NGT directs CPCB to finalise emergency plans for storage, handling of hazardous substances

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal Tuesday directed Central Pollution Control Board and Tamil Nadu pollution control board to finalise emergency plans for storage and handling of the hazardous substances within a month.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel passed the order after it was informed that 37 containers with 697 Tonnes of ammonium nitrate were sent to a detonator manufacturing unit having license for ammonium nitrate in Telangana.

The issue was taken up after taking cognisance off media reports about storage of more than 700 tonnes of the ammonium nitrate, an explosive substance, at a container freight station in Chennai.

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board told the NGT that total of 37 containers with 697 Tonnes of ammonium nitrate were sent to Salvo Explosives & Chemicals Pvt Ltd in Telangana.

The Director, Industrial Safety and Health Department, Tamil Nadu, the District Magistrate, Chennai have also repeated the stand of the state pollution control board, the tribunal noted.

Since the substance has now been removed and shifted to Telangana, let off-site and on-site emergency plans be finalized in accordance with the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 1989 (Rules 13 & 14) which may be jointly coordinated by the CPCB and the State PCB with all concerned authorities and entities for storage and handling of the substances, the bench said.

Ammonium nitrate is predominantly used in agriculture as a high-nitrogen fertilizer.

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