TNPCB rejects Vedanta’s request

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) has rejected Vedanta Ltd.’s request for renewal of consent to operate the Sterlite Copper smelter at Thoothukudi. Citing an appeal filed by it and the State government in the Supreme Court on Wednesday against the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order in the matter, the Board rejected Vedanta’s request. The company had written to the TNPCB seeking renewal of consent to operate the unit under the Water Act, Air Act and the Hazardous Wastes Rules, as well as opening of the seal of the premises, restoration of power supply and provision of immediate access to the plant for carrying out urgent maintenance. Last month, the NGT had set aside Tamil Nadu’s order to close the plant. ‘Not based on data’ In its appeal, filed in the Supreme Court, the State said the NGT had failed to consider the entire gamut of data, documents and evidence placed on record in the case to show that the smelter had “irreversibly polluted the groundwater in and around the Thoothukudi district”. The tribunal, on December 15, asked the TNPCB to pass fresh orders of renewal of consent and authorisation to Vedanta to handle hazardous substances.

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