The Hazardous Substances Management Division (HSMD) is the nodal point within the Ministry for management of chemical emergencies and hazardous substances. The main objective of the Division is to promote safe management and use of hazardous substances including hazardous chemicals and hazardous wastes, in order to avoid damage to health and environment. The Division is also the nodal point for the following four International Conventions viz. Basel Convention on Control of transboundary movement of Hazardous waste and their disposal; Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent Procedure for certain Chemicals and Pesticides in International trade; Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, the Minamata Convention on Mercury and Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management.

  • Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management

The activities of the division are carried out in main thrust areas, viz., Chemical Safety; Management of Hazardous Wastes , e-waste, Municipal Solid Waste, Plastic Waste, Bio-medical Waste and Fly Ash Utilization. Major programmes/activities are as follows:

  • Chemical Safety
    • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change notified the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals (MSIHC) Rules, 1989 and the Chemical Accidents (Emergency Planning, Preparedness and Response) (CAEPPR) Rules, 1996 for ensuring chemical safety in the Country. These rules delineate the criteria for identification of Major Accident Hazard (MAH) unit. As per the rules, Central Crisis Group, State Crisis Groups, District Crisis Groups and Local Crisis Groups at Central, State, District and Local level are required to be set up for the management of accidents due to handling of hazardous chemicals listed in the rules. An off-site emergency plan for a district having MAH unit(s) is required to be in place so as to mitigate the impact of chemical accidents. As per the information received from various States and Union Territories, there are 1,861 MAH units in the Country, located in 303 districts.A sub-scheme titled “Industrial Pocket wise Hazard Analysis” has been in operation since the Eighth Five Year Plan. The Ministry provides financial assistance for preparation of off-site emergency plans, hazardous analysis and rapid safety audit reports to identified agencies for preparation of Off-Site Emergency Plans for 41 districts in the country having MAH units. Reports have been received and these off-site emergency plans including hazard analysis and rapid safety reports are under review.
  • Hazardous Waste Management
    • (i) National Inventory of Hazardous Wastes: As per information provided by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), there are about 41,523 industries in the country generating about 7.90 million tonnes of hazardous waste annually, out of which landfillable waste is about 3.32 million tonnes (42.02%), incinerable waste is about 0.60 million tonnes (7.60%) and recyclable hazardous waste is about 3.98 million tonnes (50.38%).The Ministry has also initiated a project on GIS Based National Hazardous Waste Information System. It is a web based system, which has been developed to provide status of hazardous waste management in the Country. The database available on the web is required to be regularly updated by all State Pollution Control Boards to ensure updated status at all times. Through NHWIS till now survey of 33,000 hazardous waste industries and MIS date entry of about 27,500 hazardous waste industries has been completed.
    • (ii) Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs) for Hazardous Wastes:At present, 38 TSDFs include 17 Integrated TSDF, 13 Exclusive Common Secure Landfills and 8 Exclusive Common Incinerators are available in 10 ,9 and 4 States/UT respectively. These States /UT contribute about 97.8% of total landfillable and 88.19% of total incinerable hazardous wastes generation in the country respectively. During 2013-14, financial assistance has been provided for setting up of two ongoing/new projects of TSDFs for hazardous wastes across the country.
    • (iii) E-Waste Management: The Ministry of Environment and Forest, has notified E-Waste Rules in May 2011, which has come into force with effect from 1st May 2012. The concept of Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) has been enshrined in these rules. As per these Rules the producers are required to collect e-waste generated from the end of life of their products by setting up collections centers or take back systems either individually or collectively. E-waste recycling can be undertaken only in facilities authorized and registered with State Pollution Control Boards/Pollution Control Committee (PCCs). Wastes generated are required to be sold to a registered or authorized recycler or re-processor having environmentally sound facilities. The rule has provision for setting up of Collection Centre individually or jointly; or by a registered society or a designated agency; or by an association to collect e-waste.These rules are the main instrument to ensure environmentally sound management of e-waste. Under these rules EPR authorizations have been granted to 128 Producers which are spread in 11 states. 134 collection centres are set-up in 19 States.

