CHENNAI: Manali-based Tamil Nadu Petroproducts Limited has been issued a notice by the Central Pollution Control Board for emitting dangerous levels of sulphur dioxide – a pollutant that can cause serious problems to human health – into the atmosphere. The Heavy Chemical Division unit of Tamil Nadu Petroproducts falls under one of the 17 categories of highly polluting industries.
The unit was inspected by a team of officials from the regional directorate of CPCB in Bengaluru, on November 8 and 9. Deposits on the boiler stack indicated that the unit was discharging much more sulphur dioxide than prescribed parameters, at alarming levels. While such units are allowed to emit a maximum of 600 milligrams per cubic metre, this one was spewing 2,335 units of sulphur dioxide.
The inspection also revealed that the sludge generated from the production of Barium Carbonate is not stored in a proper manner and seepage collection system is not provided. Hence, under Section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 notice has been served to the unit as to why it should not be directed to close all manufacturing and production activities till the shortcomings are complied with.
Sources said that CPCB has asked the firm to submit a compliance report within 15 days of the receipt of the directions, failing which necessary action will be taken. The company spokesperson, when contacted, said: “We are in the process of addressing the concerns of CPCB.”
Tamil Nadu Petroproducts Limited manufactures and markets petrochemicals and chemical intermediates in the country. Its products include linear alky benzene, epichlorohydrin, caustic soda, ammonium chloride, hydrochloric acid, compressed hydrogen, and sodium hypochlorite.
The action seems to be part of a crackdown by the CPCB on polluting industries in the State. Just a few days back, the Board ordered Manali Petrochemicals to close down its Plant-I for non-compliance of environmental norms.