Home » ISO 14001:2015 Compliance obligations and evaluation of Compliance

ISO 14001:2015 Compliance obligations and evaluation of Compliance

Compliance Obligations – Definition

ISO 14001:2015 defines Compliance obligations as “legal requirements that an organization has to comply with and other requirements that an organization has to or chooses to comply with”. In the note it further states “Compliance obligations can arise from mandatory requirements, such as applicable laws and regulations, or voluntary commitments, such as organizational and industry standards, contractual relationships, codes of practice and agreements with community groups or non-governmental organizations.”

6.1.3 Compliance obligations

The organization should determine and have access to the compliance obligations related to its environmental aspects. The organization must also  determine how these compliance obligations apply to the organization. The organization must take these compliance obligations into account when establishing, implementing, maintaining and continually improving its environmental management system. The organization must maintain documented information of its compliance obligations. Compliance obligations can result in risks and opportunities to the organization.

As per Annex A (Guidance on use of ISO 9001:2015 standard) of ISO 9001:2015 standard it further explains:

The organization determines, at a sufficiently detailed level, the compliance obligations it identified in 4.2 that are applicable to its environmental aspects, and how they apply to the organization. Compliance obligations include legal requirements that an organization has to comply with and other requirements that the organization has to or chooses to comply with. Mandatory legal requirements related to an organization’s environmental aspects can include, if applicable:
a) requirements from governmental entities or other relevant authorities;
b) international, national and local laws and regulations; 
c) requirements specified in permits, licenses or other forms of authorization;
d) orders, rules or guidance from regulatory agencies;
e) judgements of courts or administrative tribunals.
Compliance obligations also include other interested party requirements related to its environmental management system which the organization has to or chooses to adopt. These can include, if applicable:

  • agreements with community groups or non-governmental organizations;
  • agreements with public authorities or customers;
  • organizational requirements;
  • voluntary principles or codes of practice;
  • voluntary labelling or environmental commitments;
  • obligations arising under contractual arrangements with the organization;
  • relevant organizational or industry standards.

Explanation:

compliance-obligationsCompliance obligations replaces “legal and other requirements”. Compliance obligations may be mandatory (eg. Acts and Regulations), or voluntary (eg. contractual relationships, codes of practice and agreements and even expectations of third parties). Voluntary undertakings become compliance obligations once an organisation decides to adopt them. The revised standard requires organization to take a high level look at their “compliance obligations”, which include both regulatory requirements and voluntary commitments (for example to industry standards, contracts and agreements with communities or NGOs). The organization must determine risks and opportunities associated with compliance obligations. This could be the scale of penalties resulting from non-conformance, the benefits accruing from meeting commitments or the risks of the EMS failing to maintain compliance. They must plan actions to address compliance obligations, and to integrate these actions into the EMS or other business processes. they must determine competence requirements needed to meet compliance obligations and ensure these are satisfied. They must ensure that awareness-raising and communications programmes take account of compliance obligations. They must maintain processes for evaluating fulfilment of compliance obligations, determine to evaluate and take action after evaluation, and maintain knowledge and understanding of its compliance status and the management review should consider trends in the fulfilment of compliance obligations.

ISO 14001:2015 require organisations to developing an understanding of their compliance obligations, both regulatory and voluntary. There is more emphasis on understanding the expectations of stakeholders, and determining those that should be addressed. These could range from commitments to investors or customers about carbon emissions, applicable industry performance standards, local community agreements, and any other commitments made by the organisation. ISO 14001:2015 requires more rigour in identifying risks associated with non-compliance, at strategic and operational levels, and in establishing means of control. A fundamental change is being to demonstrate compliance status. This is not a one-off exercise, but a process that provides almost real-time knowledge and understanding of how the organisation is performing with regard to regulatory compliance and voluntary commitments. Many organisations, especially those subject to detailed regulatory scrutiny, may already have reliable and ongoing mechanisms for checking compliance, ranging from continuous emissions monitoring to daily housekeeping checks and weekly or monthly reviews of performance against improvement targets aimed at delivering conformance to compliance obligations. Organisations meeting the new compliance requirements of ISO 14001:2015 are probably in a far better position to understand their compliance risks, and reap the benefits from being able to demonstrate to stakeholders that they are fulfilling their commitments to environmental sustainability.

