Environmental Clearance

Siting Guidelines for TSDFs during Environment Clearance

calendar04 Apr, 2023
timeReading Time: 5 Minutes
Siting Guidelines for TSDFs during Environment Clearance

The Siting Guidelines for TSDFs assessment evaluates both beneficial and adverse potential impacts of the project on the environment. Various methodologies are available for impact assessment under the EIA study. However, the final selection of the site will be made by the State Government or an authorised person based on the Guidelines to HW (M&H) Rules issued by the MOEF[1]. A Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility (TSDF) is a beneficial alternative for waste generators which cannot afford the expensive infrastructure and land facilities required to manage their hazardous waste effectively.

This facility gathers waste from generators, treats it according to its specific features, and disposes of it. Nevertheless, choosing a suitable location for a TSDF is critical to ensuring its effectiveness in hazardous waste management. Several factors, such as waste characteristics, site characteristics, public approval, and prevailing laws and regulations, should be considered when selecting a site. A Siting Guideline for TSDFs should, therefore, adhere to the following requirements:

  • Comply with local land use planning and zoning regulations.
  • Be easily accessible for transportation in all weather conditions.
  • Have safeguards against air, surface water, and groundwater pollution.
  • Be acceptable to nearby residents’ sensitivities.
  • Avoid environmentally sensitive resources.
  • Be large enough to handle hazardous waste throughout its lifespan.
  • Be cost-effective and compliant with regulations.

Guidelines for TSDFs

Industry growth is a significant contributor to economic development, but it also brings about a range of environmental issues. To avoid these problems, it is crucial to consider environmental factors when deciding where to locate industrial facilities. Siting Guidelines for TSDFs, therefore, becomes essential.

  • Entrepreneurs should be aware of these consequences and take necessary steps to minimise any adverse effects on the environment and quality of life when setting up an industry. Installing pollution control equipment and other measures to mitigate environmental damage is often costly after establishing the drive.
  • The Industrial Policy Statement issued in July 1980 recognised the importance of preserving the ecological balance and improving living conditions in urban centres of India. Accordingly, the Policy prohibits the haphazard expansion of existing industries and the establishment of new industrial undertakings within the limits of metropolitan cities and larger towns.
  • Industries are established primarily based on techno-economic considerations, such as access to raw materials, the market, and transport facilities, with inadequate attention paid to environmental concerns.
  • To prevent air, water, and soil pollution from industrial projects, entrepreneurs must obtain clearance from Central/State Air and Water Pollution Control Boards before setting up the industry. The Central State Pollution Control Boards have set quality standards for air emissions and water effluents from industries.

Siting Guidelines for TSDFs

For some industrial projects, installing pollution control equipment is required; appropriate site selection is also necessary. To address this issue, the Department of Industrial Development has identified a select group of 20 industries and stipulated a formalised procedure for site selection from an environmental perspective. Following Siting Guidelines for TSDFs for the select group of industries, the conversion of letters of intent into industrial licenses is conditional upon the fulfilment of the following requirements:

  • The State Director of Industries confirms that the competent State Authority has approved the project site from an environmental perspective.
  • The entrepreneur assures the State and Central Governments that appropriate equipment will be installed and that prescribed measures for preventing and controlling pollution will be implemented.
  • The relevant State Pollution Control Board certifies that the proposal meets environmental requirements and that the equipment installed or proposed to be installed is sufficient and suitable for the project’s needs.
  • The State Department of Environment will serve as the authorised body for project site approval from an environmental perspective. In states without such departments, nodal agencies responsible for environmental issues should approve.
  • The entrepreneur must provide half-yearly progress reports to the respective State Pollution Control Boards concerning pollution control equipment installation. Depending on the project’s nature and location, the entrepreneur may be required to submit a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment Report and Environment Management Plans.

How to Start A TSDF Facility?

The main objective of Siting Guidelines for TSDFs is to aid the hazardous waste generators in the nearby area to use the facility for its intended purpose. TSDF covers three functional areas: treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. Treatment involves processes that change hazardous waste composition or volume. Storage refers to the temporary holding of hazardous waste before treatment or disposal. Disposal is depositing dangerous waste in the environment, ensuring it is safely re-entered or securely disposed of TSDF is a good choice for waste producers who need help to afford the expensive infrastructure and land facilities required to manage their hazardous waste effectively. TSDF is established to ensure the safe treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste.

