Friday, June 24, 2022

Govt eases certification norms for ethanol distilleries to boost blending programme

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  • The requirement of certification by a competent authority has been substituted with self-certification by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
  • the Centre said that the expansion projects of distilleries are generally unable to comply with the certification requirement in a timely manner which stalls the entire process

New Delhi: In an effort to boost the ethanol blending programme, the Central government has eased post-environment clearance (EC) certification norms for ethanol distilleries. In a recently published Gazette notification, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has said that the requirement of certification by a competent authority — saying that the ethanol being produced by the distillery which has an environment clearance is only being used for blending with fuel — can be substituted with self-certification. 

Environment clearance will be cancelled if self-certificate found to be false

In the gazette notification, the Environment Ministry said, “… it has been decided that the requirement of certification by competent authority may be replaced with self-certification in form of a notorised affidavit, subject to condition that subsequently if it is found that the ethanol, produced based on the EC granted as per this dispensation, is not being used completely for Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme, the EC shall stand cancelled.”

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“Expansion of sugar manufacturing units or distilleries for production of ethanol, having Prior Environment Clearance (EC) for existing unit, to be used completely for Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme only, as per self-certification in form of an affidavit by the Project Proponent, shall be appraised as category ‘B2’ projects,” said the notification. While Category A projects are those that require prior environmental clearance from the Central government in the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Category B projects are those projects that require prior environment clearance from the State/Union territory Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA). Ethanol distilleries fall under the purview of both the categories.  

Environment clearance norms were delaying ethanol distillery projects: Govt

Explaining the rationale behind the decision, the Centre said that the expansion projects of sugar manufacturing units or distilleries are generally unable to comply with the requirement of obtaining certificate from the competent authority in a timely manner which stalls the entire process. The decision has been taken in order to facilitate faster production of ethanol for achieving the government’s target of blending 20 percent of ethanol in petrol by 2025. 

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