GSPCB tells MoEF to wait for air quality study before granting EC to coal facility enhancement
PANJIM: Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) has asked the Union Ministry for Environment and Forest (MoEF) not to grant Environmental Clearance (EC) to Mormugao Port Trust’s (MPT) proposal to enhance the coal handling facility at Berth 5A-6A (JSW) and redevelopment of Berth 8 and 9, until the air quality study of Vasco town, to be undertaken by IIT Bombay, is complete.
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay will be undertaking a 12-month Particulate Source Apportionment Study of the air quality in Vasco, to quantify the contribution of emissions generated from various sources – traffic zones, industry, houses and port operations. The result of the study will be out within 18 months.
“The study needs to be done before considering the projects for grant of environmental clearance,” GSPCB Member Secretary Levinson Martins said in a communication to MoEF Regional Office, Bangalore.
The Board, after assessing the ambient air quality last year, had ascertained that MPT is the most polluted zone in Goa with activities like coal handling, truck movement and ship and train emission the major reasons for pollution.
The need for the Particulate Source Apportionment Study arose following strong opposition from the residents of Vasco to the proposed expansion project, which is currently on hold. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had announced on the floor of the House that the study would be conducted.
The study involves identification of emission sources, assessment of extent of contribution of these sources on ambient environment, prioritising the sources that need to be tackled, evaluating various options for controlling the sources and formulation and implementation of action plans.
The Board has already directed the coal handling firms – South West Port Ltd (Berth 5A and 6A) and Adani Mormugao Port Terminal Pvt Ltd (Berth 7) – to reduce the coal handling facility by 25 percent.