Pollution Control

Exposure to Chemicals Used in Jeans Dyeing Units Can Affect Human Health, Says Government

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by Vishwa Mohan

Representative image.
New Delhi: The government on Tuesday told the Lok Sabha that the exposure to chemicals used in textile dyeing units can affect human health and the civic authorities would take action against any such industries operating in residential areas in the Capital.
Responding to a Parliament question on illegal jeans dyeing units in the north-east Delhi’s Shiv Vihar areas, reported by the TOI in May, the Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan said, “Whenever any unit operating illegally is brought to the notice of State Pollution Control Board/Pollution Control Committees, action as per rules is required to be taken for closing of such industries”.

The minister, in his written response, admitted that it does not have count of such illegal units in residential areas in the country, including inventory of such units in Delhi.

He said no inventorization of jeans dyeing factories operating illegally in residential areas had been undertaken by the environment ministry or the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The minister noted that the textile dyeing has been categorized as ‘Red’ category (highly polluting) industry which is required to obtain consent to establish/operate from concerned State Pollution Control Board or the Pollution Control Committee.

The TOI had in May reported about discharge of carcinogenic chemicals by cloth dyeing units, highlighting how the untreated effluents are even contaminating ground water which is the main source of drinking water in the area.

Responding to a question on the steps being taken by the government to check the pollution caused by dyeing factories, Harsh Vardhan said the Delhi government had directed that action would be taken by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) against industries operating in residential/non-conforming areas in violation of the Master Plan of Delhi.”In order to check pollution from dyeing industries, effluent standards for textile sectors have been notified under the provision of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 which has prescribed standards for Chromium, Phenolic Compounds, Colour etc”, he said while admitting that the exposure to these chemicals, exceeding prescribed limit, can affect human health.

Taking suomotu cognisance of the TOI’s report, the Delhi High Court had earlier asked the CBI to probe the entire issue of the illegal jeans dyeing units and find out the complicity of officials, if any, in allowing such units in those residential areas. The CBI subsequently started its probe after registering a case on last Friday.

Acting on the TOI report, even the Union water resources ministry had in May directed the city health department to conduct a detailed study on the health impact of the dyeing units operating in the Mustafabad locality of north-east Delhi and extent of ground water contamination in the area, if any, due to these industrial units.
*This story first appeared on Times of India

Pollution Control Board to Monitor 27 More Sites

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In a bid to check the water quality, the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) has enhanced its monitoring locations from the earlier 104 sites across the state to 131.The move has been initiated as per the National Water Monitoring Programme undertaken by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) which has notified sampling and analysis procedures for these sites.The board is supposed to undertake the monthly monitoring of water quality with effect from March. Information will be duly uploaded on the board’s site. The CPCB is directly monitoring the water and air quality undertaken by the state board at these sites.

Out of the 27 new sites, three pertain to the Nalagarh industrial area on the Chikni river where the presence of textile units has become a cause of concern for the board. Two other sites at the Giri river and Surajmukhi Nullah in Solan will also be monitored henceforth. Four sites in Una district, including the one upstream of the Swan river, will be monitored. Barely one site in Kangra district on the Beas has been included in the new arrangement while maximum of six sites in Sirmaur district, including the Giri river, Salani Nullah, two sites along the Markanda river, Rampur Jattan Moginand Nullah and Roon Nullah. Besides, three sites in Kullu, three in Kinnaur and two in Chamba have been included for water monitoring.

With no staff enhancement in the four laboratories of the board which were operating at Parwanoo, Jasur, Sundernagar and Paonta Sahib, the staff will face an added challenge of analysing water samples from 31 new locations.Despite the Central Pollution Control Board having directed the SPCB to upgrade its Parwanoo lab as per the specifications of the National Accreditation Board of Calibration and Testing of Laboratories (NABL) within 90 days in October 2015, it is yet to meet these standards. The board is yet to enhance its staff and upgrade its equipment as per the NABL norms.

Member Secretary, SPCB, Sanjay Sood, said they would soon appoint more staff as certain posts were vacant and the process to procure requisite equipment was also under way.He said the process of meeting NABL specifications for the Parwanoo lab was in progress and would be completed in the coming months. Sood said in addition to the 131 Centrally-monitored sites for water pollution, there were 157 state-monitored sites too where they were keeping a check on the quality of surface water.

*This story first appeared on The Tribune India

Cornell U. Develops Textile that Absorbs Pollutants

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Researchers at Cornell University in the U.S. have developed a technique that allows the creation of functional textiles that could be capable of filtering pollutants out of water and air. By infusing cotton with a beta-cyclodextrin (BCD) polymer, the fabric can act as a filtration device. The cotton fabric was present in the polymerisation process, resulting in a unique polymer grafted to the cotton surface.

The cotton fibers were scanned under an electron microscope and found to be unchanged after the process. When tested for the absorption of pollutants in water and air, the fibers showed greater uptakes than that of untreated cotton fabric or commercial absorbents.

“One of the limitations of some super absorbents is that you need to be able to put them into a substrate that can be easily manufactured,” said Juan Hinestroza, associate professor of fiber science and director of undergraduate studies in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell. “Fibers are perfect for that; fibers are everywhere.”

“We’re compatible with existing textile machinery; you wouldn’t have to do a lot of retooling,” he added. “It works on both air and water, and we proved that we can remove the compounds and reuse the fiber over and over again.”

The absorption potential of the technique could extend to other materials. There is a patent pending.

