No separate environmental clearance was required to produce additional ethanol from another category of molasses as it didn't contribute to the pollution load, the Environment Ministry announced here on Tuesday.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted the decision. "In yet another major decision for the benefit of farmers & sugar industry, central government has declared that no separate environment clearance is required to produce additional ethanol from "B-heavy molasses as it doesn't add to the pollution load", he said.
With various incentives provided by the central government, the Environment Ministry said mills were expected to undertake production of ethanol from B-heavy molasses and other by-products resulting in incidental increase in the production of ethanol without any rise in the pollution load in the existing distilleries or sugar mills to which environmental clearance had been granted.
To obviate the need for undertaking fresh environmental impact assessment (EIA) or public consultation in all such cases of increase in production capacity, the government has given a clarification relating to issuance of environmental clearance to facilitate sugar mills to undertake additional production of ethanol from B-heavy molasses in place of using C-heavy molasses without any increase in the total pollution load.
"It has been clarified that all such proposals intended to undertake additional production of ethanol from B-heavy molasses, sugarcane juice, sugar syrup, sugar, may be considered under the provisions of 7(ii)(a) of EIA notification, 2006 by the concerned expert appraisal committee for grant of environmental clearance," according to the clarification.