9.1.2 Evaluation of compliance

Once the Compliance obligation has been determined, the organization should establish, implement and maintain the processes needed to evaluate fulfilment of its compliance obligations. The organization should determine the frequency from evaluation of compliance, action taken from evaluation of compliance and maintain knowledge and understanding of its compliance status. The organization should retain documented information as evidence of the compliance evaluation results.

As per Annex A (Guidance on use of ISO 9001:2015 standard) of ISO 9001:2015 standard it further explains:

The frequency and timing of compliance evaluations can vary‘ depending on the importance of the requirement, variations in operating conditions, changes in compliance obligations and the organization’s past performance. An organization can use a variety of methods to maintain its knowledge and understanding of its compliance status, however, all compliance obligations need to be evaluated periodically. If compliance evaluation results indicate a failure to fulfil a legal requirement, the organization needs to determine and implement the actions necessary to achieve compliance. This might require communication with a regulatory agency and agreement on a course of action to fulfil its legal requirements. Where such an agreement is in place, it becomes a compliance obligation.  A non-compliance is not necessarily elevated; to a nonconformity if, for example, it is identified and corrected by the environmental management system processes. Compliance-related nonconformities need to be corrected, even if those nonconformities have not resulted in actual non-compliance with legal requirements. 

Explanation:

Once you have determined your Compliance Obligation, now you must evaluate your Compliance. Here you must plan and implement a process to evaluate if you meet the legal requirements that are applicable to you as determined above. This process needs to include:

  1. Frequency of compliance evaluation: How often you are going to check to see if you meet the requirements of a particular legislation will vary from law to law, but your process needs to determine how often you will check each level of compliance. For example, you may need to continually check the concentration of chemicals you are emitting into the sewage system, but you may only need to periodically check on how well you are diverting recycling from your landfill waste.
  2. Evaluate compliance and take action: This is the step that everyone thinks about when it comes to the requirements of legal compliance, and this requirement has not changed. As an organization, you need to make an assessment against the applicable laws to see if you meet the requirements, and take any actions necessary to become compliant if you are not.
  3. Maintain the status of your compliance: In other words, always know if you actually comply with your legal requirements. If a law changes, you need to know about it and know if the change affects your compliance with the law. If you make a change in your facility, you may need to evaluate whether you still obey all the laws, both during and after the change, even if you are not yet set to evaluate this according to your regular schedule.

Again, all of this evaluation needs to be kept as documented information for the use of you, your management system auditors, and any legal compliance auditors who may need to see it. One of the important aspect of Compliance evaluation is to keep  up to date on legislations changes, ensures compliance with legislation, and manages your compliance, you are not only doing a good job at meeting the current requirements, but will also be able to meet the updated requirements for environmental compliance obligations of the organization. As with any legal obligations for your company, the important thing is to know what is required of you in the legislation and to ensure that you are taking the actions necessary to meet the requirements. Not being caught off guard can protect you from unwanted and unnecessary fines – one of the benefits of having a good Environmental Management System.

Elements of meeting requirements of Compliance obligation:

  1. Commitment to compliance
  2. Determining compliance obligations
  3. Translating requirements of compliance obligations into impact on the organizations
  4. Ensuring that organizational and technical measures are taken in order to comply with the requirements
  5. Self assessing Compliance
  6. Internal Audit
  7. Management review of Compliance

compliance-evaluation

1. Commitment to compliance

The organization’s top management must lay down its commitment to fulfill its compliance obligations. . In practice, this is done by including a text in a ‘policy declaration’ signed by top management, in which other policy principles (such as the commitment to improving performance) are laid down. More important than the written statement is the way that this commitment is communicated within the organization by its top management. It is essential that compliance with Compliance obligations are part of the organization’s internal culture. Simply putting a statement down on paper is not enough to bring this about, however; regular communication about the importance of compliance is part of this commitment. It is important that the culture allows for open communication about compliance, and that employees are encouraged to come forth promptly to discuss any problems with compliance. Clause 7.3  Awareness is also relevant in this regard since it sets requirements for creating awareness about compliance with the environmental policy as well as implications of not meeting compliance organization, by the organization’s employees as well as third parties such as temporary workers.

