A series of new environmental laws were made just after the Bhopal gas tragedy 1984 in which thousands die and lakhs of people affected due to poisonous gas leak from United Carbide Plant. The Environmental protection Act 1986 included several important regulations to rectify the weaknesses of previous environment laws.
The various new regulations in this new Act include the following:
1. Laying down standards for emission or discharge of pollutant from various sources and for quality of environment.
2. Restricting area in which industries, operation and process may not be carried out without Government’s clearance certificate.
3. Laying down rules for prevention of accidents and remedial measures in case of accidents.
4. Procedures and safeguards for handling various hazardous substances in the factories and industries.
5. Directives to person or authority for closure, prohibition or regulation in the supply of water, electricity and other services in the case of violation of law.
6. Examination of such manufacturing processes, materials and substances as are likely to cause environmental pollution.
7. Carrying out and sponsoring investigations and research relating the problems of environmental pollution.
8. Collection and dissemination of information on environmental pollution.
9. Preparation of manuals, codes or guides relating to the prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution.
10. Planning and execution of a nationwide programme for the prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution.
The Environmental Act 1986 consists of 26 sections distributed among four chapters and applied to whole of India.
Section 2 redefined the following terms in this Act:
It includes water, air, land and the inter relationship which exists among and between water, air and land and human beings, other living creatures, plants, microorganisms and property .
It means any solid, liquid or gaseous substance present in such amount as may be or tend to be injurious to environment.
It means the presence in the environment of any environmental pollutant. Hazardous substance: It means any substance or preparation which by reason of its chemical or physico-chemical properties or handling is liable to cause human beings, other living creatures, plants, micro-organisms, property or the environment.
READ THE ACT: http://envfor.nic.in/legis/env/env1.html