En­vi­ron­ment-re­lated Acts are out­dated

Down to Earth - - LETTERS - D M DAVE

This is with ref­er­ence to "A con­tin­u­ing dis­as­ter" (De­cem­ber 1-15, 2014). Hav­ing been in­volved in the draft­ing process of var­i­ous Acts on air, wa­ter and en­vi­ron­ment pro­tec­tion, I would like to make a few points. Un­like what the mag­a­zine says, pol­lu­tion con­trol board of­fi­cials can en­ter a pol­lut­ing estab­lish­ment any­time and tell the owner that a sam­ple needs to be col­lected. No pre­vi­ous in­ti­ma­tion is needed.

I agree that there is a need to re­view th­ese Acts since they were drafted decades ago, when the level of in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal prob­lems were very dif­fer­ent. With re­gard to the penalty of ` 10,000 pre­scribed by the Wa­ter (Pre­ven­tion and Con­trol of Pol­lu­tion) Act, I agree the fine is too low.

The story also says that health im­pacts of methyl iso­cyanate (MIC) are not known. This is in­cor­rect. US gov­ern­ment's Na­tional In­sti­tutes of Health spon­sored a study on the health ef­fects of MIC at the Michi­gan State Uni­ver­sity and the Uni­ver­sity of Saskatchewan, Canada. The study says in­hala­tion of MIC dam­ages lung tis­sues, and can cause pul­monary edema, as­phyx­i­a­tion and death. When MIC con­cen­tra­tion ex­ceeds 21 ppm, it re­sults in the burning of lung tis­sues.

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