|Types of Hazardous Wastes
|Legislator Framework in India
|Regulatory Framework in India
|Ineffectiveness of Law
|Case Laws of Hazardous Wastes
This article aims to present an overview of hazardous waste and types of hazardous waste. Further it explain the legislative and regulatory framework in India and after that ineffectiveness of the Law.
Human beings always create waste materials which are produced by daily to daily life activities. Activities like washing utensils, washing the floor and sewage water.
Hazardous waste means “danger”. Hazardous waste is very dangerous for our life. Hazardous waste includes so many wastes like harmful medicines, harmful chemicals and harmful industrial waste. Hazardous waste affects our lives in so many ways our skin gets irritated, our eyes become red, breathing rate problems and hair problems create. Pesticides are also included in hazardous waste.
Hazardous waste is very toxic for us and hazardous waste creates so many diseases. Hazardous waste is created by pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and industrial and commercial areas. Hazardous waste means any material that is potentially catastrophic to the environment or human health. This type of waste includes chemicals, toxins, flammable materials, and radioactive substances. Hazardous waste can come from a variety of sources, including industrial processes, medical facilities, and households.
The proper handling and disposal of hazardous waste are crucial to prevent harm to humans and the environment. When not handled properly, hazardous waste can contaminate water, soil, and air, leading to serious health problems, including cancer, birth defects, and neurological disorders.
To reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated, it is important to implement practices such as reducing the use of hazardous materials, reusing products when possible, and recycling. In addition, it is essential to properly label and store hazardous waste and to dispose of it in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.
Types of Hazardous Wastes
There are four classifications of hazardous wastes are as follows –
F-LIST WASTE –
It is a classification of hazardous waste. It doesn’t come from a specific industry. It comes from a mix industry. We didn’t identify the industry of F-waste.
F-list waste includes –
Chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons
Spent solvent wastes
K-LIST WASTE –
After the F-list, we read about the k-list. K-list waste is more specific than F-list. We identify the industry of k-list waste. The k-list waste came from industrial waste.
K-list waste includes –
Organic chemicals manufacturing
Primary aluminium production
P-LIST WASTE –
After the K-list waste, we read about P-list. P-list waste is highly toxic. P-list wastes are unused and they are a part of commercial chemical products. Pesticides are part of the P-list.
U-LIST WASTE –
After the U-list waste, we read about U-list, U-list waste is less toxic as compared to the list. We use U-list waste properly so they are not hazardous for us but we do not use them properly so they are hazardous for us.
Legislator Framework in India
Human beings’ duty is to protect nature for natural resources for the future. In Constitution, Part IV-A ( Article 51-A fundamental duties ) says that every human being duty to protect nature against hazardous waste and any other kind of danger. Human beings use natural resources for the future so they have a responsibility to take care the nature.
Further, Part IV (Article 48A directive principles of State Policies) says that the state also has a duty to protect nature and take proper actions to protect nature.
State and human beings have equal responsibilities to protect nature. A well-developed framework came after the UN Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm,1972). After the Stockholm Conference, the National Council for Environmental Policy and Planning was established in 1972 inside the Department of Science and Technology to introduce a regulatory body to look after environment-related issues. Later, This Council developed into an entire Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEF & CL).
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates hazardous waste disposal through the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This law establishes levels for the management of hazardous waste, consisting of essentials for its transportation, generation, storage, treatment, and disposal.
Businesses and organizations that generate hazardous waste must comply with RCRA regulations by obtaining permits and implementing proper waste management practices. Failure to obey these rules can result in fines and other penalties.
Regulatory Framework in India
The regulatory framework for hazardous waste varies by country, but in general, it involves a combination of national and international laws and regulations. Here are some key components of the regulatory framework for hazardous waste:
- National laws and regulations: Many countries have national laws and regulations that govern the generation, handling, transport, treatment, and disposal of hazardous waste. For example, in the United States, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) sets standards for the management of hazardous waste, while in the European Union, the Waste Framework Directive provides a framework for the management of waste, including hazardous waste.
- International conventions and agreements: Several international conventions and agreements have been established to address hazardous waste on a global scale. These consist of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, which monitors the current of hazardous waste between countries, and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, which seeks to eliminate or restrict the use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs).
- Permitting and reporting requirements: Many countries require permits for facilities that generate, handle, treat, or dispose of hazardous waste. These permits may require facilities to meet certain standards for waste management and may include reporting requirements for the amount and type of waste generated.
- Enforcement mechanisms: Laws and regulations related to hazardous waste typically include enforcement mechanisms, such as fines, penalties, and criminal sanctions for non-compliance. In addition, regulatory agencies may conduct inspections and audits of facilities to ensure compliance with the regulations.
