Air ( Prevention and Control of Pollution ) Act, 1981

Air ( Prevention and Control of Pollution ) Act, 1981
Air ( Prevention and Control of Pollution ) Act, 1981

The Air ( Prevention and Control of Pollution ) Act was enacted on 29th March 1981. The main objective of this Act was the prevention, control and abatement of air pollution through the Air Pollution Boards, constituted at the National Level.

According to the Act “Air Pollution means the presence in the atmosphere of any air pollutant”,  and “air pollutant’’ means “any solid, liquid or gaseous substance present in the atmosphere in such a concentration as may be or tend to be injurious to human beings or other living creatures or plant or property or environment.”

Salient features of Air ( Prevention and Control of Pollution ) Act
  • To declare any area as air pollution control free.
  • To fix up of the  emission levels from automobiles.
  • To provide for the establishment of central and State Boards with a view to implement the Act.
  • To approach to the court against any polluter.
  • To inspect any factory premises to assess pollution being caused by it.
  • To obtain any information from industry with regard to pollution.
  • To take samples from the concerned unit.
  • Penalties – Violations of various sections of the Act attract punishment of varying degree which may be imprisonment up to three months and/or a fine up to Rs. 10,000.
Chapters and Sections

Air ( Prevention and Control of Pollution ) Act

Chapter 1- Preliminary
    • 1) Short title, extent and commencement
    • 2) Definitions (It defines various terminology related to Air Pollution act)
Chapter 2- Central and State Boards for the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution
    • 3) Central Pollution Control Board.
    • 4) State Pollution Control Boards constituted under section 4 of Act 6 of 1974 to be State Boards under this Act.
    • 5) Constitution of State Boards.
    • 6) Central Board to exercise the powers and perform the functions of a State Board in the Union territories.
    • 7) Terms and conditions of service of members.
    • 8) Disqualifications.
    • 9) Vacation of seats by members.
    • 10) Meetings of Board.
    • 11) Constitution of committees.
    • 12) Temporary association of persons with Board for particular purposes.
    • 13) Vacancy in Board not to invalidate acts or proceedings.
    • 14) Member-secretary and officers and other employees of State Boards.
    • 15) Delegation of powers.
Chapter 3- Power and Functions of Boards
    • 16) Functions of Central Board.
    • 17) Functions of State Boards.
    • 18) Power to give directions.
Chapter 4- Prevention and Control of Air Pollution
    • 19) Power to declare air pollution control areas.
    • 20) Power to give instructions for ensuring standards for emis­sion from automobiles.
    • 21) Restrictions on use of certain industrial plants.
    • 22) Persons carrying on industry, etc., not to allow emission of air pollutants in excess of the standards laid down by State Board.
    • 22A) Power of Board to make application to court for restrain­ing persons from causing air pollution.
    • 23) Furnishing of information to State Board and other agencies in certain cases.
    • 24) Power of entry and inspection.
    • 25) Power to obtain information.
    • 26) Power to take samples of air or emission and procedure to be followed in connection therewith.
    • 27) Reports of the result of analysis on samples taken under section 26.
    • 28) State Air Laboratory.
    • 29) Analysts.
    • 30) Reports of analysts.
    • 31) Appeals.
    • 31A) Power to give directions.
    • 31B) Appeal to National Green Tribunal. 
Chapter 5- Fund, Accounts and Audit
    • 32) Contributions by Central Government.
    • 33) Fund of Board.
    • 33A) Borrowing powers of Board.
    • 34) Budget.
    • 35) Annual Report.
    • 36) Accounts and audit.
Chapter 6- Penalities and Procedure
  • 37) Failure to comply with the provisions of section 21 or section 22 or with the directions issued under section 31A.
  • 38) Penalties for certain acts.
  • 39) Penalty for contravention of certain provisions of the Act.
  • 40) Offences by companies.
  • 41) Offences by Government Departments.
  • 42) Protection of action taken in good faith.
  • 43) Cognizance of offences.
  • 44) Members, officers and employees of Board to be public serv­ants.
  • 45) Reports and returns.
  • 46) Bar of jurisdiction.
Chapter 7- Miscellaneous
  • 47) Power of State Government to supersede State Board.
  • 48) Special provision in the case of supersession of the Central Board or the State Boards constituted under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
  • 49) Dissolution of State Boards constituted under the Act.
  • 50) Power to amend the Schedule.
  • 51) Maintenance of register.
  • 52) Effect of other laws.
  • 53) Power of Central Government to make rules.
  • 54) Power of State Government to make rules.
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