Employee awareness and involvement can be encouraged by:

  • Oral and written communication from top management reiterating the importance of compliance, and the progress made in this area.
  • Making this a regular agenda item in meetings.

2. Determining Compliance Obligations

The organization must determine and have access to the compliance obligations related to its environmental aspects. It must  determine how these compliance obligations apply to the organization. It must take these compliance obligations into account when establishing, implementing, maintaining and continually improving its environmental management system. Compliance obligation can be a voluntary commitments based on a determination of relevant interested parties and their relevant requirements. Voluntary commitments becomes obligatory once adopted. The organization must evaluate compliance at predetermined frequencies and take necessary action to address actual or potential non-compliance.It must maintain knowledge and understanding of compliance status. In addition to periodic audits such as Site inspections/observations and  Review of records, the organization must also compare results of monitoring to regulatory requirements.

The organization must identify legislation and regulations that apply to it, meaning that they relate to the organization’s environmental aspects. On the basis of the organization’s process steps/ operations/present facilities, an evaluation is made of which legislation and regulations may apply. Sometimes legislation and regulations only apply if a particular limit or threshold is exceeded, for example, the presence of certain quantities of certain substances. It is then important:

  • to document why the legislation and regulations in question are applicable (or not);
  • in the case of ‘critical limits’, to ensure that limits are not exceeded, or if they are exceeded, that timely action is taken.

It must be realized that some legislation and regulations will be more clearly applicable and some less. An organization must also have an intention to be familiar with, and to comply with, less obvious legislation and regulations. The organization can fairly be expected to be familiar with all the applicable legislation and regulations. The overview of legal requirements must be kept up to date, even when there are changes to legislation. Organizations must therefore keep track of these changes and evaluate how they may affect areas such as operational control, as well as measuring and monitoring and any objectives. Enshrined in a process are:

  • who keeps track of changes in requirements of compliance obligations;
  • what sources of information are used;
  • how often this is done;
  • who translates this information into requirements for the organization, and how;
  • how this is recorded;
  • how changes are communicated internally;
  • who determines how, and how often, compliance with the requirements is checked.

It is important that the person responsible for keeping track of and evaluating Compliance obligations including legislation and regulations requirements and other related requirement  is also competent to do so. Competence includes knowledge of:

  • the processes in the organization related to legislation and regulations requirements and other requirements;
  • the main thrust of the various kinds of legislation and regulations that can apply.

Often there are several officials/departments in an organization who play a part in this process, such as HRM for health-related legislation, Technical Services for inspection requirements and relevant technical standards, a QES department for general legal changes, and possibly a legal/accounting department for insurance conditions, etc. Good working relationships and laying down who does what can make these things clearer.With regard to keeping track of changes in requirements of Compliance obligations, there must also be a regular check to see if the applicable requirements still fit the environmental and the company’s operations. New or different requirements may apply due to changes in, or of, operations. There may also be requirements that no longer apply. If desired, evaluating the implications of legislation and regulations on new operations or changes can be a part of an Management of Change Process.

3. Translating requirements of compliance obligations into impact on the organizations

Once an organization are aware of it’s compliance obligations, it will be necessary to ‘unravel’ them to find the specific requirements that affect it. An organization can only make a pronouncement about its own compliance if these requirements are made explicit. This is a time-consuming (albeit one-time) operation, especially for organizations subject to many laws and regulations. Ultimately, however, it has great added value. It must be clear how these Compliance obligations impact the organization, for example:

  • impact of  legislations and regulations on the organization
  • Technical provisions that must be made;
  • Organizational measures required;
  • Emissions that must be kept below certain levels;
  • Studies that must be done;
  • Notifications that must be made;
  • Obligatory monitoring, and monitoring reports.

