Polluting Coal Plant Stopped in Cuddalore

ELAW partner Shweta Narayan at Community Environmental Monitoring has sent terrific news:

The National Green Tribunal blocked plans for a huge coal-fired power plant in the coastal city of Cuddalore, in Tamil Nadu.

In 2012, the National Green Tribunal ruled that the 3600 MW plant could not be built unless the developers submitted a Cumulative Environmental Impact Assessment (CEIA), taking into account the large number of already polluting industries in the area, and the close proximity of an important mangrove forest.

The developers submitted a CEIA, but it did not consider the cumulative impacts of building a power plant in an area already plagued by air pollution, including mention of how emissions of nitrogen oxides from the power plant would create a photochemical smog when combined with pollution from existing industries and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from a proposed refinery.

“This week’s court order from the National Green Tribunal is great news for the people of Cuddalore and for the global climate,” says Mark Chernaik, ELAW Staff Scientist.

The New Indian Express concurs:
“In a stinging rebuke of the haphazard manner in which the matter was handled by the EAC [Expert Appraisal Committee], the tribunal criticized the ‘casual approach’ and said it ‘failed to apply its mind’ on the material placed before it.”

ELAW partner Ritwick Dutta argued the case.

For more information, see:

The New Indian Express, November 11, 2014
Green Nod in a Hurry to Cuddalore District Power Plant Gets Tribunal’s Red Light

National Green Tribunal judgment

Maggie Keenan
Communications Director