(iv) Batteries Management

The Batteries (Management & Handling ) Rules, 2001 was notified in May, 2001 to regulated the collection, characterization and recycling as well as import of used lead acid batteries in the country. These rules inter-alia make it mandatory for consumers to return used batteries. All manufacture/assemblers/ reconditioners/importers of lead acid batteries are responsible for collecting used batteries against new ones sold as per a schedule defined in the rules. Such used lead acid batteries can be auctioned /sold only to recyclers registered with the Ministry on the basis of their possessing environmentally sound facilities for recycling/recovery.

  1. Solid Waste Management:(i) Municipal solid waste management including plastic waste management:

    As per information, municipal areas in the country generate 1, 33,760 metric tonnes per day of municipal solid waste (MSW), of which only 91,152 TPD waste is collected and 25,884 TPD treated. The Ministry has notified the Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 for management of the municipal solid waste. These Rules, inter-alia, provide for mechanisms to be set up by the Municipal Authority for management of the waste within their jurisdiction. However, the Municipal Authorities are facing difficulties in implementation of these Rules. The matter was discussed with stakeholders and it has been decided to amend the existing rules on the Municipal Solid Waste. The Ministry published the draft (Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2013 inviting comments/ suggestion from the public. The Comments/ suggestions received were analyzed for the finalization of the new rules on the municipal solid waste. The emphasis is on management of the waste through a sustainable business model which includes segregation of municipal solid waste at source, door to door collection by involving waste collectors, processing of segregated waste in to useful products such as methane, compost, etc.

    As per information available, municipal areas in the country generate 1,33,760 tonnes per day (TPD) of plastic waste, of which only 9,250TPD waste is collected and recycled. The Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 have been notified for the management of plastic waste in the country. The Rules, inter-alia provides for waste management systems to be established by the municipal authorities. The municipal authorities have been made responsible for setting up, operationalisation and coordination of the waste management system and for ensuring safe collection, storage, segregation, transportation, processing and disposal of plastic waste.

    The Ministry regularly provides financial assistance to create awareness on the various provisions of these Rules.

    (ii) Bio-Medical waste management:

    As per the information received from SPCBs and PCCs of Union Territories, about 4.16tons of biomedical waste is generated per day. There are 190 Common Bio-Medical Waste Treatment and Disposal Facilities (CBMWTDFs) in operation and 29 CBMWTDFs are under construction. The waste is required to be managed as per the Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998, as amended by the Ministry.

    The Ministry initiated the process of amending existing Rules in 2011 and notified the draft Bio-Medical Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2011 for public comments. The comments/ suggestions received in the Ministry were compiled and analyzed in consultation with various stakeholders such as Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, SPCBs/PCCs of Union Territories, representatives of health care establishments, operators of common biomedical waste treatment and storage facilitates and civil societies. The activities related to finalization of these Rules particularly redefining the categories of bio-medical waste, standards for technologies for biomedical waste treatment including incineration were undertaken during the year 2014-15. The discussions with Central Pollution Control Board and other stakeholders were held on these issues. The Rules are being finalized and may be notified in supersession of the existing Rules on Bio-Medical Waste Management.

    (iii) Fly ash utilization:

    Electricity generation in the country is and would remain predominantly coal based in the near future. The Indian coal is has high ash content of the order of 30 -45%, generating large quantity of fly ash at coal/lignite based thermal power stations in the country. The management of fly ash has thus been a matter of concern in view of requirement of large area of land for its disposal because of its potential of causing pollution of air and water. To address environmental problem of fly ash disposal, the Ministry of Environment & Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) issued Notification on fly ash utilization in 1999 prescribing therein the targets for fly ash utilization for Coal/Lignite power based Thermal Power Stations with an aim to achieve 100% utilization in a phased manner. The targets of 1999 were further revised in 2003 and 2009.

    The objectives of the notification are to protect environment, conserve the top soil, and prevent dumping of fly ash from Thermal Power Stations on land and to promote utilization of ash in the manufacture of building materials and construction activity. The implementation of this Notification has resulted in steady increase in the utilization of fly ash. The fly ash utilization in the country has been increased from 13.51% to 57.63% in the year 2013-14. However, the utilization has not reached to 100%.