Besides determining it’s compliance obligations, an organization must identify and evaluate its environmental aspects. The organization’s operations/processes will dictate the line of approach. Making this identification usually shows a connection between the applicable compliance obligation requirement and the personnel  responsible. The organization can opt to combine the translating all the legal requirements into their impacts on the organization with the identifying of its environmental  aspects. If it does so, it is important to ensure that all legislation and regulations have been adequately incorporated. Ultimately, the responsibilities and tasks with regard to such things as legal and other requirements come together in the job descriptions, procedures and/or operational instructions. When identifying both environmental aspects and legislation and regulations, items in specific job or task descriptions or procedures/ operational instructions can be numbered and referred to.

4. Ensuring that organizational and technical measures are taken in order to comply with the requirements

Once the organization knows which requirements apply, it determines how each requirement will impact it and what measures and action are necessary to comply with the requirements. If a requirement has not yet been met, an action must be defined in the organization’s environmental programme to achieve compliance with it (this programme may be annually updated). It may be necessary to notify and confer with the competent authority to define this action. The next step is to ensure that these measures and actions are actually taken. Doing so properly guarantees that the requirement is met even in between compliance checks.The method of ensuring compliance depends on the type of requirement for the organization. There are roughly four types of requirements:

  • ‘Static’ requirements: requirements for parts of the organization that do not change often, such as requirements for a building (fire-proof doors, presence of a sprinkler system, etc.).
  • Technical requirements: requirements for technical measures and maintenance.
  • Performance and monitoring requirements: requirements that entail taking measurements (of concentrations, annual obligations or amounts), keeping records or drawing up reports (including reports, measurements and studies by third parties).
  • Organizational requirements: for matters such as training and instructing personnel.

Other methods for guaranteeing compliance include:

  • a checklist which is gone through at defined intervals;
  • frequent measuring, recording and reporting (these can be kept up to date in a register or overview of measurements, records and reports);
  • laying down the method in procedures or instructions which are ensured by means of internal audits;
  • translating requirements into action linked to officers and recording these actions once carried out.

The severity of these measures is proportional to the risk of nonconformities. The degree of guarantee must be heavier as the risks increase. The risk has often already been determined in the identification and evaluation phase.The management system can include an overview by element of how compliance was ensured. If there are changes to legislation and regulations it will be easy to find what parts of the management system must be adapted.

5. Self assessing Compliance

The essence of this element is that an organization must be able to say with conviction that it has met its compliance obligation including  legislation and regulations under control. It is difficult to guarantee that all legislation and regulations are being complied with at every moment. Round-the-clock monitoring of all the requirements is impossible. A focused approach should enable the organization’s management to have confidence that there is a high level of compliance and that any nonconformities are resolved (where necessary, in consultation with the competent authorities). Assuming that the organization knows which requirement of compliance obligation including legislation and regulations apply, and has translated requirements they contain into their impacts on it, it can get a structural idea of its own compliance by taking the following steps. This means that there is an established process for this self-evaluation.

  1. Approach depends on the number of requirements

    If the number of requirements of Compliance obligations is limited, a checklist can be used for a periodic check that the requirements are being met. The management system can designate who fills out the checklist and at what intervals, how the results are reported to management, and how the rectification of nonconformities is ensured. If the number of requirements is greater, it is a good idea to establish principles for the frequency with which compliance with the individual requirements is evaluated. This frequency will depend on factors like the chance of a nonconformity with the requirements and any consequences of a nonconformity. Using these general principles as a basis, an organization can determine the appropriate frequency and method of evaluation for each requirement.

