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Environmental Law
LWU 3314
Introduction to the National
Environmental Act
Camena Guneratne
Dept of Legal Studies
Open University of Sri Lanka
The National Environmental
Act
Sri Lankas umbrella environmental law
First enacted - No. 48 of 1980
Amended: No. 56 of 1988
No. 53 of 2000
Umbrella environmental laws
in other countries
1. USA - National Environmental Policy Act of
1970
2. India - Environment Protection Act of 1986
3. Nepal - Environmental Conservation Law of
1996
4. Bangladesh - Environment Conservation Act
of 1995
5. Pakistan - Environmental Protection Act of
1997
Contents/provisions of the NEA
Preamble:
To establish the Central Environmental Authority
(CEA) with provisions for its powers, functions and
duties;
To make provision for the protection, management
and enhancement of the environment;
To make provision for the regulation, maintenance and
control of the quality of the environment;
To make provision for the prevention, abatement and
control of pollution;
And for matters connected or incidental to the above.
How is the NEA administered?
Central Environmental Authority
Environmental Council
District Environmental Agencies
Some functions also delegated to local
authorities
Functions of the CEA
See Course materials
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Part IV - Environmental
Management
Under this Part the CEA is required to
formulate the policy and schemes with
regard to the rational use and
exploitation and management of the
natural resources of the country. Such
policies and schemes must be formulated
in consultation with the Environmental
Council.
Areas for environmental
management
Land use
Natural Resources
Fisheries
Wildlife
Forestry
Soil Conservation
Environmental Protection
Found under Part IV A
Relates to the prevention of pollution
Environmental Pollution Licensing
Scheme operates under this section
Environmental Quality
1. Part IV B
2. Also relates to pollution of the
environment
3. The areas are:
Inland waters of Sri Lanka
Atmosphere
Soil
Noise pollution
Approval of Projects
Found under Part IV C
This section deals with Environmental
Impact Assessment
General Provisions
Empowers Minister to declare
environmental protection areas
CEA can delegate its powers
Minister can make regulations to give
effect to the NEA
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Framework environmental
laws in other countries of
South Asia
Bangladesh - Environment
Conservation Act of 1995
Established a Dept. of Environment with a
Director General as Head
Environment Conservation Rules were
made under the Act.
Environment Conservation Rules relate to the
following issues
Ecologically critical areas
Vehicular pollution
The form and procedure to dispense with applications to
obtain redress against environmental damage
Environmental impact assessment
Environmental quality standards for air, water and noise
Vehicular emissions
Smell
Sewerage
Industrial waste
Gaseous emissions
Nepal - Environment Protection Act of
1996
Provision for environmental impact assessment
Provisions relating to the prevention and control
of pollution
Protection of national heritage.
Declaration of environment conservation areas
The Act established an Environment Protection
Fund.
The Act contains provisions which compel those
who have polluted the environment to pay
compensation
India - Environment Protection Act
1986
focuses mainly on the prevention of pollution of the
environment in all its aspects.
co-ordinate actions of the state governments;
plan and execute national programmes to combat
pollution;
lay down standards for the discharge of pollutants from
any source;
restrict the areas in which industries may operate;
take measures to prevent accidents which may cause
environmental pollution;
lay down the procedures for the handling of hazardous
substances.
Environment Protection Rules under
the Act were enacted in 1986.
The Act was amended in 1994 and the
procedure for environmental impact
assessment was included in the
amendment.
India (continued)
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Pakistan - Environment
Protection Act 1997
The Act established:
Pakistan Environmental Protection Council
Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency
Provincial Environmental Protection Agencies
Provincial Sustainable Development Funds
The Pakistan Environmental
Council
Council -
Apex body, chaired by the Prime Minister
Consists of the Chief Ministers, the
Federal and Provincial Environmental
Ministers and upto 35 others
Environmental Tribunals
Pakistan Act creates special courts to
hear environmental cases known as
Environmental Tribunals.
Specially trained judges handle such
cases known as Environmental
Magistrates.