You would have recently read or watched videos against EIA.
But what is EIA ?
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process to assess the impact of any project on the environment by the expert committee
MoEF (Ministry of Environment and Forest) has recently prepared a new draft (EIA 2020) which makes it easier for the industrialists to start mining inside the reserved forests.
As any environmental law impacts people directly, therefore it is compulsory to take feedback from them.
As per rule, MoEF has given people a chance to object this draft. LAST DATE 30th June 2020
Environmental experts have called for the cancellation of this draft as it will affect the environment drastically.
To support the cause, you too can write an email to MoEF (I would say, you must)
Below is a sample mail (you can copy it and make slight changes in subject and content)
Subject : Withdraw the draft EIA notification, 2020 [F.N.2-50/2018/IA.III]
Secretary Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change
Indira Paryavaran Bhawan
Jor Bagh, New Delhi
Dear Mr. Mishra,
I _________, who voted you for the safety of the environment is writing you with a request.
This is with reference to the draft EIA notification, 2020 which has been uploaded on the environment ministry’s website on 12.3.2020 seeking public comments within sixty days of the issuance of the notification.
I am deeply concerned that this draft notification has been put out in the midst of a national health crisis. As you are aware, most of the country is under lockdown and there are severe restrictions on movement in public places. Most offices are closed and the staff are working from home. These restrictions may be indefinite and it is not clear when public life and work can resume.
The long-term public health, social and economic impacts of this global pandemic are yet to be ascertained. The EIA notification is an important regulation through which the impacts of land-use change, water extraction, tree felling, pollution, waste and effluent management for industrial and infrastructure projects are to be studied and used in developmental decisionmaking. Any change in this law has a direct bearing on the living and working conditions of people and the ecology.
Therefore, it is critical that the government provides a suitable and adequate opportunity for those impacted or likely to be affected by the design and implementation of EIA notification. Opportunities to understand and discuss the implications of the proposed amendments may be severely hindered due to the present health emergency with restricted public movement, social distancing and challenges to everyday life activities. These restrictions also make it impossible to disseminate information about the notification to communities who deserve to know and influence the notification.
I, therefore, request the environment ministry to:
1. Immediately, withdraw the proposed amendments of the Draft EIA notification 2020.
2. Consider reissuing the draft only after health conditions related to Covid19 and civic life is normalized across the country.
3. Ensure that there are widespread and informed public discussions on the implication of these amendments.
4. Full disclosure of the nature of comments received and the reasons for acceptance and rejection of these comments, prior to the issuance of the final amendments.
5. Do a physical evaluation and meeting at the concerned environment/forest instead of video call clearance.
I do hope that the environment ministry will uphold its obligations towards informed public participation like the commitment to Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration and also the Principles of Natural Justice, while taking a considered view on the proposed amendments to the EIA notification, 2020.
Citizen of India
1. Geeta Menon, Jt Secy, MoEFF (firstname.lastname@example.org)
2. Official email ID for responses to Draft EIA 2020: (email@example.com)
- The same subject in mass emails land it to spam
- Make it more personalise by using ‘I’ instead of ‘we’ in mail content
- Try to research the issue and add your point in suggestions
- Address your mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and Cc to ( email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org )
Major problems with EIA 2020?
Role of Public
❌ The draft exempts public consultation for several projects.
❌ Local and indigenous communities will no longer be able to complain about compliance
❌ The time period for public consultation has been reduced to 20 days
❌ They are making decisions about the environment on zoom calls (Digital Approvals)
❌ The EIA is clear path to habitat loss, the definition of “Eco Sensitive Zone” has been greatly weakened
❌ The draft makes it easier for ecologically hazardous projects to gain approval
❌ The draft makes approval for clearances faster by digitizing clearance processes.
❌ MOEFCC proposes to expand the list of projects that do not need to seek public consultation before they seek environmental clearance
❌ Some projects like small dams, industrial complexes, mining projects, highway expansions, and several hazardous industries like tanning, halogen, petroleum will no longer need public consultation.
Lobbying for corporates
❌ Many projects can now get post-facto clearances – that is clearance after the destruction has been wrought.
❌ It reduces the frequency of the compliance reports required from projects owners from once every six months to once a year.(source https://coda.io/d/SAVE-EIA-TOOLKIT_dWwI4b9FeBu/EIA-Toolkit_suyhn#_luQlK)