Friday, 24 July 2020

CHEMICAL ACCIDENTS (EMERGENCY PLANNING, PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE RULES) 1996

These rules along with Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals (MSIHC) Rules, 1989 to regulate the manufacturing, use, and handling of hazardous chemicals and to have proper crisis management in the event of any chemical accident.

These are made in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 6,8,25 of the environment protection act 1986.


DEFINITIONS AS PER THESE RULES

MAJOR CHEMICAL ACCIDENT: It means an occurrence of any particular major emission, fire or explosion involving one or more hazardous chemicals and resulting from uncontrolled developments in the course of industrial activity or transportation or due to natural calamities leading to serious effects both immediate or delayed, inside or outside the installation likely to cause substantial loss of life and property including adverse effects on the environment.

 

MAH INSTALLATIONS (MAJOR ACCIDENT HAZARD INSTALLATIONS): It Means, isolated storage and industrial activity at a site, handling (including transport through carrier or pipeline) of hazardous chemicals equal to or above the threshold quantities specified in the rule

CONSTITUTION AND FUNCTIONS OF CENTRAL AND STAGE GROUPS

The crisis management groups are organized into four groups

·       CENTRAL CRISIS GROUP

·       STATE CRISIS GROUP

·       DISTRICT CRISIS GROUP

·       LOCAL CRISIS GROUP


CENTRAL CRISIS GROUP (APEX BODY):  The secretary, GOI / MOEF is the chairperson of this group and few members from different departments. The main functions of this group are to

        Meet every six months

        Deal with major chemical accidents and to provide expert guidance for handling major chemical accidents.

        Continuously monitor the post-accident situation arising out of a major chemical accident and suggest measures for prevention and to check recurrence of such accidents

        Conduct post-accident analysis of such major chemical accidents and evaluate responses in coordination with a state crisis group

        Set up the control room and information networking system with states and district and appoint adequate staff and experts to handle.

        Publish a list of Major accident hazard Installations, Major chemical accidents in order. Publish the list of Central, State and District crisis group.

        Take measures to create awareness amongst the public to prevent chemical accidents.


STATE  CRISIS GROUP: The chief secretary is the chairperson of this group and few members from different departments. The main functions of this group are to

        Meet every 3 months.

        Review all district off-site emergency plans in the State to examine its adequacy under the Manufacture. Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules and forward a report to the Central Crisis Group once in three months.

        Assist the State Government in managing, planning, preparedness and mitigation of major chemical accidents at a site

        Continuously monitor the post-accident situation arising out of a major chemical accident in the State and forward a report to the Central Crisis Group

        Review the progress and respond to queries by district crisis group

        Publish a list of experts and officials who are concerned with the handling of chemical accidents in that state.


DISTRICT CRISIS GROUP: The District collector is the chairperson of this group and a few members from different departments.

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Article by PJ Mohan

Sr.Faculty, NIFS


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