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Overview of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board

The State Government of Tamil Nadu constituted the Tamil Nadu Prevention and Control of Water Pollution Board on 27th February 1982 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. The Board was renamed in 1983 as Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB). The Board investigates, collects and disseminates data related to the water, air and soil pollution and also lays down the standards for sewage/trade effluent and emissions for discharging entrusted to it. 

The TNPCB enforces Pollution Control Legislation, Rules and Notifications, and these are the following laws:

  • Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act
  • Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act
  • The Tamil Nadu Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules
  • The Tamil Nadu Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules
  • Environment (Protection) Act
  • The Environment (Protection) Rules
  • The Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules
  • Fly Ash Utilization Notification 
  • The Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules
  • The Environment Impact Assessment Notification
  • The Hazardous and Other Waste (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules
  • The Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules
  • The Solid Waste Management Rules
  • The Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules
  • The E-Waste Management Rules
  • The Plastic Waste Management Rules

The Head Office of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) is in Chennai, and it is headed by the Chairman, Member Secretary, and two Additional Chief Environmental Engineers. It has ten zonal and thirty-two district offices. The Zonal Offices and District Offices are headed by the Joint Chief Environmental Engineers and Districts Environmental Engineers, respectively. Five Flying Squads are also working at Chennai, Erode, Salem, Tiruppur and Vellore and these are headed by the Environmental Engineers. Assistant Environmental Engineers head the two District Offices.  

The TNPCB has established five Advanced Environmental Laboratories and ten District Environmental Laboratories to assist in the Analytical and Scientific side. 

The Board is taking all effective steps for the safe disposal of the wastes. It has completed the inventory of hazardous waste generating units and has identified sites for the disposal of such hazardous wastes. It also creates awareness in the state of Tamil Nadu by opening training institutes and awareness cells and by holding awareness programmes related to the Environment. 

Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board Consent and Monitoring

The consent that the TNPCB issues are of two types:

Consent to Establish

The Consent to Establish (CTE) is issued depending upon the suitability of the site of the industry before its construction.

Consent to Operate

The Consent to Operate (CTO) is issued after the installation of the measures related to pollution control in the industries.

The filed officers of the TNPCB inspect all industries of their jurisdiction on a timely basis to know the adequacy of treatment measures provided for the treatment of liquid effluent and gaseous emission. 

The Board has classified industries into three categories as per the pollution load of these industries. Such categories are Red, Orange and Green. 

The TNPCB issues show-cause notices, directions for closure, stoppage of power supply and water supply, etc., and also takes legal actions against erring industries for non-compliance with Pollution Control Legislations, Conditions and Standards. The Board has delegated the power of close monitoring to the field officers. The Joint Chief Environmental Engineers or the District Environmental Engineers are empowered to issue the consent to categories of the orange and green industries and also to the small red industries. Such officers can also issue show-cause notices to these industries. 

The TNPCB acts as the catalyst in the implementation of the Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) for small scale industries located in clusters.

Functions of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board

The following are the main functions of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board as per the provisions of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1947 and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981:

  • To prepare a comprehensive programme and to advise the Tamil Nadu State Government on matters related to the prevention and control of air and water pollution, especially air and water pollution.
  • To inspect the sewage and trade effluent treatment plants for their effectiveness and review the plans and specifications.
  • To inspect industrial plants or manufacturing processes, control equipment, and provide directions for the prevention and control of pollution in air and water.
  • To conduct an inspection of the air pollution control areas to assess the air quality and to take suitable measures. 
  • To set the effluent standards for sewage and trade effluent and for gaseous emission into the Environment from industries or any other sources.
  • To develop economically reasonable treatment technology for sewage and trade effluents.
  • To collect a sample of sewage and trade effluents and emission of gaseous pollutants and to analyse the same for specific parameters.
  • To collaborate with CPCB in training the individuals engaged in programmes related to prevention, control or abatement of air and water pollution and steering mass education programmes.
  • To execute any other function as prescribed by the Tamil Nadu State Government or the Central Pollution Control Board.

