Environment Protection Act,1986 is an Act of the Parliament of India. In the wake of the Bhopal Tragedy, the Government of India enacted the Environment Protection Act of 1986 under Article 253 of the Constitution. Passed in March 1986, it came into force on 19 November 1986. It has 26 sections and 4 chapters. The purpose of the Act is to implement the decisions of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. They relate to the protection and improvement of the human environment and the prevention of hazards to human beings, other living creatures, plants and property. The Act is an “umbrella” legislation designed to provide a framework for central government coordination of the activities of various central and state authorities established under previous laws, such as the Water Act and the Air Act.
THE ENVIRONMENT (PROTECTION) ACT, 1986
(Central Act 29 OF 1986)
[23rd May, 1986]
An Act to provide for the protection and improvement of environment and for matters connected there with:
WHEREAS the decisions were taken at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held at Stockholm in June, 1972, in which India participated, to take appropriate steps for the protection and improvement of human environment;
AND WHEREAS it is considered necessary further to implement the decisions aforesaid in so far as they relate to the protection and improvement of environment and the prevention of hazards to human beings, other living creatures, plants and property;
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Thirty-seventh Year of the Republic of India as follows:-
The Act contains IV Chapters and 26 Sections.
1. SHORT TITLE, EXTENT AND COMMENCEMENT.-
(1) This Act may be called the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
(2) It extends to the whole of India.
(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act and for different areas .
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,–
- “environment” includes water, air and land and the inter- relationship which exists among and between water, air and land, and human beings, other living creatures, plants, micro-organism and property;
- “environmental pollutant” means any solid, liquid or gaseous substance present in such concentration as may be, or tend to be, injurious to environment;
- “environmental pollution” means the presence in the environment of any environmental pollutant;
- “handling”, in relation to any substance, means the manufacture, processing, treatment, package, storage, transportation, use, collection, destruction, conversion, offering for sale, transfer or the like of such substance;
- “hazardous substance” means any substance or preparation which, by reason of its chemical or physico-chemical properties or handling, is liable to cause harm to human beings, other living creatures, plant, micro-organism, property or the environment;
- “occupier”, in relation to any factory or premises, means a person who has, control over the affairs of the factory or the premises and includes in relation to any substance, the person in possession of the substance;
- “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act.