audit for ash disposal by the TPPs and their user agencies will be conducted by auditors, authorized by CPCB. The audit report will be submitted to CPCB and the concerned State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) by 30 November every year and action against non-compliant TPPs will be taken within 15 days of receiving the report.


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