Matters concerned with Environment

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jaitapur nuke plant will be a social disaster: TISS report- DNA

Jaitapur nuke plant will be a social disaster: TISS report

DNA / Ninad Siddhaye / Sunday, December 26, 2010 23:48 IST

A social impact assessment review conducted by Jamshetji Tata centre
for disaster management of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
has torn into the nuclear power plant being proposed at Jaitapur in the
Konkan region.

The report has indicated that the project — which
requires about 968 hectares of land panning five villages — will have a
huge negative impact on the social as well as environmental development
of not just these villages and the surrounding areas, but also on the
Konkan region in general.

The detailed report was prepared by
researchers in April. Some of the findings suggest that a large part of
land to be acquired for the project is being used for agriculture,
horticulture and grazing purposes, and that the government has subverted
facts by labelling it barren land.

“Farmers and horticulturists
have spent lakhs of rupees to make the land cultivable over years and
even the government has supported them. This includes Alfonso mangoes
and cashews. Now, when the time has come for them to reap their
investments, they are afraid of losing their land as the government now
claims it is barren land,” says the report. It adds that even the
fisherfolk of the region are against the project.

“Their fear
that the fishes will migrate to deeper waters due to release of hot
water from the reactors is not unjustified. Apart from fishing, other
allied activities will also be adversely affected,” says the report,
which was prepared after interviewing villagers.

One of the major
concerns expressed in the report is the lack of transparency in
dissemination of information about the project on the part of the
government and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL). “It
is necessary that the government ensures full transparency in
implementation. But the information can be accessed only through RTI,
and people seem to be losing faith in the government,” the report

The report states there is a lack of clarity on the exact
amount of land that has been earmarked for acquisition. “Even the amount
of compensation and the kind of rehabilitation that the project
affected will get is not clear. Moreover, there is a lot of manipulation
of information, which is disturbing people.

Notification of area
from high severity earthquake zone to moderate seismic severity zone
seems to be one of them. The government is not only hiding facts, but
also manipulating them,” alleges the report.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Endosulfan Ban in Kerala

The Kerala State Pollution Control Board through its letter No. PCB/L/1541/2001 dated 19th Nov 2010 has banned the use of endosulphan any form with immediate effect in the Kerala State untll lt is proved safe;

Maharashtra halts all Sindhudurg mining

TOI impact: Maharashtra halts all Sindhudurg mining
MUMBAI: The thickly-wooded Western Ghats escaped a major ecological calamity as the Maharashtra government this week put on hold 49 mining projects in the verdant Sindhudurg district.

The state mining department's decision to denotify the 49 mining areas in the lush region came in the wake of a series of reports in TOI that highlighted the impending environmental disaster. Days after the first report appeared on October 15, Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh had written to then chief minister Ashok Chavan demanding a relook at the leases. He followed it up in November with a similar missive to Prithviraj Chavan, the new CM.

Sindhudurg has the highest green cover in Maharashtra and was declared the country's first eco-tourism district in 1997. Over the last three years, the government granted 53 mining leases — many on the basis of fabricated environment impact assessment reports — in the district, of which four are already operational.

''We have called for all files related to the 49 mining leases, including environment impact assessment reports,'' said state environment secretary Valsa Nair Singh. ''It is a known fact that EIA reports are done in a haphazard manner and there are several inherent flaws in them.'' Singh added that a detailed review would be conducted of the operational mines.

The denotification means that companies cannot dig away for minerals in the region until the MoEF lifts its moratorium on mining in Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri. It also forces them to seek fresh permissions from both Central and state agencies before applying again.

''The denotification happened after it was found that many areas in Sindhudurg are ecologically fragile and mining may adversely impact tourism in the area,'' a senior state industry official said.

Of the 49 permissions, 32 were granted in the Sawantwadi-Dodamarg area, which has the highest forest cover in Sindhudurg district. The area boasts of rich wildlife and makes up a major portion of the green corridor between Koyna sanctuary in Satara district and the Anshi-Dandeli tiger reserve in Karnataka.

State mining officials believe that minerals worth Rs 10,000 crore lie in the rich subsoil of the Western Ghats.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

US Ban Endosulfan- June 2010

EPA to Ban Use of Endosulfan

EPA to Ban Use of Endosulfan

September 8th, 2010

EPA to Ban Use of Endosulfan

In June 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took action to ban the use of endosulfan
in the United States because it poses unacceptable risks to
agricultural workers and wildlife, and can be pervasive in the

The decision was based on a revised ecological risk assessment
report, first written in 2002, which highlights that farm workers face
greater risks than were previously known. The EPA also found that
endosulfan, a colorless solid, poses excessive risk to aquatic and
terrestrial wildlife, as well as to birds and mammals that consume
aquatic prey which have ingested endosulfan.

