Acting on the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order, the central pollution authority has asked 270 tyre pyrolysis units in 19 States to shut down their shops, saying these have been found to be flouting environmental norms and causing high levels of pollution.
Pyrolysis is a method of recycling old tyres through a thermochemical treatment under high temperature to produce industrial oil and other matters. The states whose pollution control authorities have been issued notices are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
While ordering the shutdown of the 270 units, the CPCB referred to a National Green Tribunal (NGT) order and said these units were causing pollution and adversely affecting the health of workers involved in the process.
"In exercise of powers vested under Environment (Protection) Act 1986, directions are hereby issued to you (state pollution control boards) to close down all such pyrolysis units in your state or UT which are not complying as on date with consent conditions and SOP (standard operating procedure) of the Ministry of Environment.
"You are also directed to carry out strict vigilance and monitoring in complying industries to ensure continued compliance of consent conditions and the SOP of the Ministry," the notice issued on Wednesday by CPCB Chairman SPS Parihar said.
The top pollution watchdog also directed the state boards to submit an action taken report to the CPCB by December 25, failing which appropriate action shall be taken under the law.
"You are further directed that import of polluting hazardous waste material shall be strictly regulated as per Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules 2016 and the amendment thereof," it also said.
The CPCB order came with regard to a plea filed in the NGT, alleging that use of waste tyres by the pyrolysis industry operating in the country which are engaged in producing inferior quality pyrolysis oil, pyrolysis gas (pyro gas), solid residue (char), carbon black and steel through the pyrolysis process needs to be banned to prevent environmental damage.
The activity emits highly carcinogenic/cancer-causing pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), dioxin, furans and oxides of nitrogen which are extremely harmful to the respiratory system, the plea alleged.