How Is Centre Accrediting, Monitoring Labs Which Analyse Air, Water Quality, Asks NGT [Read Order]

How Is Centre Accrediting, Monitoring Labs Which Analyse Air, Water Quality, Asks NGT [Read Order]

As Delhi and other states, near and far, struggle with polluted air and water, the National Green Tribunal has directed the Centre to produce information about accredited laboratories and analysts recognized to furnish report with regard to analysis of air, water and other samples and the monitoring mechanism in place to keep a check on their functioning.

A bench headed by NGT chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change after it was informed that as per a notification dated 21.02.1991 issued under Section 23 of the Environment Protection Act, recognition of private laboratories and analysts is to be done by the Central Government.

The bench said so while hearing the plea moved by environmental activist Vikrant Tongad's NGO Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE) on effectiveness of monitoring regime to ensure that accredited laboratories furnish credible reports with regard to analysis of air, water and other samples

SAFE's advocate Salik Shafique said there are large scale grievances against authenticity of reports furnished by the laboratories which are not being properly monitored even as there reports are the basis for enforcement of law under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

A response filed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) informed that it conducts Analytical Quality Control (AQC) exercises which is a four-year plan. The report, however, was silent on the procedure for recognition of laboratories, their functions and the level of accuracy of the reports furnished by such laboratories.

"AQC/Proficiency test must be conducted by CPCB at least once in two years with the participation of the concerned laboratories. For this purpose, CPCB is at liberty to engage appropriate manpower, including suitable retired personnel, utilizing available environmental compensation fund," said the Tribunal as it called for further report from CPCB by February 4, 2020.

Click here to download the Order