NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal has directed all the state pollution control boards (SPCBs) to follow Guidelines for Gold Assaying Hallmarking Centres issued by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to check pollution caused due to testing of gold.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel asked the CPCB to monitor that all the states ans UTs strictly adhere to the guidelines so that environmental norms are met.
The tribunal's direction came while disposing of a plea filed by James Jose, Managing Director, CGR Hallmarkers Pvt. Ltd, seeking regulatory regime to check acidic activities in testing of gold in Kerala.
The plea alleged that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) released acids in the environment while testing gold.
A committee constituted by the NGT informed it that even though there are many techniques available for assaying precious metal with merits and demerits, the conventional fire assay is still the preferred assaying method for higher accuracy, repeatability, moderate and comparatively lesser cost of analysis.
The fire assay test does create toxic emissions by way of toxic metal and acidic fumes, the committee said.
The committee suggested that all the gold assaying and hallmarking centres in the country shall obtain the Consent to Establish/Consent to Operate and also obtain authorization under Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016.
"The above regulatory requirements shall be made mandatory to all gold assaying/hallmarking facilities and the same may be incorporated in the BIS guideline for gold assaying and hallmarking.
The lead fumes generated during cupellation and the acidic nitrous fumes generated during the parting acid treatment are to be treated by a proper fumes extraction treatment system," the committee said.
CPCB formulated the Guidelines for Gold Assaying Hallmarking Centres in consultation with constituted Expert Group comprising of representatives of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Shri N K Verma, Ex -Additional Director, and CPCB, Delhi.
The guidelines were also consulted with Indian Association of Hallmarking Centres through video conferencing and were uploaded on CPCB website with link.