THE ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION ACT, 1986

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Earth and environment are the synonyms used for shelter or dwelling place of human beings. Our environment includes all elements that are necessary for the sustainability of life on earth. Due to the invention of modern technologies and development man started exploiting Mother Nature for his own needs. All his activities resulted in the increased rate of uncontrollable of the environment. The environmental pollution happened all over the world and it’s drastic after effects began to affect the entire world. In order to protect the world from the disaster of environmental pollution in the year 1972 by the United Nations Organization hold an international conference at Stockholm for taking measures in controlling environmental pollution and protecting the human environment. The Stockholm conference gave attention to matters related to the protection of other living beings, plants, trees, property and any matter that possessed threat or hazardous to the human environment. India being a member of United Nation and leading participant in the Stockholm conference decided for an enactment for the protection of the environment. The environment protection act 1986 was enacted for this purpose.

The Environment Protection Act of 1986 defines the environment including land, air water, and the interrelationship exists between human beings and other living beings, the inter connection between land, air, water, trees, plants and other properties on earth. Along with the definition of environment the act defines the pollutants and hazardous substance that constitutes environmental pollution. The Central government is empowered to make rules and regulations for taking appropriate measures for the prevention of environmental pollution. In order to prevent the environmental pollution after giving proper official gazette notification the Government can make rules for improving the standard quality of air, water and land, fixing of environmental pollutants in acceptable limits in allowable standards, restriction on industries in emitting hazardous elements that pollutes the environment ,prevention of accidents that cause environmental pollution etc.

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Any person who is powered by the Central Government has the authority to conduct enquiry or inspection in any industry that produce any hazardous substance or pollutants. A person who carries out any industry that creates hazardous elements is bound to provide all assistance to the person who conducts enquiry or inspection. If he fails to provide any assistance without any reasonable cause shall be penalized. The authorized officer has the power to take sample of air, water or soil or samples of any pollutants for sending to laboratory for analyzing. The Central Government establishes environmental laboratories after giving gazette notification. The main purpose of the constitution of the environmental laboratories is to provide accurate report on the elements or pollutants that create pollution in uncontrollable level. Any act done by any company in emission of pollutants in contravention of provisions in the act is liable to be punished in accordance with the law in force. Offences committed by any Government departments are subjected to punishments.

The act also provides exemption and protection for any person’s act done in good faith that resulted in environmental pollution. All in formations, reports or any matter relates to the environmental pollution shall furnished before the Central or State Government as the case may be. The delegation power is vested with the State and Central Government for the proper functions mentioned in the act. Any rules made shall be laid before the parliament before its enforcement. All the provisions in the act shall be in force not contravening in law in existence.

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The environment protection act is an asset in the field of judiciary for proper implementation of rules for the protection and improvement of the environment that could be stored as a treasure for the future generations.