The EPA’s revised assessment from 2010 is a comprehensive review of
all available exposure readings and ecological effect information for
endosulfan, including independent peer-reviewed recommendations made by
the endosulfan Scientific Advisory Panel.

Endosulfan (6,7,8,9,10,10-hexcholoro-1,5,5a,6,9,9a-hexahydro-6,9-methano-2,4,3-

benzodioxathiepin-3-oxide), a dioxathiepin (broadly classified as an organochlorine),
is a broad-spectrum contact insecticide and acaricide that is used on a
wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and cotton, as well as on
ornamental shrubs, trees, vines, and herbaceous plants in commercial
agricultural settings. It has also been used in wood preservation and
home gardening. According to the EPA, crops, such as tomatoes,
cucurbits, potatoes, apples, and cotton, were treated with the highest
amounts of endosulfan between 2006 and 2008.

Endosulfan has emerged as a controversial agrichemical due to its acute toxicity, potential for bioaccumulation, and role as an endocrine disruptor. The EPA is currently drafting a more detailed report of their decision.

For more information on the EPA’s decision visit:

Petroleum Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region or PCPIR in Paradeep Orissa

CCEA Clears A Proposal To Set Up PCPIR Region In Orissa
(RTTNews) - The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs or CCEA has approved a proposal of the Government of Orissa to set up a Petroleum Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region or PCPIR in Paradeep, to attract an investment of Rs.277,734 crore, which includes a committed investment of Rs.29.777 crore.

The Government of Orissa proposes to set up a PCPIR at Paradeep extending over parts of Kujang and Ersama blocks of Jagatsinghpur district and Mahakalpada and Marsaghai blocks of Kendrapara district. This is the fourth PCPIR which has been approved after PCPIRs in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal.

The proposal envisages development of physical infrastructure such as roads, rail, air links, ports, water supply, power etc. at a cost of Rs.13,634 crore under Public Private Partnerships to the extent possible and Central Government will provide the necessary Viability Gap Funding (VGF). Accordingly, Orissa government has sought support from Government of India involving a commitment Rs.716 crore on account of VGF funding for one port and three road-related projects.

The total employment generation from the OPCPIR is expected to be around 6.48 lakh persons comprising direct employment to 2.27 lakh persons.

The PCPIR policy is a window to ensure the adoption of a holistic approach to the development of global scale industrial clusters in the petroleum, chemical and petrochemical sectors in an integrated and environment friendly manner. The idea is to ensure the setting up of industrial estates in a planned manner with a view to achieve synergies and for value added manufacturing, research and development.

The State Government proposes to constitute the Greater Orissa Paradeep Development Authority, as the authority in-charge of the development of the Paradeep PCPIR. ...............................

IUCN assessing status of freshwater biodiversity

IUCN in the process of assessing freshwater biodiversity of India - The Hindu | India Water Portal

The freshwater biodiversity of the
country is being assessed by the International Union for Conservation of
Nature (IUCN). It is after a gap of 13 years that the freshwater
biodiversity of the country, including fish, molluscs, insects and
plants, is being assessed using the IUCN Red List Categories and
Criteria. The last such assessment was held in 1997.

Nemachelus botia, a loach fish species, endemic to Western Ghats

The assessment of the biodiversity of
freshwater bodies in north India has been completed and the results
updated in the Red List of the agency.

The list is considered a comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species.

has nine classifications namely extinct, extinct in the wild,
critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable, near threatened, least
concern, data deficient and not evaluated. The classification of species
threatened with extinction—vulnerable, endangered and critically
endangered - is carried out after assessing the biological factors
related to extinction risk like the rate of decline of the population,
population size, the area of geographic distribution, degree of
population and distribution fragmentation.

It is estimated that
only 13 of the 807 species of freshwater fish found in India have been
assessed using the Red list criteria. Regarding the other species, only
four insects, two species freshwater molluscs and one species of
freshwater plant have so far been assessed.

The preliminary
assessment of the freshwater biodiversity of the Western Ghats has been
completed and the list is being peer-reviewed by international experts,
said Sanjay Molur, executive director, Zoo Outreach Organisation,
Coimbatore, which partnered with the IUCN for the assessment.

The list will be released at a function in Thiruvananthapuram later this month, he said.

the evaluation held in Coimbatore recently, the status of around 250
fish were assessed. Around 100 other species were left out as they were
also found in the waterbodies in north India, said a fisheries expert
who took part in the process.

According to initial reports,
around 30 fish species have been included in the endangered and 15 in
critically endangered lists from the region. It was also reported that
there was no reports on one fish species from the Tamil Nadu region of
the Ghats for the last 20 years.

The Ghats region is facing
increased threats due to economic development in the form of
deforestation, construction of dams, sand mining, pollution and


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