The Chemical Accidents (Emergency Planning, Preparedness and Response) Rules, 1996 compliments the set of rules of accident prevention and preparedness notified under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 in 1989 entitled "Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules" and envisages a 4-tier crisis management set up at the Local, District, State and Centre. The rules were gazetted on 2nd August, 1996 by the Ministry of environment & Forests under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
The rules provide a statutory back-up for setting up of Crisis Group in districts and states which have Major Accident Hazard Installation (MAH). The rules define major accident hazard installations to include industrial activity, transport and isolated storage at a site handling hazardous chemicals in quantities specified. As per the rules, the government of India is to constitute a Central Crisis Group (CCG) for the management of chemical accidents and set up a Crisis Alert System (CAS) within 30 days of the notification.
The Chief Secretaries of all the State are the constitute State Crisis Groups (SCG) to plan for and respond to chemical accidents in the State and notify the same in the gazette within 45 days. The Districts Collector shall not only constitute a District Crisis Group (DCG) but also constitute Local Crisis Groups (LCGs) for every industrial pocket in the district within 60 days.
The CCG shall be the apex body in the country to deal with the provide expert guidance for planning and expert guidance for planning and handling of major chemical accidents in the country. The CCG shall continuously monitor the post-accident situation and suggest measures for prevention of recurrence of such accidents. It shall met every six months and respond to enquiries from the SCG and DCG. The Ministry of Environment and Forests will publish a State-wise list of experts and concerned officials.
In accordance with the Costal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification dated 19th February, 1991, all the coastal States and Union territories have to prepare their respective Coastal Zone Management Plans (CZMPs) as per the provisions of the CTZ Notification within a year from the date of the Notification. Since several States did not prepare the same within the stipulated time the Supreme Court in its Order dated 18th April, 1996 in the W.P. (C) No. 664 of 1993 had directed all the States to prepare the CZMPs by the end of June, 1996 and submit the same to the Central government. The Central government was direct to examine the plans submitted by the States/UTs by the end of September, 1996.
In accordance with the directions of the Hon'ble Court all the States have submitted the plans within the stipulated time and the Central Government have approved the same on 27th September, 1996 with the necessary conditions and modifications. The States/UTs are required to regulate the developmental activities as per the provisions of the approved CZMPs and the CRZ Notification.
2.1 The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification of 19th February, 1991 has recently (9th July, 1997) been amended. The amended notification delegates the powers to the Ministry of Surface Transport to accord clearance for certain type of projects within the existing port limits. It also permits drawl of ground water for drinking purposes in certain areas under CRZ> The amended notification would enable storage of petroleum products in the port area. The notification also permits construction of dispensaries area of West Bengal.
3.1 The Supreme Court has directed in its Order dated 31st October, 1996 in the Writ Petition (C) No.231 of 1994 in the matter of Bittu Sehgal and another versus Union of India and Others to constitute an Authority before Section 3(3) of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 under Section 3(3) of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and also confer on the said authority all the powers necessary to protect the ecologically fragile Dahanu Taluka and control pollution in the said area.
As per the directions of the Hon'ble supreme Court, the Central Government in the Ministry of Environment & Forests have constituted an authority known as the Dahanu Taluka Environment Protection Authority, in the District of Thane, State of Maharashtra and issued a notification in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, vide S.O. 884 (E) dated 19th December, 1996.
3.2 The said Authority is having the following composition:
(1) Justice Chandrashekhar Shanker Dharmadhikari - Chairperson (Retired Judge o high Court, Mumbai) (2) Director, National Institute of Hydrology, - Member University campus, Roorke (U.P.) (Expert in the field of Hydrology) (3) Director National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula, Goa. - Member (Expert in the field of Oceanography and Aquatic Ecology) (4) Head of the Botany Department, Bombay university, Bombay - Member (Expert in the field of terrestrial Ecology) (5) head, Department of Environmental engineering, IIT Bombay. - Member (Expert in the field of Environmental Engineering) (6) Prof. K.B. Jai, Centre of Environmental Planning & Technology - Member Ahmedabad (Expert in the field of Developmental and Environmental Planning) (7) Director, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad - Member (Expert in the field of Information Technology) (8) Collector, thane - Member (9) The member Secretary, Maharashtra State Pollution Control - Member Board Mumbai. (10) A representative of Non-Governmental Organisation - Member (to be appointed by the Central Government) (11) Shri V.W. Deshpande, Deputy Secretary, Urban Development Department, Government of Maharashtra, Mumbai - Member secretary
3.3 The Authority shall exercise the following powers and perform the following function, namely:-
3.4 The authority shall furnish a progress report about its activities at least once in two months to the Central Government in the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
3.5 The Authority shall have its Headquarters at Mumbai, Maharashtra.
3.6 The terms and conditions of appointment of the Chairperson and members shall be as determined by the Central Government from time to time.
3.7 The authority is for a period of the year on and from the date of notification in the official gazette.