SIPCOT Cuddalore, 30.04.22: Exposing the fundamentally flawed emission monitoring design of TNPCB – At-least 19 out of 58 stacks being monitored by the pollution regulator for real-time air emissions had not even set up basic threshold limits, revealed an investigative RTI study carried out by Community Environmental Monitoring and SIPCOT area community environmental monitoring for the period 2019-2020. Lack of thresholds for various parameters means that industries set up within the SIPCOT Cuddalore industrial area had a free reign to pollute.
Among the stacks that had thresholds set, emissions from four industries including Chemplast and Kawman Pharmaceuticals were exceeding the permitted limit by 1.3 to 40 times. Unchecked emissions from industries in SIPCOT Cuddalore continue to impact the health of the residents and people in the area.
TNPCB which has a mandate to prevent and control air pollution has neither a proper continuous air monitoring system, nor found to have taken necessary action against polluters. Communities living in and around the industrial estate continuously complain of unabated air pollution incidents. The district health department, which has a mandate to protect public health, is indifferent.
“The SIPCOT area residents have been vulnerable to and have been complaining about air pollution for nearly 4 decades now. This unuseable stack emission monitoring system is of no help to bring any change or improvement to SIPCOT air. TNPCB is carrying this out as an eyewash”, said Thanakodi, a resident of Sonanchavadi Village.
“The SIPCOT residents had developed a monitoring and reporting mechanism by applying community based environmental monitoring science for the past 17 years even before the advent of continuous emission monitoring technology in Cuddalore. The regulators have continuously ignored community science based reporting and left them in the midst of recurring pollution incidents and industrial accidents. The regulators must immediately discharge their lawful duty towards designing and implementing stringent monitoring mechanisms and take action on violators to protect the SIPCOT area environment and people.” said SACEM members.
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