Comparing Processes for Environmental Standards Processes in Thermal Power Plants in India, US, and EU

Shripad Dharmadhikary, who works with Manthan Adhyayan Kendra, Pune, a centre engaged in analysis and advocacy in water and energy issues, analyses the process by which the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, sets new regulations or revises existing ones and compares the Indian processes with those in the United States and the European Union. The processes examined include regulations related to coal-fired thermal power plants and water. The Indian process is ad hoc, opaque, and has limited scope for public participation. This can lead to inappropriate standards, lack of legitimacy of standards, and absence of widespread acceptance, all leading to ineffective implementation. The paper discusses these critical deficiencies and suggests improvements.