According to the EIA notification, 2006, Ports, harbours, break waters and dredging are classified as Schedule-1 projects and must undergo an EIA process for environmental clearance. These projects are also considered site-specific, requiring clearance from the MoEF for the specific location where they will be constructed. The clearance process for site-specific projects has two stages, with site clearance granted in the first stage and final environmental clearance granted in the second stage. Ports and harbours need waterfront and foreshore facilities and are located in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), so they require clearance from the Ministry of Environment & Forests under the CRZ notification from 2011. However, for projects within existing port limits, except for areas classified as CRZ-I, the authority to grant clearance under the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification has been delegated to the Ministry of Surface Transport (MoST).
Types of EIA Conducted Before Construction of Ports, Harbours, Break Waters and Dredging Projects
The types of EIA projects are as follows:
- Project Specific EIA – Some projects have limited negative impacts and don’t result in additional activities or developments. These projects require a project-specific EIA. For instance, a container terminal that only handles containers may not have any associated developments.
- Regional EIA – Projects that develop an entire region, including ancillary industries and induced developments, require a regional EIA. This involves assessing the cumulative environmental impacts of multiple proposed regional projects. For example, a port and harbour project could lead to the growth of industries, causing rapid industrialisation and urbanisation in the region.
- Sectoral EIA – When a long-term development plan for a particular sector, such as the port sector, is proposed, environmental impacts must be evaluated in a broader context. This requires a sectoral EIA.
Participants in an EIA for Ports, harbours, break waters and dredging
|Participants||Description & Function|
|Project proponent||The entity proposing the development of a project could be either a government or private organisation or any other party.|
|Environmental Consultant||The individual(s), organisation or company in charge of carrying out the EIA.|
|Public-Citizens and media||The public participation group, which comprises organisations such as NGOs, environmental agencies, and labour unions, plays a role in identifying particular environmental concerns.|
|Reviewer||It is the Agency responsible for reviewing the environmental impact summary report.|
|Other agencies of the government||Government agencies, both national and state that have either a direct or indirect interest or responsibility in the EIA process.|
|Expert advisors||The experts involved in the EIA process may either be from the government or the private sector. They possess specialised knowledge in either the project activity or the EIA process.|
|Decision-maker||Designated official/ agency|
Documents Required For Environmental Clearance for Ports, Harbours, Break Waters and Dredging
The documents required are as follows:
- A summary of the project in English and the local language.
- Form XIII as prescribed under Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules, 1975, where sewage discharge, trade effluents, and water treatment in any form is required.
- Form I as prescribed under Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Union Territory Rules, 1983, where the discharge of emissions is involved in any process, operation, or industry.
- Any other relevant information or document required by the Board for the final disposal of the application.
- Project proponents must provide the following information to the Union Ministry of Environment & Forests for environmental appraisal:
- EIA/EMP report (20 copies)
- Risk Analysis report (20 copies), which may not be required for some project categories, but the IAA’s decision on this matter will be final.
- NOC from the State Pollution Control Board
- Commitment regarding the availability of water and electricity from the competent authority
- Summary of Project report/feasibility report (one copy)
- Filled questionnaire (as prescribed by the IAA from time to time) for environmental appraisal of the project
- Comprehensive rehabilitation plan if more than 1000 people are likely to be displaced. Otherwise, a summary plan would be adequate.
- Comments of the State Department of Environment regarding CRZ classification of the area and that the proposal conforms to the approved CZMP of the area.
- NOC from the Chief Directorate of Explosives if the project involves storage/handling of hazardous substances.
- Demarcation of HTL/LTL by one of the authorised agencies.
- Comments of the Chief Wildlife Warden if in the proximity of marine parks, breeding and nesting grounds, etc.
- Location map showing various activities with reference to the high tideline.
Regulations Governing EIA for Ports, Harbours, Break Waters and Dredging
The rules and laws governing EIA for Ports, harbours, breakwaters, and dredging include:
- Environmental Protection Act 1986.
- EIA Notification (2006).
- Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, (2011).
- The Water Act, 1974.
- Hazardous Wastes (Management & Handling) Rules (1989).
- Manufacture, storage & import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules (1989).
- The Air Act, 1981, as amended by Amendment Act 1989.
- Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.
- Indian Ports Act 1908.
Project Description for Ports, Harbours, Break Waters and Dredging
To describe a project, it is necessary to provide information about the project activities and infrastructure requirements. Annexure A provides a questionnaire that can be used to describe the project setting. In the case of a port and harbour project, the infrastructure requirements include breakwaters, tug boats, lighthouses, firefighting equipment, facilities for combating oil spills (such as oil skimmers), buoys, and marine police. The requirements for docks depend on factors such as the types of vessels, cargo, and storage and handling requirements. The overall layout of the facility should consider factors such as berth length, the number of vessels, loading and unloading points, apron width, short-term storage capacity, cargo-handling equipment requirements, exposure to sea conditions, deck elevation, and traffic movements.
Baseline Study: Baseline studies are conducted to determine the environmental characteristics of the site, including:
- Areas that are ecologically critical and need to be preserved
- Regions that are environmentally sensitive and require significant management plans.
- Regions that are environmentally tolerant but still need routine control measures and proper maintenance.
- Sites that are already environmentally degraded due to existing development and require remediation.
Scoping is a crucial step in the EIA process of Ports, harbours, break waters and dredging that helps to identify the potential adverse effects of the project on the environment and prioritises important issues for assessment. Scoping involves systematically identifying the significant impacts based on the activities involved in a port and harbour project. The following are the steps involved in Scoping:
- Identify the proposed project activities and their location.
- Identify the key environmental issues that are likely to be triggered by the project.
- Justify the identification of insignificant impacts by referring to similar projects/activities where the same activity did not result in adverse environmental impacts.
- Identify available information sources.
- Identify the baseline data requirements. It is advisable to collect primary data only if secondary data is insufficient for impact analysis.
- Compile information on the environmental setting at the project site.
- Consider certain scenarios for impact analysis.
- Prepare the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the EIA study.
EIA for Ports, harbours, break waters and dredging is an essential process that helps to identify potential environmental impacts and develop mitigation measures to minimise adverse effects. The EIA process for such projects is guided by various laws and regulations, including the Environmental Protection Act 1986, EIA Notification (2006), Coastal Regulation Zone Notification (2011), The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, Indian Ports Act 1908 etc. By following a systematic and thorough EIA process, the potential environmental impacts of port and harbour development projects can be minimised, and sustainable development can be achieved.