  2. Basis of the approach
    To determine how and how often compliance with particular requirements should be evaluated, there must be an idea of:

    • The chances of a nonconformity with these requirements arising.
    • The potential consequences of such a nonconformity for the environment or working conditions.

    There is a relationship here with the requirement from the standard to identify and evaluate environmental aspect. The organization can apply the risk assessment when identifying their environmental aspects. The outcome of the risk assessment can be used to determine how strictly to specify the evaluation of compliance with legislation and regulation for a particular environmental aspect. An organization can establish a few basic principles for specifying how it evaluates its own compliance. This can be done using the matrix also used for the risk assessment. Each organization can use its own categories for chances and effect.

    Scope of Risk Static Requirements Technical Requirements Performance / Technical Requirements Organization Requirements
    Acceptable Test only if a change or incident occurs, as part of Management of change process maintenance check two times per year Two times per year data evaluated by environment coordinator Once per month on rounds with checklist
    High-risk Once per month on rounds with checklist monthly maintenance check Four times per year data evaluated by environment coordinator four times per year data evaluated by environment coordinator
    Extremely high (unacceptable risk) Once per week on rounds with checklist weekly maintenance check 12 times per year data evaluated by environment coordinator 12 times per year data evaluated by environment coordinator

    Example of principles for specifying self-evaluation of compliance

    The higher the risk becomes, the more often the self-evaluation must be performed. It must be clear how compliance is evaluated for each requirement. This means that it is known:

    • Who is responsible for carrying out the evaluation;
    • What is evaluated (for example which rules or checklist, etc.);
    • How to record that the evaluation has been done, and how any nonconformities are dealt with.

    Evaluating compliance can take various forms, including:

    • as part(s) of a checklist used for routine checks;
    • periodic agenda point(s) during meetings;
    • continuous or periodic measuring programme(s) and reporting results;
    • incidental measurement;
    • specific evaluation by management/production manager etc.;
    • internal audits with an additional audit focused specifically on the process of identifying and complying with legal requirements;
    • work-place inspections.
  3. Checking compliance with legal and other requirements
    According to the standard, the organization must periodically evaluate whether it is meeting these requirements and must keep records of this evaluation. The frequency of this evaluation can differ for each requirement. The organization must determine how often to evaluate the various requirements and how to perform the evaluation.

6. Internal Audit

During internal audits, the organization itself determines how the parts of its management system are working. The question is also whether the management system is good enough to achieve its objectives. One important objective is to comply with compliance obligations. The internal audit yields essential information for the management review. Sometimes people think that the internal audits can be used to perform the ‘self-evaluation’. This is only possible to a limited degree. Since the internal audits are intended to evaluate the organization’s own system, they also test the effectiveness of the procedures for self-evaluating compliance. Compliance can only be evaluated using the internal audits if requirements from legislation and regulations are embedded in procedures or instructions.

7. Management review of Compliance

The results of the evaluation of compliance must be available during the management review. If management is to make a judgement of compliance, they must be given an overview of performance. For top management, it is in any case important to know for which Compliance including legislation and regulations requirements is critical and/or insufficient and what measures need to be taken (if necessary) to improve compliance. The cause of any nonconformity is also investigated so as to formulate corrective action.

Compliance Obligation in relationship to the other parts of the management system

We shall now discuss the part of ISO 14001:2015 standards having a direct reference to compliance Obligations. Other parts of the management system are also important for proper compliance. A brief indication of their relationship to compliance follows, in order of the elements of the standard.

compliance-mng

Relationship of elements of ISO 14001:2015 standard relevant for compliance management.

1.0 Scope:

Consistent with the environmental policy, the intended output of the environmental management system include fulfillment of compliance obligations.

As per Annex A (Guidance on use of ISO 9001:2015 standard) of ISO 9001:2015 standard it further explains:

As part of managing change, the organization should address planned and unplanned changes to ensure that the unintended consequences of these changes do not have a negative effect on the intended outcomes of the environmental management system. Examples of change include changes in compliance obligations.

