REDUCING SO2 EMISSIONS
07, Feb 2020
Prelims level : Environment – Pollution and waste Management Mains level : GS-III Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.
Why in News?
- The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has recently sent show-cause notices to 14 thermal power plants for not complying with the deadline to limit sulphur dioxide emissions.
- In order to limit Particulate Matter (PM), sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide emission from thermal power plants, India has put in place a Phased-approach that directs coal-fired units to put in place measures to limit pollution within December 2022.
- But plants within 300 km radius of Delhi were to comply these measures by 31st December, 2019 because of the poor air quality in the city as well as the surrounding states. Few units have set in place the process for acquiring flue-gas desulphurisation technology.
- Flue gas is a mixture of gases produced by the burning of fuel or other materials in power stations and industrial plants and extracted via ducts. Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) is a set of technologies used to remove sulphur dioxide (SO2) from exhaust flue gases of fossil-fuel power plants.
- It has to be noted that the CPCB has the power to impose steep fines or shut a unit under the provisions of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
- As per Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) estimates, these norms can help reduce PM emissions by about 35%, NOx emission by about 70%, and SO2 emissions by more than 85% by 2026-27 against a business-as-usual scenario with no pollution control technologies.
About Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB):
- The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of India is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
- It was established in 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
- The CPCB is also entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.