Proceedings of International Conference on TREIA-2008 at Nagpur, Nov.23-25, 2008
Environmental Impact Assessment of Mining Projects
Dr. Gurdeep Singh
Mining projects fall under Schedule-I of EIA Notification 1994 and are required to obtain
environmental clearance from Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) as per the screening
criterion. Forest clearance under Forest (Conservation) Act is also specifically required if the project
involves the forest land. Mining projects being site specific projects, will also have to obtain separate
site clearance from the Government as specified in the EIA Notification.
2.0 Environmental Policy/Legislation
Environment clearance of development projects including mining is done by the Government,
with the following objectives:
optimal utilisation of finite natural resources through use of better technologies and management
increasing suitable remedial measures at the project formulation stage.
The Policy Statement of Pollution issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests Govt. of
India in 1992, provides instruments in the form of legislation and regulation, fiscal incentives,
voluntary agreements, educational programmes and information campaigns in order to prevent,
control and reduce environmental pollution. The establishment and functioning of any industry
including mining will be governed by the following environmental acts/regulations besides the local
zoning and land use laws of the States and Union Territories :
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 as amended from time to time
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977, as amended (Water Cess Act)
The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 as amended (Air Act).
The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (EPA)
The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 as amended
The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 as amended
The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991
The Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957, as amended (MMRD Act)
Circulars issued by the Director-General Mines Safety (DGMS).
Once the mining industry has been set up during the process of its life cycle, it is required to
meet the standards of emissions, effluents and noise levels besides the compliance of other
environmental acts/regulations including mining safety regulations. There also exists Guidelines for
Integrating Environmental Concerns with Exploitation of Mineral Resources which identify some of
the vital aspects relevant to environmental protection. These guidelines highlight the salient aspects of
the various problems and briefly indicate some of the steps that need to be incorporated during the
planning and various stages of the mining operations. The need for evolving certain tolerance
standards/limits by the appropriate agencies, has also been emphasised.
Professor and Head, Centre of Mining Environment, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad – 826 004