4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties

The organization shall determine which of the relevant needs and expectation of the interested parties relevant to EMS become its compliance obligations. 

As per Annex A (Guidance on use of ISO 9001:2015 standard) of ISO 9001:2015 standard it further explains:

An organization is expected to gain a general (Le. high-level, not detailed) understanding of the expressed needs and expectations of those internal and external interested parties that have been determined by the organization to be relevant. The organization considers the knowledge gained when determining which of these needs and expectations it has to or it chooses to comply with, i.e. its compliance obligations.
Interested party requirements are not necessarily requirements of the organization. Some interested party requirements reflect needs and expectations that are mandatory because they have been incorporated into laws, regulations, permits and licences by governmental or even court decision. The organization may decide to voluntarily agree to or adopt other requirements of interested parties (e.g. entering into a contractual relationship. subscribing to a voluntary initiative). Once the organization adopts them, they become organizational requirements (i.e. compliance obligations) and are taken into account when planning the environmental management system.

4.3. Determining the scope of the environmental management system

The organization shall determine the boundaries and applicability of the environmental management system to establish its scope. When determining this scope, the organization shall consider the compliance obligations referred to in Clause 4.2

As per Annex A (Guidance on use of ISO 9001:2015 standard) of ISO 9001:2015 standard it further explains:

In setting the scope. the credibility of the environmental management system depends upon the choice of organizational boundaries. The organization considers the extent of control or influence that it can exert over activities, products and services considering a life cycle perspective. Scoping should not be used to exclude activities, products, services, or facilities that have or can have significant environmental aspects, or to evade its compliance obligations. The scope is a factual and representative statement of the organization’s operations included within its environmental management system boundaries that should not mislead interested parties.

5.2  Environmental  policy

Top management shall establish, implement and maintain an environmental policy that, within the defined scope of its environmental management system includes a commitment to fulfill its compliance obligations.

As per Annex A (Guidance on use of ISO 9001:2015 standard) of ISO 9001:2015 standard it further explains: 

While all the commitments are important, some interested parties are especially concerned with the organization’s commitment to fulfil its compliance obligations, particularly applicable legal requirements. This international Standard specifies a number of interconnected requirements related to this commitment. These include the need to:

  • determine compliance obligations;
  • ensure operations are carried out in accordance with these compliance obligations;
  • evaluate fulfilment of the compliance obligations;
  • correct non conformities

6.1 Actions to address risks and opportunities – 6.1.1 General 

When planning for the environmental management system, the organization should consider compliance obligations  to be addressed to:

  • give assurance that the environmental management system can achieve its intended outcomes;
  • prevent or reduce undesired effects, including the potential for external environmental conditions to affect the organization;
  • achieve continual improvement. 

As per Annex A (Guidance on use of ISO 9001:2015 standard) of ISO 9001:2015 standard it further explains:

The overall intent of the process established in clause 6.1.1 is to ensure that the organization is able to achieve the intended outcomes of its environmental management system, to prevent or reduce undesired effects. and to achieve continual improvement. The organization can ensure this by determining its risks and opportunities that need to be addressed and planning action to address them. These risks and opportunities can be related to environmental aspects, compliance obligations, other issues or other needs and expectations of interested parties.
Compliance obligations  can create risks and opportunities. such as falling to comply (which can damage the organization’s reputation or result  in legal action) or performing beyond its compliance obligations (which can enhance the organizations reputation)

6.1.4 Planning action

The organization should plan to take actions to address its compliance obligations;

As per Annex A (Guidance on use of ISO 9001:2015 standard) of ISO 9001:2015 standard it further explains:

The organization plans, at a high level, the actions that have to be taken within the environmental management system to address its significant environmental aspects, its compliance obligations, and the risks and opportunities identified in 6.1.1 that are a priority for the organization to achieve the intended outcomes of its environmental management system.

