Guide to the : Bangladesh Environmental
Conservation Act 1995 & Rules 1997
national Environmental legislation known as Environmental Conservation
Act, 1995, is currently the main legislative document relating to Environmental
protection in Bangladesh, which repealed the earlier Environmental Pollution
control Ordinance of 1997 and has been promulgated in 1995. The main
objectives of ECA 1995 are :
Control and mitigation of Pollution of Environment. The main strategies of the Act can be summarized as :
Declaration of Ecologically critical areas, and restriction on the operation and process which can be carried out or can not be initiated in the Ecologically critical areas.
Regulation of the industries and other development activities discharge permit.
Promulgation of standards for quality of Air, Water, Noise and Soil for different areas for different purposes.
Promulgation of standard limit for discharging and emitting waste.
Formulation and declaration of Environmental guidelines. The Act is being implemented by Department of Environment (DoE). The DoE is a Department of the Ministry of Environment and Forest and is headed by a Director General (DG). The DG has complete control over the DoE. The power of the DG, as given in the Act, may be outlined as follows:
The DG has the power to close down the activities considered harmful to human life or the Environment. The operator DoEs have the right to appeal and procedures are in place for this. However, if the incident is considered an Emergency, there is no opportunity for appeal.The DG has the power to declare an area affected by pollution as an Ecologically critical area. The type of work or process, which can take place in such an area, is governed by DoE.
Before going for any new development project proponent must have to take Environmental clearance from DoE. The procedure to take such clearance are in place.
Failure to comply with any part of ECA 1995 may result in punishment by a maximum of five years imprisonment or a maximum fine of TK. 100,000, or both.
Environment Conservation Rules (ECR) 1997
Department of Environment has promulgated the Environment Conservation
Rules 1997 under the ECA 1995 to evaluate, review the Environmental
Impact Assessment (EIA) of various projects and activities, and procedures
be established for approval. The Rules contain
format for Environmental clearance
ambient standards in relation to water pollution, air pollution and noise, as well as permitted discharge/Emission levels of water and air pollutants and noise by industries.
The Rules incorporate "inclusion lists " of projects requiring varying degrees of Environmental investigation e.g. all the new projects under red category generally will required a two-steps assessment procedure, firstly an Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) for site technical clearance (that is, approval of the design and the operating characteristics of the project). and secondly, if warranted, a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for technical clearance (that is, approval of the design and the operating characteristics of the project ). Gas development projects falls in to the Red category in the list.
The application for environmental clearance for a project classified in the Red Category should be accompanied by the following documents :
Feasibility Study Report of the industry (Project)
An NOC(Notice of Consent) from the local authorities concerned
Pollution minimization plane including Emergency plane for mitigation of adverse environmental impacts
Outline of relocation planes (where applicable)
Other information as deemed necessary
It is also mentioned in the Environment Conservation Rules that the Director General or the Department of Environment can issue Environmental clearance directly without issuing any site clearance to any industry or project if the (the Director General) finds appropriate reason for doing so.