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The Environment (PROTECTION) ACT, 1986

Environment Protection Act

Environment Protection Act, 1986 grants powers to the central government to take measures to safeguard and improve the environment. It is a comprehensive Act that came into being in 1986 to remedy the gaps observed in the previous laws and to function as single legislation on the subject. The Environment Protection Act, 1986 encompasses the whole of India and it came into force on 19th November.

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The Prominent Features of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 are:

  1. The Environment Protection Act, 1986 Conferring powers on the central government to:
  • Take all important measures for protecting the quality of the environment,
  • Coordinate activities of states, officers, and other authorities under this Act,
  • The Environment Protection Act, 1986 proposes and implements a countrywide program for the prevention, control, and abatement of environmental pollution,
  • Lay down principles for discharge of environmental pollutants,
  • The Environment Protection Act, 1986 authorizes any person to enter, inspect, take samples and test,
  • Form or identify environmental laboratories,
  • Assign or recognize government analysts,
  • Lay down standards for quality of the environment,
  • Restrict areas in which any industries, operations, or processes may not be carried out subject to certain safeguards,
  • The Environment Protection Act, 1986 lay down safeguards for the prevention of accidents and take remedial measures in case of such accidents,
  • Lay down procedures and safeguards for handling hazardous substances,
  • The Environment Protection Act, 1986 establishes authority for exercising powers,
  • Issue directions to any person, officer, or authority including the power to direct closure, prohibition, or regulation of any industry, operation, or process,
  • Necessitate any person, officer, or authority to furnish any prescribed information, and
  • The Environment Protection Act, 1986 gives powers to any officer of a state or authority;

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  1. It confers powers on persons to complain to courts regarding any violation of the provision of the Act, after a notice of 60 days to the prescribed authorities.
  2. The Act makes it obligatory for the person-in-charge of a place to inform the prescribed authorities regarding any accidental discharge of any pollutant over prescribed standards.
  3. The concerned authorities, on to receipt of such information, shall take remedial measures to prevent or mitigate pollution caused by such accidents, and expenses incurred by the authorities concerning remedial measures are recoverable with interest from the polluter;
  4. It prescribes stringent penalties for violation of the provisions of the Act;
  5. It bars the jurisdiction of civil courts.

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Environment Protection Act, 1986: FAQ

Q 1. When was this Environment Protection Act, Of 1986 came into force?

Ans. 19th November 1986

Q 2. What is the purpose of the Environment Protection Act, 1986?

Ans. To protect and conserve the environment

Q 3. Why is Environment Protection Act, 1986 called Umbrella Act?

Ans. Environmental protection Act, 1986 is also the Umbrella act as it provides the framework to the central government to have coordination among state as well as the central authorities.

Q 4. Which is the oldest environmental law in India?

Ans. Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974

Q 5. Who was the first environmental lawyer of India?

Ans. Mahesh Chandra Mehta

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