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Revised Categorisation of Industries (R/O/G/W)

Consent Management

Modified directions under section 18(1)(b) of the water (P&PC) act, 1974 and the air, (p&pc) act, 1981 regarding harmonization of classification of industrial sectors under red/ orange/ green/ white categories.

Categorization of Industrial Sectors under Red, Orange, Green and White Category

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) had brought out notifications in 1989, with the purpose of prohibition/ restriction of operations of certain industries to protect ecologically sensitive Doon Valley. The notification introduced the concept of categorization of industries as " Red", "Orange" and "Green" with the purpose of facilitating decisions related to location of these industries. Subsequently, the application of this concept was extended in other parts of the country not only for the purpose of location of industries, but also for the purpose of Consent management and formulation of norms related to surveillance / inspection of industries.

The concept of categorization of industries continued to evolve and as different State Pollution Control Boards interpreted it differently, a need arose to bring about necessary uniformity in its application across the country. In order to harmonize the "Criteria of categorization", Directions were issued by CPCB under Section 18(1)(b) of the Water ( Prevention & Control of Pollution) , Act, 1974 to all SPCBs/PCCs to maintain uniformity in categorization of industries as red, green and orange as per list finalized by CPCB, which identified 85 types of industrial sectors as "Red", 73 industrial sectors as "Orange" and 86 sectors as "Green".

The process of categorization thus far was primarily based on the size of the industries and consumption of resources. The pollution due to discharge of emissions & effluents and its likely impact on health was not considered as primary criteria. There was demand from the SPCBs / PCCs and industrial associations for categorization of the industrial sectors in a more transparent manner. Accordingly, the issue was discussed thoroughly during the national level conference of the Environment Ministers of the States, held in New Delhi during April 06-07, 2015 and a "Working Group" comprising of the members from CPCB, APPCB, TNPCB, WBPCB, PPCB, MPPCB and Maharashtra PCB is constituted to revisit the criteria of categorization of industries and recommend measures for making the system transparent and rational.

The Working Group has developed the criteria of categorization of industrial sectors based on the Pollution Index which is a function of the emissions (air pollutants), effluents (water pollutants), hazardous wastes generated and consumption of resources. For this purpose the references are taken from the the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution ) Cess (Amendment) Act, 2003, Standards so far prescribed for various pollutants under Environment (Protection) Act , 1986 and Doon Valley Notification, 1989 issued by MoEFCC. The Pollution Index PI of any industrial sector is a number from 0 to 100 and the increasing value of PI denotes the increasing degree of pollution load from the industrial sector. Based on the series of brain storming sessions among CPCB, SPCBs and MoEFCC , the following criteria on "Range of Pollution Index" for the purpose of categorization of industrial sectors is finalized.

  • Industrial Sectors having Pollution Index score of 60 and above - Red category
  • Industrial Sectors having Pollution Index score of 41 to 59 - Orange category
  • Industrial Sectors having Pollution Index score of 21 to 40 - Green category
  • Industrial Sectors having Pollution Index score incl.&upto 20 - White category

The newly introduced White category of industries pertains to those industrial sectors which are practically non-polluting such as Biscuit trays etc. from rolled PVC sheet (using automatic vacuum forming machines), Cotton and woolen hosiers making (Dry process only without any dying/washing operation), Electric lamp (bulb) and CFL manufacturing by assembling only, Scientific and mathematical instrument manufacturing, Solar power generation through photovoltaic cell, wind power and mini hydel power (less than 25 MW).

The salient features of the "Re-categorization" Exercise are as follows :

  • Due importance has been given to relative pollution potential of the industrial sectors based on scientific criteria . Further, wherever possible, splitting of the industrial sectors is also considered based on the use of raw materials, manufacturing process adopted and inturn pollutants expected to be generated.
  • The Red category of industrial sectors would be 60.
  • The Orange category of industrial sectors would be 83.
  • The Green category of industrial sectors would be 63.
  • Newly introduced White category contains 36 industrial sectors which are practically nonpolluting.
  • There shall be no necessity of obtaining the Consent to Operate for White category of industries. An intimation to concerned SPCB / PCC shall suffice.
  • No Red category of industries shall normally be permitted in the ecologically fragile area / protected area.

The purpose of categorization is to ensure that the industry is established in a manner which is consistent with the environmental objectives. The new criteria will prompt industrial sectors willing to adopt cleaner technologies, ultimately resulting in generation of fewer pollutants. Another feature of the new categorization system lies in facilitating self-assessment by industries as the subjectivity of earlier assessment has been eliminated. This "Re-categorization" is a part of the efforts, policies and objective of present government to create a clean & transparent working environment in the country and promote the Ease of Doing Business.

Other similar efforts include installation of Continuous Online Emissions/ Effluent Monitoring Systems in the polluting industries, Revisiting of the CEPI (Comprehensive Environment Pollution Index) concept for assessment of polluted industrial clusters, Revision of existing industrial Emission/Effluent discharge standards, initiation of special drive on pollution control activities in Ganga River basin and many more in coming future.

Minutes of Industry Categorisation Committee Meeting for M.P.C.Board.