Following a public hearing on August 16, a proposal to increase the Okhla Waste to Energy (WtE) plant’s capacity from 23 MW to 40 MW was rejected.
The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) said the plan offers no information on the change in the environmental scenario or on the baseline pollution load as a result of the capacity augmentation. The EAC comes under the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC). The EAC claimed that the proposal also lacked information about the modification in the amount of waste used at the facility, the rise in pollutants, and the necessary environmental infrastructure to handle and reduce any potential increased pollution load, reports Hindustan Times.
Since it began operating in 2012, the waste-to- energy facility has attracted attention. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) penalized the facility 25 lakh in February 2017 for failing to meet a number of pollution-related criteria, particularly for dioxins and furans, a carcinogenic consequence of chemicals produced during combustion from trash incineration. A petition from several locals who had concerns about the plant’s location led to the NGT order, which they said was too close to residential pockets.