The SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors (SACEM) on Monday
claimed that 12 toxic gases were present in the air around the
government industrial estate at Cuddalore.
Hence, air in the
Cuddalore SIPCOT chemical industrial estate is still not fit to
breathe, says `Gas Trouble II: Air quality status and assessment of the
Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board's compliance to the Supreme Court
Monitoring Committee Order,' a report prepared by the SACEM.
analysed four samples of ambient air taken using the 'bucket sampler'
between October 2004 and March 2005. India did not have standards for
safe ambient air, SACEM members said at a press conference here. As per
the United States laws, at least seven of the gases were far over the
emission norms of that country.
including Carbon disulphide, bromomethane, trichloroethene, 4-methyl
2-pentanone, acrolein, methylene chloride and hydrogen sulphide, were
found between two and 900 times above the safe levels prescribed by the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The members said the Supreme
Court Monitoring Committee (SCMC) on hazardous wastes ordered that the
U.S. EPA screening levels be used until the Centre set the ambient air
quality standards for toxic gases.
2004 report, which found 22 volatile organic compounds and sulphur
gases in ambient air, prompted the SCMC to order the TNPCB to bring air
pollution levels in the SIPCOT, Cuddalore, to the U.S. EPA levels by
June 2005, the organisation said.
alleged that the TNPCB had taken no step to curb air pollution. The
TNPCB announced no air monitoring studies or other measures.
Board disputes findings
charges, the TNPCB officials said the Board was working in all
industrial complexes to ensure air pollution was within permissible
limits. For instance, the Manali chemical complex was functioning
within the norms. Hence, it was wrong to say the Board did not take any
action in chemical industrial estates. "If we have a study conducted by
a competent authority and if it suggests new measures, the Board is
willing to consider them," a top official said. The TNPCB was open to
discussions and suggestions. Recommendations should be practicable and
should not be aimed at finding fault with one agency or organisation.