*This story first appeared on Advanced Textile Source

Dyers look for Rs. 200-crore grant

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R. Vimal Kumar

Owners of dyeing units affiliated to 18 Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) in Tirupur knitwear cluster are looking forward for release of Rs. 200 crore from the Centre which they sought through the State Government as a grant to offset their debts.

“Debts have arisen following the spending of Rs. 270 crore on research and development activities taken up over the last few years to improve the effluent treatment techniques and also to upgrade machinery, all with an aim to ensure we implement the zero liquid discharge (ZLD) norms stipulated by Madras High Court during the treatment of dyeing effluents,” said S. Nagarajan, president of Dyers Association of Tirupur.

According to him, a sum of Rs. 270 crore was raised by the dyeing sector entrepreneurs through bank loans and other borrowings.

The release of the grant was essential to replace some of the machines that had corroded over the years and to add more gadgets to ensure optimal utilisation of the installed capacity in the CETPs, he said.

The dyeing unit owners pointed out that utilisation levels presently stood at below 75 per cent of the installed capacity at the CETPs.

Meanwhile, a section of farmers, who had faced the brunt of industrial pollution that led to them move the court against the dyeing units, feels that the Supreme Court observation of ‘polluters pay’ in the ‘Dyeing unit owners versus Noyyal River Ayacutdars Association’ case should be respected.

“The dyeing unit owners should themselves bear the cost for any R&D activities as they were the ‘polluters’ who damaged the ecology of River Noyyal. It is their responsibility to restore the ecology and ensure further compliance of ZLD norms,” opined P. Sankaranarayanan, a farmer.

*This story first appeared on The Hindu.

Industries with zero-pollution load need not take green clearance

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Source: The Hindu

More than 30 industries that have zero-pollution load have been exempted from taking environmental clearance even as the Centre on Saturday released a new four-colour classification scheme for industries based on their pollution potential.

Under the new categorisation system, industries which pollute the most have been put in the red category while the moderately polluting units are classified orange.

Industries that have a significantly low pollution load have been placed in the green category while those that operate without causing any pollution have been categorised as white.

Terming it a “landmark” decision which gives a “fair picture” of the industries, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the new system of re-categorisation is based on an elaborate scientific exercise.

The existing system was creating problems because it did not reflect the actual pollution caused by the various units.

The Environment Ministry said that 60 industries, including sugar, thermal power plants, paints and others, which have a pollution index score of 60 and above, will be in the red category while 83 industries like coal washeries and automobile servicing which have scores ranging between 41 and 59 will be in the orange category.

Similarly, industries like aluminium utensil manufacturing and dal and flour mills, which have a pollution index score of between 21 and 40, have been kept in the green category.

A further 36 industries like air coolers and cotton and woollen hosiery, which have a pollution index score of up to 20, have been kept in the white category.

“The new category of white industries, which are practically non-polluting, will not require Environmental Clearance (EC) and Consent. That will help them get funds from lending institutions. The re-categorisation exercise was carried out over the last one year. This is a landmark decision to give a fair picture of the industries.

“Re-categorisation of industries based on their pollution load is a scientific exercise. The old system of categorisation was creating problems for many industries and was not reflecting the level of pollution caused by these. The new categories will remove this lacuna,” Javadekar said.

*This story first appeared on The Hindu Business Line 

India: Textile units set ‘zero discharge’ target

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Image Source: apparelresources.com
Image Source: apparelresources.com

GURGAON: The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) has made it mandatory for all textile industries to treat and recycle discharged water in order to stop pollutants from flowing into the Yamuna and turn each of them into a ‘zero discharge unit’.

The textile units, which release more than 25KLD (kilo litres water per day), have been given about 16 months (till December 2016) to put in place the required infrastructure. The board has instructed each unit to install an ETP (effluents treatment plant) and also put in place a reverse osmosis (RO) plant to re-use the discharged water. There are nearly 40 textile manufacturing units in Gurgaon, spread across Manesar and Udyog Vihar.

Last year, the National Green Tribunal instructed regulatory authorities in the state to issue guidelines to the industrial units on the setting up of ‘zero discharge units’. According to the green court, a ‘zero discharge unit’ is the one that does not discharge any amount of liquid effluent, not even treated effluent.

According to HSPCB, textile industries use a lot of water in washing and dyeing and it is one of the major contributors of pollution in Yamuna. “Though the amount of water used by a unit depends on its size and scale, a medium- to large-scale textile manufacturing unit, on an average, discharges 1 to 1.5 lakh litres of water per day. The discharged water flows into the Yamuna through the Najafgarh drain and it also affects the quality of groundwater in the area,” said a senior HSPCB official.

However, Animesh Saxena, president of Udyog Vihar Industrial Association, said ‘zero discharge’ was not possible. “In India, there is no technology to put in place zero discharge from a textile manufacturing unit. About 5% of water will per force be discharged,” Saxena said.

Besides, according to city-based hydrologist Rekha Bajaj, the cost of installing an ETP is somewhere around %Rs 4-5 crore, which may not% be commercially viable for many units.

But Bajaj was appreciative of the HSPCB initiative. Bajaj said toxins released from dyes remain in water for a very long time. ”

This affects the water quality and hence the entire ecosystem of a river. Also, direct exposure to toxins can cause respiratory illness and skin disease among people living close to drains and rivers,” Bajaj said.

Experts said installation of an ETP takes 4 to 6 months. The board has already issued orders to the industrial units. “We issued the directions this month so that industries get enough time to put in place the treatment plant and recycling mechanism. If directions are not followed by any unit, they will be sealed immediately,” the HSPCB official said.

Source: The Times Of India, India, 09-Jul-2015