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Polluting environs to be termed as minor offence, littering in open may draw penalty

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Ministry of Environment and Forests, in an attempt to give Swachh Bharat Abhiyan a legal affect, will make littering in the open, dumping electronic waste, defacement of public places and use of banned plastic bags a “minor offence” with monetary penalties on the spot.

Minor offence will also include “manufacturing, possession and use of restricted or prohibited substance such as plastic bags below the prescribed thickness and violation of their disposal, including electronic waste”.

The Indian Express reported that to promote public awareness on cleanliness, the Environmental Laws (Amendment) Bill will be introduced in the monsoon session of Parliament to club these violations as non-cognizable crime.

“The Environment (Protection) Act (EPA) does not allow civil financial penalties to usher an active enforcement of environmental laws. And the existing criminal settlement alone is not proving effective. Penalty checks and public participation will lead to in-built social check”, reported the news paper.

The report stated that the Bill will specify minor offence in the EPA that will not involve filing an FIR or arrest. However it will attract a fine on the spot as happens in the case of “making atmosphere noxious to health” which attracts a fine of Rs 500. The required amount of fine will be governed under local municipal laws, within rules prescribed by the central law.

Prakash Javadekar, Environment and Forests Minister, has been rooting for bringing changes in the EPA to make compliance mechanism to discourage pollution, more effective.

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Researchers Find New Method to Track Pollution from Cooking

There is growing evidence that exposure to cooking oil fumes is linked to lung cancer, the study said

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FILE - A woman adjusts the charcoal in a stove next to cooking pots at a village about 30 km (19 miles) south of South Sudan's capital Juba, June 21, 2013. VOA

Researchers have found that black carbon is a good tracer to separate cooking organic aerosol from traffic-related pollution, paving the way for a new method to track pollution from cooking.

Cooking organic aerosol is one of the most important primary sources of pollution in urban environments.

By applying the black carbon tracer method to several data sets in mega cities of Beijing and Nanjing, the researchers found that cooking organic aerosol contributed 15-27 per cent to total organic aerosol in summer.

The findings published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters suggest that air quality improvements in developing countries could benefit substantially from the reduction of cooking emissions.

Air pollution
Death toll due to air pollution rises in India. Pexel

There is growing evidence that exposure to cooking oil fumes is linked to lung cancer, the study said.

A new method to separate cooking organic aerosol from traffic-related pollution is needed as it is often challenging to separate cooking organic aerosol from traffic-related organic aerosol due to the similarity of their unit mass resolution spectra.

Also Read: Facebook Developing a New Messaging App ‘Threads’

“Considering that aerosol chemical speciation monitor (ACSM) has been increasingly deployed worldwide for routine measurements of aerosol particle composition, our study might have significant implications for better source apportionment of OA ( organic aerosol) and exposure studies in the future,” said Yele Sun, Professor from Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Science. (IANS)