Petitioners asked the National Green Tribunal to require the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change to implement restrictions on water consumption and emissions adopted in 2015 for new thermal power plants. The Ministry had requested the Supreme Court grant an extension on the required timeline for implementing the regulation.
The Tribunal found that “it is the obligation of the State machinery to find out a way forward in consultation to the said power plants and to come out with a definite plan to go ahead for achieving the goals set in the Notification, particularly as regards the water consumption and emission standards.” The Tribunal explained that the Ministry had made an informed decision when it promulgated the regulations and now it must comply. Finally, the Tribunal found “it is in the interest of the future that new Thermal power plants are not allowed to come up without they conforming with the standards set out in the said Notification . . . . Failure . . . will not only add to the problems of the Ministry but also mess up the the [sic] environmental scenario.” The Tribunal directed the Ministry “not to grant any Environmental Clearance to any new Thermal Power plant unless they show that every mechanism/technique to achieve the standards . . . is in place/adopted.”