Rejoinder filed by Rathi Special Steels Limited, RICCO Industrial Area, Alwar, Rajasthan, 15/06/2022
Rejoinder on behalf of appellant (Rathi Special Steels Limited) against the order, May 5, 2022 passed by the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Area directing closure of the unit of the appellant (RICCO Industrial Area, Kurukshetra, tehsil Tijara, district Alwar, Rajasthan) with immediate effect.
The Commission earlier (January 21, 2022) also had passed order for closure for running the factory even after expiry of the consent to operate, which expired July 31, 2021 issued by the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board. Then on May 5, 2022 'the second closure order' was passed where the issue related to not obtaining Environmental Clearance (EC) under EIA Notification 2006 has been made a ground.
Rathi Steels said the two closure orders are liable to be set aside.
The reasons being that as per the thresholds provided under the EIA Notification 2006 - the requirement for obtaining environmental clearance does not apply to the unit. The capacity of the unit is 27,000 tonnes per annum and the EIA Notification stated that only such induction furnaces with capacity of more than 30,000 tonnes per annum require environmental clearance.
Further, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) in its Draft Notification, March 23, 2020 for Environmental Impact Assessment has provided for exemption for standalone re-rolling mills (which does not involve pickling operations) with a capacity of upto 2 lakh tonnes per annum. The thresholds prescribed are above the production capacity of the unit.