    To review the status of implementation of the fly ash notification in the country a meeting of Monitoring Committee, constituted in pursuance of the provisions contained Fly ash Utilization Notification was held in June 2014. During the meeting stakeholder such as Ministry of urban Development, State Urban Development Department, Central Public Works Department, National Highways Authority of Indian, etc. were asked to ensure utilization of fly ash / fly ash products in construction projects. The Central Pollution Control Board has been asked to undertake a study to assess the environmental impacts of utilization of fly ash in abandoned mines.

  2. International Conventions/Protocols

(i) Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal:

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was adopted on 22 March 1989 by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Basel, Switzerland. The Convention entered into force on 5 May 1992 . The overarching objective of the Basel Convention is to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes. Its scope of application covers a wide range of wastes defined as “hazardous wastes” based on their origin and/or composition and their characteristics (article 1 and annexes I, III, VIII and IX), as well as two types of wastes defined as “other wastes” (household waste and incinerator ash; article 1 and annex II).

India deposited its instrument of ratification on June 1992. As on date there are 180 Parties to the Convention.

(ii) Rotterdam Convention on the prior informed consent procedure for certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade:

The Rotterdam Convention on the prior informed consent procedure for certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade entered into force on 24th February 2004. India acceded to the convention on 24th May 2005 and it became operative on 23rd August 2005. During the interim period, over 170 countries identified 265 departments/institutes as Designated National Authorities (DNAs) to act on their behalf in the performance of the administrative functions required by the Convention. The Designated National Authorities (DNAs) for India are in Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation. The Official Contact Points (OCPs) are designated in Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. There are 47 chemicals listed in Annex III to this Convention, which include 33 pesticides and 14 industrial chemicals that have been banned or severely restricted for health or environmental reasons by two or more Parties and which the Conference of the Parties (COPs) has decided to subject to the Prior Informed consent (PIC) procedure.

(iii) Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants:

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from POPs. The Convention sought initially 12 chemicals, for restriction or elimination of the production and release. Now, the Convention covers 23 chemicals. The Convention was adopted in May, 2001 and came into force on 17th May, 2004. India ratified the Convention on 13th January, 2006 which came in to force on 12th April, 2006. As per Article 7 of the Convention, Parties to the Convention were required to develop a National Implementation Plan (NIP) to demonstrate how their obligations to the Convention would be implemented and NIP has been developed through Global Environment Facility (GEF) funding. Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change serves as the focal point for GEF and Stockholm Convention in the country. Designated national authorities are in Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation and Ministry of Chemicals and Petrochemicals. India has ratified 12 initially listed chemicals.

(iv) Minamata Convention on Mercury:

In February 2009, the Governing Council of UNEP adopted Decision 25/5 on the development of a global legally binding instrument on mercury. At the Conference of Plenipotentiaries held from 9th-11th October 2013 in Minamata and Kumamoto, Japan, the “Minamata Convention on Mercury”, a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury, was formally adopted and opened for signature by States and regional economic integration organizations. The Convention has till now received nine ratification and 128 signatures. India has signed the Convention on 30th September 2014.

(v) Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management:

In February 2006, over 190 countries including India acceded to the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), an international policy framework to foster sound management of chemicals. Initial activities under SAICM included development or updating of national chemicals profiles, strengthening of institutions, and mainstreaming sound management of chemicals in national strategies. Towards this end, India initiated the preparation of the National Chemicals Management Profile to assess India’s infrastructure and capacity for management of chemicals. Other actions taken by the Ministry were: (i) initiated studies of inventorisation of lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic in paints, distemper and pigments in the country, (ii) initiated discussions with leading national laboratories, (iii) notified the E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2012 for the management of electronic waste, and (iv) finalized the draft Dangerous Goods (Classification, Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2013 in the line of Globally Harmonized System.

  1. National Hazardous Waste Information System (NHWIS)
  2. Chemical Accident Information Reporting System
  3. Legislations Related to Hazardous Substances Management
  4. Accident Reporting Procedure (HSMD) PDF (24.97 KB)
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