Ignoring emission norms by coal power plants

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Ignoring emission norms by coal power plants

According to a recently released Center for Science and Environment (CSE) analysis, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are also among the 5 Indian states with coal power plants that are not complying with the emission norms.

Earlier, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had released the list of Coal Based Thermal Power Plants (TPPs). Also, the classification was done as per its earlier notification.

In April 2021, the ministry amended the 2015 notification. Under this, coal based TPPs were kept in three categories.

The CSE analysis found that 61% of coal thermal power plants in category A, 35% in category B and 32% in category C would not be able to meet the deadline set for the year 2022.

In 2015, the ministry had notified environmental norms for particulate matter (PM), sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and mercury emissions and water-consumption for coal-based TPPs.

Coal based TPPs are responsible for more than half the concentration of sulfur dioxide in the ambient air, 30% nitrogen oxides and 20% PM.

Initially the deadline for implementation was the year 2017. This was extended till the year 2022.

Compliance with the norms also requires retrofitting of existing TPPs with assistive technology actions to control emissions. For example, fluegasdesulfurization, selective catalytic reduction (SCR) etc.

Flue gas desulfurization (FGD) is a technology used to remove SO2 emitted from fluegases from fossil fuel-based power plants and from other sulfur dioxide-emitting processes.

Three categories of coal based TPPs

Category -A

Criteria: Situated within 10 kilometers of the National Capital Region and in cities with a population of more than one million.

Deadline and Action Year: By the end of 2022

Category -B

Criteria: In non-achievement cities (which are not meeting the national ambient air quality standards), and within 10 km radius of severely polluted areas.

Deadline and Action Year: To comply with FOD norms by the year 2023

Category-C

Criterion: Leftover Plant

Time frame and action: To install sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide control equipment by the year 2024.

Source – The Hindu

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