Environmental Clearance

Procedure for Surrendering Prior Environment Clearance Accorded By MOEF&CC/SEIAA

calendar17 Mar, 2023
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
Procedure for Surrendering Prior Environment Clearance Accorded By MOEF&CC/SEIAA

The purpose of obtaining an environmental clearance (EC) is to ensure that the proposed project does not cause significant harm to the environment and that all necessary measures are taken to mitigate any adverse impacts. The clearance process involves a detailed assessment of the proposed project’s potential environmental impacts and formulating an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) to mitigate these impacts. Surrendering prior Environment Clearance granted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC)[1] or State Environment Impact Assessment Authorities (SEIAA) can be done under certain circumstances, such as if the project is no longer viable, has been abandoned or has undergone significant changes that affect the environment.

Procedure for Surrendering Prior Environment Clearance

The procedure for the surrender of prior environmental clearance is as follows:

Stage 1: The project proponent must submit a written request to surrender the environmental clearance to the concerned SEIAA or MoEFCC. The request must include a detailed explanation of the reasons for surrender and any relevant supporting documentation.

Stage 2: The concerned authority will examine the request and may seek additional information or clarification from the project proponent.

Stage 3: If the request for surrender is found to be in order, the authority may issue a notice to the project proponent specifying the terms and conditions for the surrender of EC.

Stage 4: The project proponent must comply with all the conditions specified by the authority and submit a compliance report within the stipulated period.

Stage 5: The concerned authority may then cancel the environmental clearance and update its records accordingly.

Note: It is important to note that surrender of environmental clearance does not absolve the project proponent of any liability for any environmental damage caused by the project during its operation. The project proponent must still take all necessary measures to mitigate adverse impacts and comply with other applicable environmental regulations.

Circumstances Involved In Surrendering Prior Environment Clearance

The surrender of prior environmental clearance granted by the Ministry of Environment Forest & CC or State Environment Impact Assessment Authorities (SEIAA) can be done under the following circumstances.

  • If The Project is No Longer Viable: If it has become financially unfeasible or other factors make it impossible to implement the project, the proponent may opt to surrender the environmental clearance.
  • If The Project Has Been Abandoned: If the project has been abandoned for any reason, including financial, technical or legal issues, the proponent may surrender the environmental clearance.
  • If The Project Has Undergone Significant Changes: If the project has undergone significant changes that affect the environment, such as changes in the location, scope, design or technology, the project proponent chooses the option of surrendering prior Environment Clearance and seeking a fresh clearance based on the revised project proposal.
  • If The Project Is Causing Significant Environmental Damage: If the project is causing significant environmental damage or is likely to cause such damage in the future, the project proponent may opt to surrender the environmental clearance as a reliable measure to prevent further harm.
  • If The Project Is Violating Environmental Regulations: If the project is found to be violating any environmental regulations or conditions of the environmental clearance, the project proponent may surrender the clearance as a corrective measure.

It is important to note that surrender of environmental clearance should be considered a last resort after exploring all other options. The project proponent should seek expert advice and carefully evaluate all relevant factors before surrendering the clearance.

Regulations Involving the Surrendering Prior Environment Clearance Accorded By MoEF/SEIAA

Environmental clearance is obtaining clearance or permission from MoEFCC or SEIAA for certain types of developmental projects that may impact the environment. The clearance process is mandatory for projects falling under certain categories, as defined by the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification of 2006, such as mining, thermal power plants, highways, airports, and specific industries.

The process of surrendering prior Environment Clearance granted by MoEFCC or SEIAA is governed by the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification of 2006, as amended from time to time.

It is important to note that surrender of environmental clearance is serious and should be considered only as a last resort after all options have been exhausted. The project proponent should ensure that all relevant factors have been considered before deciding to surrender the clearance and should seek expert advice if necessary.

Conclusion

The surrendering prior Environment Clearance granted by the MoEFCC or State Environment Impact Assessment Authorities (SEIAA) is a process governed by regulations and procedures set out in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification of 2006. The surrender can be done under certain circumstances, such as if the project is no longer viable, has been abandoned, has undergone significant changes that affect the environment, is causing significant environmental damage or is violating environmental regulations. The project proponent must follow the procedures and timelines specified by the concerned authority, provide a detailed explanation of the reasons for surrender, comply with any terms and conditions specified by the authority, and submit a compliance report demonstrating that all conditions have been met. The proponent must still take all necessary measures to mitigate any adverse impacts and comply with any other applicable environmental regulations. Surrendering prior Environment Clearance should be considered only as a last resort after exploring all other options and seeking expert advice. It is recommended that a person looking to surrender Environmental clearance and approval should seek expert advice or consultation to get a hassle-free experience in the extensive process. 

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