India has a plethora of laws to control and manage the quality of the environment. According to a law firm, Vaish Associates, these include:
The National Green Tribunal Act,
which provides for setting up of the National Green Tribunal for “effective and expeditious disposal of cases related to environment protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources”. It also deals with the relief, rehabilitation, and compensation of the local communities.
The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act,
which establishes ambient air quality standards. It deals with the prohibition of polluting fuels and other substances, and regulating polluting appliances.
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act,
which prohibits the discharge of pollutants into water bodies beyond a given standard. There is also the Water Cess Act, which provides for levy and collection of tax on individuals and companies that carry on certain industrial activities.
The Environment Protection Act,
which establishes a framework for “studying, planning and implementing long-term requirements of environmental safety, and laying down a system of speedy and adequate response to situations threatening the environment. It defines environment as issues of land, water, and air “as well as the inter-relationship that exists between water, air, and land, and human beings, other living creatures, plants, micro-organisms, and property”.
Hazardous Wastes Management Regulations,
which include several acts such as the Factories Act, Public Liability Insurance Act, National Environment Tribunal Act, and several rules that deal with hazardous wastes, biomedical wastes, and municipal solid wastes.
The Wildlife Protection Act,
which aims to protect wildlife, and control poaching, smuggling, and illegal trade in wildlife and its derivatives.
The Forest Conservation Act,
which restricts and regulates the de-reservation of forests or use of forest land for non-forest purposes without the prior approval of the central government.
The Biological Diversity Act,
which aims at “conservation of biological resources and associated knowledge as well as facilitating access to them in a sustainable manner”.
Coastal regulation Zone Notification,
which has the “objective to ensure livelihood security to the fishing communities and other local communities living in coastal areas, to conserve and protect coastal stretches, and to promote development in a sustainable manner”.