Govt drafts rules for cleaner coal power

Moving to tighten norms for emissions of major pollutants by coal-based power plants in the country, the environment ministry has proposed a fresh standard for old and new units seeking them to substantially cut down release of health-damaging particulate matter (PM).

Since the impact of pollution from coal-based power generation is known to be disproportionately high, the ministry also proposed to add dangerous sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury in the list of pollutants which need to be cut by both new as well as existing thermal power plants.

Under the proposal, the power plants will also be expected to cut down water use by restricting withdrawal of fresh water.

Releasing the new norms, the ministry had last week sought opinion of stakeholders including experts and general public over the entire issue by June 15. It put out the details of the proposed norms on its website.

“A final notification, tightening emission norms of thermal power plants, will be issued after taking into account all the views\suggestions in detail”, said an official.

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