Documents for Karnataka State Pollution Control Board consent

The Documents required for filing an application to Karnataka State Pollution Control Board are the following:

  • The Aadhar Card and Pan Card of the Authorized person 
  • Certificate of Incorporation, in case of a Private Company
  • PAN Card of the unit, in case of Partnership
  • Authorization letter except in case of Proprietorship
  • Proof of Ownership
  • CA Letter for total project cost
  • GST Certificate
  • Rent Agreement
  • Detailed Project Report
  • Utility Bill
  • Layout Plan/ Site plan 
  • FSSAI Certificate, in case of food business

Checklist of supporting Documents for Consent to Establish

  • A requisition letter mentioning the project status and activities of the industries
  • Compliance statement on the CTE as stated under Water and Air Act
  • Auditor’s Certificate with the details of break-up for final cost duly certified by the CA
  • The photographs of measures of Effluent Treatment Plant, Air Pollution Control or any other compliances
  • The compliance statement on the Environment Clearance as stated under the Environment Protection Act.
  • An agreement with Common Treatment Storage and Disposal facility or Common Bio-Medical Waste Treatment Facility.

Checklist of supporting Documents for Consent to Operate 

  • A requisition letter mentioning the project status and activities of the industries
  • Production Capacity details products manufactured monthly during the previous financial year.
  • If any change in the name of the management of the company, quantity of sewage or trade effluent generated, the quantity of emission, number and height of chimney and mode of disposal of the same indicated against the original consent, then details of such changes.
  • The consolidated report of analysis of the treated sewage or trade effluent samples collected by the TNPCB in the previous financial year.
  • The recent report of AAQ, stack monitoring and Noise Level Survey was conducted through the TNPCB laboratory in the previous financial year.
  • The compliance report on the Hazardous Waste Authorization or Biomedical Waste Authorization was issued to the industry.
  • The Compliance report of the recent consent or renewal of consent issued to the industry under the Water and Air Act.
  • The Audited Balance Sheet or Auditor Certificate showing the Gross Fixed Assets without depreciation of the industry in the prescribed format. 
  • Copy of Environmental Statement.

Procedure for Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board Consent

The consent by Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board grants consent through the following procedure:

Identification of Category 

The new industry has to identify the category (red, orange or green) under which it falls, as divided by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB).

Filing of Application

The industry then applies for consent to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board by submitting Documents with the requisite fee. 


The application by the applicant for obtaining the consent of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board is forwarded to the Inspecting Authority. The authorized officer then does the site inspection. He then prepares the inspection report with comments. 

If any query arises, send it to the applicant. The applicant responds to the query with additional details or Documents. And if there is no query or upon the satisfaction of the response to the query, the inspecting authority forwards the application to the approving authority. 


The Approving Authority holds a committee meeting and drafts minutes. If the application gets approved, then it is sent to the AE/AEE, where it prepares the consent order. If not approved, then send it to the DEE, where he prepares the rejection letter with the reasons for rejection. The DEE forward the rejection letter to the applicant.  

Grant of consent

The consent order prepared by the AE/AEE is forwarded to the issuing authority. The issuing authority approves the consent order with a digital signature and forwards the consent order to the applicant. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

The body that ensures that industries or businesses are working within the limits of pollution or combustion levels set by the state of Tamil Nadu provides the consent to such industries or businesses as per their category.

There are two types of consent granted by the TNPCB:
  • Consent to Establish
  • Consent to Operate

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board grants the Pollution Control NOC to the industries which are permissible in the mixed land use areas as per the laws notified by the Tamil Nadu State Government.

The industries are divided by the TNPCB under the red, orange, and green categories.

The authorities that are involved in the procedure to get the TNPCB consent are:
  • District Environmental Engineer (DEE)
  • Inspecting Authority
  • Approving Authority
  • Assistant Engineer (AE) /Assistant Environmental Engineer (AEE)
  • Issuing Authority

The headquarter of TNPCB is in Chennai.

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