6.2.1 Environmental objectives

The organization should establish environmental objectives at relevant functions and levels, taking into account the organization’s significant environmental aspects and associated compliance obligations, and considering its risks and opportunities.

7.2 Competence

The organization should  ensure that f personnel doing work that affects its environmental performance under its control have the necessary competence  to fulfil its compliance obligations;

As per Annex A (Guidance on use of ISO 9001:2015 standard) of ISO 9001:2015 standard it further explains:

The competency requirements of this International Standard apply to persons working under the organization’s control who affect its environmental performance, including persons:
a) whose work has the potential to cause a significant environmental impact;
b) who are assigned responsibilities for the environmental management system, including those who:
1] determine and evaluate environmental impacts or compliance obligations;

7.3 Awareness

The organization should ensure that persons doing work under the organization’s control are aware of the implications of not conforming with the environmental management system requirements, including not fulfilling the organization’s compliance obligations.

As per Annex A (Guidance on use of ISO 9001:2015 standard) of ISO 9001:2015 standard it further explains:

Awareness of the environmental policy should not be taken to mean that the commitments need to be memorized or that persons doing work under the organization’s control have a copy of the documented environmental policy. Rather, these persons should be aware of its existence, its purpose and their role in achieving the commitments, including how their work can affect the organization’s ability to fulfil its compliance obligations.

7 .4 Communication

The organization shall establish, implement and maintain the processes needed for internal and external communications relevant to the environmental management system, when establishing its communication processes, the organization shall take into account its compliance obligations

As per Annex A (Guidance on use of ISO 9001:2015 standard) of ISO 9001:2015 standard it further explains:

Communication allows the organization to provide and obtain information relevant to its environmental management system, including information related to its significant environmental aspects, environmental performance, compliance obligations and recommendations for continual improvement.

9.1 Monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation

The organization shall communicate relevant environmental performance information both internally and externally, as identified in its communication processes and as required by its compliance obligations

As per Annex A (Guidance on use of ISO 9001:2015 standard) of ISO 9001:2015 standard it further explains:

When determining what should be monitored and measured, in addition to progress on environmental objectives, the organization should take into account its significant environmental aspects, compliance obligations and operational controls.

9.3 Management Review

The management review should include the changes in the needs and expectations of interested parties, including compliance obligations. the management review should also include information on the organization’s environmental performance including fulfillment of its compliance obligations.

ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS APPLICABLE TO INDIA

Following is a list of major Environmental Acts and Rules applicable in India.

General

  • 1986 – The Environment (Protection) Act authorizes the central government to protect and improve environmental quality, control and reduce pollution from all sources, and prohibit or restrict the setting and /or operation of any industrial facility on environmental grounds.
  • 1986 – The Environment (Protection) Rules lay down procedures for setting standards of emission or discharge of environmental pollutants.
  • 1989 – The objective of Hazardous Waste (Management and Handling) Rules is to control the generation, collection, treatment, import, storage, and handling of hazardous waste.
  • 1989 – The Manufacture, Storage, and Import of Hazardous Rules define the terms used in this context, and sets up an authority to inspect, once a year, the industrial activity connected with hazardous chemicals and isolated storage facilities.
  • 1989 – The Manufacture, Use, Import, Export, and Storage of hazardous Micro-organisms/ Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells Rules were introduced with a view to protect the environment, nature, and health, in connection with the application of gene technology and microorganisms.
  • 1991 – The Public Liability Insurance Act and Rules and Amendment, 1992 was drawn up to provide for public liability insurance for the purpose of providing immediate relief to the persons affected by accident while handling any hazardous substance.
  • 1995 – The National Environmental Tribunal Act has been created to award compensation for damages to persons, property, and the environment arising from any activity involving hazardous substances.
  • 1997 – The National Environment Appellate Authority Act has been created to hear appeals with respect to restrictions of areas in which classes of industries etc. are carried out or prescribed subject to certain safeguards under the EPA.
  • 1998 – The Biomedical waste (Management and Handling) Rules is a legal binding on the health care institutions to streamline the process of proper handling of hospital waste such as segregation, disposal, collection, and treatment.
  • 1999 – The Environment (Siting for Industrial Projects) Rules, 1999 lay down detailed provisions relating to areas to be avoided for siting of industries, precautionary measures to be taken for site selecting as also the aspects of environmental protection which should have been incorporated during the implementation of the industrial development projects.
  • 2000 – The Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 apply to every municipal authority responsible for the collection, segregation, storage, transportation, processing, and disposal of municipal solid wastes.
  • 2000 – The Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Rules have been laid down for the regulation of production and consumption of ozone depleting substances.
  • 2001 – The Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001 rules shall apply to every manufacturer, importer, re-conditioner, assembler, dealer, auctioneer, consumer, and bulk consumer involved in the manufacture, processing, sale, purchase, and use of batteries or components so as to regulate and ensure the environmentally safe disposal of used batteries.
  • 2002 – The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) (Amendment) Rules lay down such terms and conditions as are necessary to reduce noise pollution, permit use of loud speakers or public address systems during night hours (between 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight) on or during any cultural or religious festive occasion
  • 2002 – The Biological Diversity Act is an act to provide for the conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components, and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the use of biological resources and knowledge associated with it