Documents Required For TSDF Facility

The Documents required for TSDF Facility are as follows:

  • Company incorporation certificate
  • MoA (Memorandum of Articles)
  • Duly filled Form I
  • Layout Plan
  • Topo Map
  • The TSDF GST Registration
  • Copy of the latest Consent Order granted by the SPCB
  • Emergency Response Plan (ERP) addressing the procedures for dealing with emergencies (Ex – spillage, fire)
  • Proof of Pollution Control Equipment
  • Layout plan for the TSDF (Approved).
  • Details of pollution control Equipment.
  • Environmental clearance along with the compliance report copy.

Licenses Required For A TSDF Facility

The licenses required are as follows:

  • Environment clearance from the central and state level.
  • Authorisation for the Hazardous Waste
  • Hazardous Waste Incinerators regulations (with respect to gaseous waste emissions)
  • DG set standards (with respect to Noise pollution, Surface or groundwater norms, Ambient Air quality norms, and Effluent discharge)
  • Compliance with the discharge of contaminants guidelines
  • Hazardous Waste Management certificate
  • Water and soil assessment

Site Selection

The Site Selection for Siting Guidelines for TSDFs is as follows:

Identifying an appropriate site for a TSDF is challenging, but some guidelines can help. The methodology for selecting the best site involves the following sequential steps:

  • General evaluation of the region/site, considering factors such as climate, ecology, land use, logistics, topography, soil properties, aesthetics, and other features.
  • The site selection process through constraint mapping involves using remote sensing applications and ranking the available sites using site sensitivity indices.
  • Conducting Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies and other techno-economic feasibility studies to assess the suitability of the shortlisted sites.

Physical Features

  • Topography
  • Land stability
  • Seismic stability
  • Surface soils
  • Surface water and streams
  • Subsurface geology & aquifers

Human Values

  • Landscape
  • Recreation
  • Historical and archaeological monuments
  • Population density
  • Employment opportunities
  • Health status of the population

Ecological Features

  • Flora & fauna
  • Conservation value
  • Habitat

Climate

  • Wind direction
  • Temperature
  • Moisture

Land Use Features

  • Development potential
  • Land-use designation
  • Agricultural use
  • Transportation corridor
  • Extraction industries/mining

Logistics

  • Proximity to users
  • Transport Access
  • Availability of utilities (Hospitals, fire services etc.)
  • Adjacent land use

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a valuable tool for identifying, predicting, and evaluating the impacts of the proposed TSDF at a particular site.

One crucial aspect of EIA is assessing the impacts of TSDF on the environment. Due to the extensive infrastructure and other requirements involved in selecting, building, and running a TSDF, the impacts on the local environment can be intricate. The following phases have been identified during these stages:

  • Construction phase
  • Operational phase
  • Final phase

Importance of Site Selection in EIA

The phases have the potential to impact various aspects of the local environment, including air, water, soil, land use, human beings, and flora & fauna. The different activities involved in site selection, construction, and operation of TSDF, such as access roads and services, site preparation, infrastructural development, earth moving activities, traffic movements, leachate, and gas control and/or treatment, re-vegetation, greenbelt development, and monitoring, are all factors that can affect the environment. These activities may also lead to changes in public health and safety, population, landscape, gaseous emissions, water pollution, drainage, and local flora & fauna. Therefore, these aspects are taken into consideration in the Siting Guidelines for TSDFs.

Conclusion

TSDF is a unique approach that involves collecting waste from generators, treating it based on its characteristics, and then disposing of it. It operates similarly to a Common Effluent Treatment Plant, which treats liquid effluents. Multiple unit operations may be required to treat and dispose of the waste at a TSDF. However, selecting a suitable site per the Siting Guidelines for TSDFs is critical to the HWM process. It should be based on several factors waste and site characteristics, public acceptance, and regulations. This article discusses various operations that affect site selection and highlights the importance of assessing the impacts of the TSDF on the local environment under the EIA study. Due to the broad range of infrastructure and other requirements involved in the site selection, construction, and operation of a TSDF, its effects on the local environment can be complex in nature.

Also Read:
Environmental Clearance Process In India: A Complete Outlook

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