Union Ministry of Environment extended validity of Environment Clearance to 7 years

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Who: Union Ministry of Environment
What: Extended validity of Environment Clearance to 7 years
When: Notification issued on 29 April 2015

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) extended the validity of Environment Clearance (EC) from 5 years to 7 years by amending the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 2006. The draft notification regarding this was issued on 29 April 2015.

This increase in period of validity of EC for longer time would provide more leeway to corporations to manoeuvre and manipulate the actions and activities.

What are the amendments?
• The validity of the prior environmental clearance granted for all other projects or activities would be seven years. Earlier it was five years.
• In the case of Area Development projects and Townships, the validity period shall be limited only to such activities as may be the responsibility of the applicant as a developer.
• The period of validity in Area Development projects and Townships can be extended by the regulatory authority concerned by a maximum period of seven years if an application is made to the regulatory authority by the applicant within the validity period.
• Further, the regulatory authority may also consult the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) or State Level Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) , as the case may be, for grant of extensions in Area Development projects and Townships.
• There would be no condonation for delay for any application for extension filed 90 days after the validity period of EC.

Environment Clearance for Other Projects
For River Valley Projects it is 10 ten years and for Mining Projects it is project life as estimated by the EAC or SEAC subject to a maximum of 30 years.