Forest and wildlife

  • 1927 – The Indian Forest Act and Amendment, 1984, is one of the many surviving colonial statutes. It was enacted to ‘consolidate the law related to forest, the transit of forest produce, and the duty leviable on timber and other forest produce’.
  • 1972 – The Wildlife Protection Act, Rules 1973 and Amendment 1991 provides for the protection of birds and animals and for all matters that are connected to it whether it be their habitat or the waterhole or the forests that sustain them.
  • 1980 – The Forest (Conservation) Act and Rules, 1981, provides for the protection of and the conservation of the forests.

Water

  • 1882 – The Easement Act allows private rights to use a resource that is, groundwater, by viewing it as an attachment to the land. It also states that all surface water belongs to the state and is a state property.
  • 1897 – The Indian Fisheries Act establishes two sets of penal offences whereby the government can sue any person who uses dynamite or other explosive substance in any way (whether coastal or inland) with intent to catch or destroy any fish or poisonous fish in order to kill.
  • 1956 – The River Boards Act enables the states to enroll the central government in setting up an Advisory River Board to resolve issues in inter-state cooperation.
  • 1970 – The Merchant Shipping Act aims to deal with waste arising from ships along the coastal areas within a specified radius.
  • 1974 – The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act establishes an institutional structure for preventing and abating water pollution. It establishes standards for water quality and effluent. Polluting industries must seek permission to discharge waste into effluent bodies.The CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) was constituted under this act.
  • 1977 – The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act provides for the levy and collection of cess or fees on water consuming industries and local authorities.
  • 1978 – The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Rules contains the standard definitions and indicate the kind of and location of meters that every consumer of water is required to affix.
  • 1991 – The Coastal Regulation Zone Notification puts regulations on various activities, including construction, are regulated. It gives some protection to the backwaters and estuaries.

Air

  • 1948 – The Factories Act and Amendment in 1987 was the first to express concern for the working environment of the workers. The amendment of 1987 has sharpened its environmental focus and expanded its application to hazardous processes.
  • 1981 – The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act provides for the control and abatement of air pollution. It entrusts the power of enforcing this act to the CPCB .
  • 1982 – The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules defines the procedures of the meetings of the Boards and the powers entrusted to them.
  • 1982 – The Atomic Energy Act deals with the radioactive waste.
  • 1987 – The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Act empowers the central and state pollution control boards to meet with grave emergencies of air pollution.
  • 1988 – The Motor Vehicles Act states that all hazardous waste is to be properly packaged, labelled, and transported.
pdf Pollution Control Law in India

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1 Comment

  1. Dear Sir/Mdm, good day. Well explained. Thank you. Is it possible in getting the rest of the clause explanation. Sincerely, Dr Steven Muru.

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