To: Dr Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

Stand your ground: Do not allow 300+ power plants to continue with extreme air pollution

BREAKING NEWS: The Central Electricity Authority just announced that they're going to allow thermal power plants to continue polluting the air at extreme levels for another 2 to 5 years, thereby disregarding rules set by the Environment Ministry to reduce air pollution.

At a time when over 10 lakh Indians are dying each year from air pollution-related illness, this decision must not be allowed to stand. Join us in asking new Environment Minister Dr. Harsh to cancel this air pollution extension and ensure that all power plants are upgraded to the best available technology as soon as possible. This will help to dramatically reduce the pollution currently being emitted by these plants.

300+ thermal power plants must not be allowed to flout environmental regulations for another 2 - 5 years! This air pollution extension by Central Electricity Authority must be cancelled.

Why is this important?

In 2015, the Environment Ministry put in place improved pollution norms for the thermal power industry which required all the thermal plants to become more water efficient and to further reduce the pollution they spew into the air. These included toxic pollutants like sulphur oxides, nitrous oxides, mercury, and particulate matter. These important rules were set to come into force this year, but this has not yet happened.

Instead, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has disregarded the Environment Ministry's rules and has given more than 300 thermal power plants an extension on pollution.

This means that these 300+ thermal power plants can flout environment regulation for the next 2 - 5 years! And continue polluting India's air at extremely high levels!

Sulphur dioxides (SOx) and Nitrogen dioxides (NOx) are toxic gases hazardous when inhaled. Inhalation of these gases may cause or worsen respiratory diseases, such as asthma or bronchitis, or may also aggravate existing heart disease. The asthma cases in India are already on the rise -- doctors claim that they are now seeing a rise of 60-70 per cent in ailment cases related to pollution.

To meet the new pollution norms for SOx the plants are required to install a technology called, flue-gas desulfurization (FGD) which helps remove sulphur dioxide from the exhaust gases of fossil-fuel power plants. Even though the industry had a two year window period to install the required technology, most of the industry began arguing back with the government against the rules once they had been officially notified.

High levels of toxic air pollution are a problem plaguing most parts of India for several years now. And thermal power plants are a major contributor to SOx and NOx levels in the country.

A recent study found that coal-based thermal power plant clusters were responsible for more than 75% of total SO2 emissions in all 23 Indian states they analysed, and for more than 90% in 16 Indian states.

With over 300 thermal power plants allowed to flout environmental rules for another 2 - 5 years, it will lead to an increase in air pollution levels across the country. Centre for Science and Environment estimates that about 45% of the SOx pollution from the industrial sector comes from thermal power plants.

We need to make sure that the environment ministry stands their ground and cancels the extension given by the CEA immediately!

Sources:
- http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/300-thermal-plants-ignore-rules-to-adopt-pollution-norms-in-2020-not-2017-117060801228_1.html
- http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/publications/factsheet-sulfur-dioxide-so2
- http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/delhi-pollution-cases-of-breathlessness-asthma-allergy-rise-in-the-city-3739775/
- http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/two-indians-die-every-minute-due-to-air-pollution-study/article17328922.ece


Reasons for signing

  • I signed because I am alreaxy a prey to COPD so I need a pollution free world for the rest of my life. Pd. C.
  • For a pollution free india
  • Because pollution is the cause of all ailments.

Updates

2017-07-10 12:46:41 +0530

My name is Bhargav Krishna and I am a public health professional.

I met with Environment Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan last week regarding the #airpollutionextension given to over 300 power plants. I delivered a letter on behalf of a coalition including 63 representatives from the medical community and groups working on clean air and clean energy. We strongly believe that the stringent emissions standards must be implemented on schedule and without exceptions to safeguard public health.

https://jhatkaa.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Screen-Shot-2017-07-10-at-12.40.02.png
During our meeting, the Minister agreed that this issue is urgently important and asked us to contact his team. This is HUGE! -- We will be following up with him soon.
Jhatkaa campaigners will be meeting with the Minister soon too! And now is your chance to add your name to the campaign -- Sign and share the above petition now!

2017-06-16 20:27:30 +0530

5,000 signatures reached

2017-06-09 18:49:21 +0530

500 signatures reached

2017-06-09 15:10:27 +0530

100 signatures reached

2017-06-09 14:57:39 +0530

50 signatures reached

2017-06-09 14:35:44 +0530

25 signatures reached

2017-06-09 13:07:43 +0530

10 signatures reached