Reducing SO2 emissions | 06 Feb 2020

Why in News

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has sent show cause notices to 14 thermal power plants for not complying with the 31st December, 2019 deadline to limit sulphur dioxide emissions.

  • The CPCB has the power to impose steep fines or shut a unit under the provisions of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

Key Points

  • To limit Particulate Matter (PM), sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide emission from thermal plants, India has put in place a phased-approach that directs coal-fired units to put in place measures to limit pollution by December 2022.
    • 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.
  • However plants in a 300 km radius of Delhi were to comply by 31st December, 2019 because of the poor air quality in the city as well as the surrounding Gangetic plain.
    • Few units have set in place the process for acquiring flue-gas desulphurisation technology.
    • Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) is a set of technologies used to remove sulphur dioxide (SO2) from exhaust flue gases of fossil-fuel power plants. 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.

Central Pollution Control Board

  • The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of India is a statutory organisation 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.

Source: TH