In the recent events of Uttarakhand’s glacier burst and Himanchal Pradesh glaciers surface area shrinking, greenhouse effect, and Indonesia and Congo’s volcano eruption we can say that this ecosystem is depleting continuously which is impacting many of us on a day-to-day basis, yet we all often ignore and hold ourselves to take steps to improve it. It is our responsibility to protect our environment and to restore it for our future generations to come. Ecosystem restoration involves preventing, halting, and reversing the degradation of ecosystems.

We often hear news about cataclysmic events like unexpected floods, severe air pollution, volcanic eruption, tsunamis, rapid degradation of coastlines, erratic cyclones, global warming, the disappearance of forests, wildlife, and rich biodiversity across the world, and its all because of environmental imbalance.

What are Environment Pollution and Environmental law?

According to the Britannica dictionary, Environmental pollution is the addition of any substance (solid, liquid, or gas) or any form of energy (such as heat, sound, or radioactivity) to the environment at a rate faster than it can be dispersed, diluted, decomposed, recycled, or stored in some harmless form.

The major kinds of pollution, usually classified by the environment, are air pollution, water pollution, and land pollution. Modern society is also concerned about specific types of pollutants, such as noise pollution, light pollution, and plastic pollution. Pollution of all kinds can have negative effects on the environment and wildlife and often impacts human health and well-being.

According to Black’s law dictionary environmental law

Environmental protection laws in India in the field of law dealing with the maintenance and protection of the environment, including preventive measures such as the requirements of environmental impact, as well as measures to assign liability and provide cleanup for incidents that harm the environment.

Environmental law in India

Our constitution under Part IVA (Art 51A-Fundamental Duties) levy a duty on every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures. Further, the Constitution of India also under Part IV (Art 48A-Directive Principles of State Policies) provides that the State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.

Law regulating environment protection are as follows:

  • The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010

This act has been enacted with the intent to provide for the establishment of a National Green Tribunal (NGT) for the effective and swift disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources.

  • The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981

This Act was enacted to provide for the prevention, control and abatement of air pollution and for the establishment of Boards at the Central and State levels with a view to carrying out the aforesaid purposes and to resolve the problems related to air pollution. The Air Act also seeks to combat air pollution by prohibiting the use of polluting fuels and substances, as well as by regulating appliances that give rise to air pollution.

  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974

This act was enacted to provide for the prevention and control of water pollution and to maintain and restore wholesomeness of water. It also provides for the establishment of Boards for the prevention and control of water pollution with a view to carry out the aforesaid purposes. The Water Act also prohibits the discharge of pollutants into water bodies beyond a given standard and lays down penalties for non-compliance.

  • The Environment Protection Act, 1986

This act was enacted to provides for the protection and improvement of the environment and to establishes the framework for studying, planning and implementing long-term requirements of environmental safety. It was formulated to provide a framework for the coordination of central and state authorities established under the Water Act, 1974 and the Air Act.

  • The Hazardous Waste Management Regulations, etc.

This was enacted to guide the manufacturing, storage, and import of hazardous chemicals, management of hazardous waste, and to lay down the proper disposal, segregation, transport of infectious wastes. Moreover, it also enables the municipalities to dispose of municipal solid waste in a scientific manner.

  • The Forest Conservation Act, 1980

This act was formed to help conserve our nation’s forests. It provides for restrictions and regulations for the de-reservation of forests or use of forest land for non-forest purposes without the prior approval of the Central Government.

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