Pollution Control Board

Air and water Consent under Air and Water Act

calendar23 Jun, 2022
timeReading Time: 5 Minutes
Air and water Consent under Air and Water Act

Setting up an industry in India, although simple, is still considered a lengthy process where acquiring many approvals from state authorities proves to be a confusing and tiresome task. One of such approval that almost all industries require is Air and Water consent from the State Pollution Control Board, which Air and Water Act mandate. These legislations make it compulsory for Industries to acquire Air and water consent from authorised departments even though the units are covered under Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016, E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016, Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 and Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016.

Air and Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981

In order to prevent and control ever-increasing water and Air pollution, the Water Act, 1974 and The Air Act, 1981 were enacted under which state pollution control boards were constituted as per Section 3 and 4. These Acts provide for the not only establishment of the boards but also provide functions per which these boards operate.

The Water Act, 1974, under Section 25, provides a grant of consent form from State pollution Control Boards which is mandatory for every industry and unit to obtain before it is established. This is also stipulated under Section 21 of The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. These Air and Water Consent forms are given to industries as per their categories and pollution index.

The MoEFCC has categorised the industries according to the Pollution Index, which is a unit denoting the amount of emission, effluents, and hazardous waste are generated in the Industries.    

The Different types of categories of industries specified by Pollution Control Boards are:-

White Category- Industries having the least amount of pollutants released is up to 20. The industries that are under white categories are not required to obtain Consent to operate. They just require the simple information to be sent to SPCB/PCC.

Green Category- Industries having a pollution index of 21 to 40 come under the green category.

Orange Category- Industries that have a higher pollution index of between 41 to 59 are categorised in Orange Category. Orange category include Lime manufacturing units, glass-making industries, Pharmaceutical formulation etc.

Red Category- Industries coming under the Red category are categorised as producing maximum amount pollution with the highest pollution Index score of 60 or above. They are industries are banned from any ecologically fragile area/protected area. 

Types of Air and Water Consent Provided

As per the provisions under the Water and Air Act, any industry, operation or process or an extension and addition thereto, which is likely to discharge sewerage or trade effluent into the environment or likely to emit any air pollution into the atmosphere will have to obtain the Consent.”

Therefore to start any industry, the manufacturer has to mandatorily acquire two types of Consent one is Consent to Establish and the other is Content to Operate.

Air and water Consent to establish

The manufacturers, as per guidelines, should obtain the required Air and water Consent to establish as the primary step into establishing the industry or operating units.

Applying for Consent to establish the manufacturer is required to register through the online consent management and monitoring system (OCMMS) of the concerned. 

 State Pollution Control Boards. The application submitted should have all the required information along with the documents mandated to be attached with the application, which is then followed by a mandatory inspection of the unit by the officer of the Pollution Control Committee.

The inspection of the units is accompanied by the review by the respective committee, after which the committee takes the decision.

But in case the owner of the industry is unable to establish the industry within the requisite time, then the manufacturer is required to apply for the extension of the certificate one month after the expiration of the certificate. Which will be issued after the concerned officer has completed his inspection.

Documents required for Consent to Establish   

  1. Site plans with images depicting the distance between the proposed site and the nearest residential area and water body
  1. The SSI Certificate of Partners
  2. The layout design shows the drainage/pipeline and final disposal point for waste water.
  3. The Collection, disposal, and storage of the solid waste
  4. Total available land in industrial complex for Green Belt Development, landscaping, and other purposes.
  5. A qualified professional make building blueprints with machinery details.
  6. Total area constructed
  7. The project report have production process information, process flow diagram, chemical formulas, effluent, emission, and hazards/solid waste source.
  8. water balance and Water usage breakdown
  1.  Flow Diagram and Effluent / Sewage Treatment Plant Specifications
  2. Boiler type, fuel used, and quantity
  3. Air pollution controls Specifications
  4. DG Specifications
  5. Raw material list with daily and monthly quantity
  6. Product/by-product list with daily and monthly quantity
  7. a Material Safety Data Sheet is required in the case of chemical industries,
  8. Permission from the state’s groundwater authority.
  9. for healthcare facilities, Pharmaceutical units Common Biomedical WasteTreatment Facility Membership Letter is required .

Air and water Consent to operate

Air and water Consent to operate is required by the owners when the industry is established as per the stipulated norms under the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974[1] and the Air Act, 1981[1], along with this have received Consent to establish, and the unit is ready to operate.

The process to file for Air and water Consent to operate involves filling out the mandated application form available online at the site of concerned state pollution authorities is to be filled and uploaded within mandated guidelines. After this  the documents mandated, along with the fees, are to be submitted on the website.

Once the document and fees are uploaded, the submitted application is sent to authorised personnel for review which is then followed by site inspection and documentation of a detailed analysis report which is submitted to the sub-regional officer. At last, the application is either approved or rejected.

Once the Air and Water consent to operate is granted, the certificate remains in operation for a period of 5 years for the red category, ten years for the orange category and 15 years for the green category. For Consent to operate, renewal is to apply through Online Consent Management & Monitoring System before the expiration of previous Consent to operate.

The Air and Water Act also states the penalty in case any industry falling into green/orange or red is operating without obtaining Consent. The penalty includes imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 months or a fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both. The manufacturer or the industry owner is held liable for the punishment.

Documents required to obtain DPCC Consent to operate

  1. Authorisation Letter
  2. Pan Card and the Aadhar Card
  3. Municipality or Industry license
  4. Health Trade License
  5. Factory/Trade License
  6. Proof of Registration of unit
  7. CA Letter on the total cost of the project
  8. Site Plan
  9. FSSAI Certificate (for food-related business)
  10. Electricity Bill
  11. Proof of ownership
  12. Water Bill
  13. GST certificate
  14. Environmental statement (form-V)

Along with this Manufacturer, for Consent to operate, also have to show a Copy of the last Consent (Consent to establish), the Layout plan for the manufacturing process and the latest analysis report of solid waste effluent, hazardous waste and fuel gases.


With the constant increase in the pollution caused by industries, it is very important to put the onus of responsibility on the manufacturers to keep the effluents and emissions in check, which makes the Air and Water Consent Certificate make aware the producers of their responsibilities as well as their responsibilities towards the environment.

Read Our Article:Consent to Establish and Consent to Operate from SPCB

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