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The Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981

This is an Act to provide for the prevention, control and abatement of air pollution in the country so as to preserve the quality of air. Central and State Boards constituted under section 3 and 4 of the Water (Prevention and Control Pollution) Act, 1974 were deemed also as Central and State Boards for Prevention and Control of Air Pollution. 

Features of the act are: 

„ U/S 19 of the Act, the state government in consultation with SPCB is vested with power to declare Air Pollution Control Area in which provisions of the Act shall be applicable. 

 „ As per the provisions in Sec. 21 (1) & (2), no person can establish or operate any industrial plant without the previous consent of the State Pollution Control Board. 

„ U/S 22, 22 (A) operating any industrial plant so as to cause emission of any air pollutant in excess of the standard laid down by the State Board is liable for litigation by the board. 

Powers of State Board Besides providing consultation to State Government for declaring or restricting an area as an Air Pollution Control Area, the State Board is vested with following powers: 

Power of Entry and Inspection: Any person empowered by the State Board shall have right to enter the industrial premises for determining the status of pollution control equipment or otherwise necessary for compliance of the Act, and the person concerned of the industry shall be bound to render assistance as deemed necessary for ensuring measures, and carrying out functions laid down in the Act. [U/S 24]

 „ Power to Take Samples: State Board or any person empowered by it shall have power to take samples of air or emission from any chimney, flue or any duct or any other outlet in such manner as may be prescribed. [U/S 26] 

Power to Give Direction: State Board may issue any direction to any person, authority, including closure, prohibition or regulation of any industry, and can also issue directives for the stoppage or regulation of supply of electricity, water or any other services. The direction should however be preceded by proposed directive in writing, giving an opportunity of being heard unless grave injury to the environment is likely, in which proposed directive may be avoided. [U/S 31 A]


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