Environment Protection Act 1986 Introduction, Objectives of the Act, Definitions of Important Terms Environment, Environment Pollutant, Environment Pollution, Hazardous Substance and Occupier

23/07/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

Environment Protection Act, 1986, is a comprehensive legislation enacted by the Parliament of India with the primary aim of providing for the protection and improvement of the environment. It was introduced in the wake of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy in 1985, highlighting the need for a regulatory framework to address environmental issues. The Act serves as an umbrella legislation designed to provide a framework for coordinating, supervising, and enforcing environmental protection standards.


The Act empowers the central government to take measures necessary to protect and improve the quality of the environment by setting standards for emissions and discharges of pollution in the atmosphere by any person carrying on an industry, operation, or process. Additionally, it lays down guidelines for the State governments and other authorities to direct their activities towards environmental protection.

Objectives of the Act:

  • To Protect and Improve Environmental Quality:

The Act aims to prevent, control, and abate environmental pollution to ensure a healthy environment for all citizens.

  • Regulation of Environmental Pollutants:

It seeks to regulate the discharge of environmental pollutants and the handling of hazardous substances.

  • Comprehensive Environmental Protection:

The Act endeavors to take appropriate measures for understanding and mitigating environmental pollution in its entirety, not just specific aspects or factors.

  • Legal Framework for Environmental Protection:

It provides a legal framework for planning and executing a nationwide program for the prevention, control, and abatement of environmental pollution.

Definitions of Important Terms:

  • Environment:

Under the Act, “environment” includes water, air, and land, and the interrelationship which exists among and between water, air, and land, and human beings, other living creatures, plants, microorganisms, and property.

  • Environmental Pollutant:

An “environmental pollutant” is defined as any solid, liquid, or gaseous substance present in such concentration as may be, or tend to be, injurious to the environment.

  • Environmental Pollution:

“Environmental pollution” means the presence in the environment of any environmental pollutant.

  • Hazardous Substance:

“Hazardous substance” is any substance or preparation which, by reason of its chemical or physico-chemical properties or handling, is liable to cause harm to human beings, other living creatures, plants, microorganisms, property, or the environment.

  • Occupier:

In relation to any factory or premises, “occupier” means a person who has control over the affairs of the factory or the premises and includes in relation to any substance, the person in possession of the substance.