- Monitoring and tracking: Many countries have systems in place to monitor and track hazardous waste, from its generation to its final disposal. This may include the use of tracking manifests, electronic reporting systems, and inspections of waste transporters and disposal facilities.
Overall, the regulatory framework for hazardous waste is designed to protect human health and the environment by ensuring that hazardous waste is managed safely and responsibly. By implementing effective regulations and enforcing them consistently, countries can reduce the risks associated with hazardous waste and minimize its impact on the environment.
India has proper amendments about hazardous wastes are as follows –
- First Amendments Rules, 06.07.2016
In the exercise of powers given by sections 6, 8 and 25 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 ( 29 of 1986), the Central Government hereby makes the following rules to amend the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016, namely:-
- These rules may be known as Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Amendment Rules, 2016.
- They shall come into exercise on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.
- Second Amendments Rules, 28.02.2017
- Third Amendments Rules, 11.06.2018
- Fourth Amendments Rules, 01.03.2019
- Second Amendments Rules, 12.11.2021
- Sixth Amendments Rules, 21.07.2022
Ineffectiveness of Law
While there are laws and regulations in place to manage hazardous waste, there are still several factors that can lead to the ineffectiveness of these laws. Here are a few reasons why hazardous waste laws may be ineffective:
- Inadequate enforcement: Even with strong regulations and penalties for non-compliance, the laws may not be effective if they are not enforced consistently and rigorously. Lack of funding, resources, and political will can all contribute to inadequate enforcement.
- Loopholes and exemptions: Some hazardous waste laws may contain exemptions or loopholes that allow certain industries or activities to avoid compliance. For example, some laws may not apply to small businesses or may have less stringent requirements for certain types of waste.
- Lack of transparency: In some cases, hazardous waste may be illegally dumped or transported without proper documentation or tracking. This can make it difficult to identify and hold responsible parties accountable for their actions.
- Rapidly evolving technology and waste streams: Hazardous waste laws may not keep up with the rapid pace of technological innovation and changing waste streams. New types of waste and emerging technologies for waste management may not be adequately covered by existing laws, leaving gaps in regulation.
- Limited international cooperation: Hazardous waste is a global problem, and effective regulation requires international cooperation and coordination. However, there may be limited cooperation between different countries and regions, leading to disparities in regulation and enforcement.
Overall, the effectiveness of hazardous waste laws depends on a range of factors, including enforcement, exemptions, transparency, technological innovation, and international cooperation. Addressing these issues can help to improve the effectiveness of hazardous waste regulation and protect human health and the environment.
Case Laws of Hazardous Wastes
- Love Canal (1970s): Love Canal was a neighbourhood in Niagara Falls, New York, where Hooker Chemical Company dumped 21,000 tons of toxic waste from the 1940s to the 1950s. In the 1970s, residents began experiencing health problems, and investigations revealed that the waste had contaminated the soil and groundwater. This led to the evacuation of the neighbourhood and the creation of the Superfund program, which provides funding for the cleanup of hazardous waste sites.
- Bhopal disaster (1984): The Bhopal disaster was a gas leak from a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, owned by Union Carbide Corporation. The leak released toxic gas into the air, causing the deaths of over 3,000 people and injuring thousands more. The disaster highlighted the need for better safety regulations for hazardous industries and raised awareness of the environmental and human health impacts of hazardous waste.
- Koko Chemical Company (1988): Koko Chemical Company was a chemical company in Taiwan that illegally dumped hazardous waste, including PCBs, into the ocean. The waste contaminated the fish in the area, leading to a ban on fishing and a public health crisis. The company’s CEO was sentenced to life in prison, and the case led to increased scrutiny of hazardous waste management practices in Taiwan.
- Ivory Coast toxic waste dumping (2006): In 2006, a company called Trafigura chartered a ship to transport hazardous waste from Amsterdam to Ivory Coast. The waste was dumped illegally in various locations around Abidjan, the country’s largest city, leading to thousands of people reporting health problems. The incident prompted calls for stronger regulations on the transport and disposal of hazardous waste.
These cases illustrate the serious consequences that can arise from improper management and disposal of hazardous waste and highlight the importance of regulations and enforcement to protect human health and the environment.
Hazardous waste control by using windmills, solar energy and so many things come from nature so they produce less waste. We use natural things instead of made chemicals. Chemicals are full of toxicity. Chemicals are very dangerous for our life and animals also. Dogs and cats and so many animals are also in danger with us. Hazardous wastes are very dangerous for small children. Pregnant women and elders are also away from hazardous wastes.
We take proper steps to get over this problem as follows –
- We use natural things
- We don’t use plastic bags
- Sewage waste
In Delhi, a huge mountain is formed by waste so this is dangerous for our life. Due to this Ganga is also polluted and in festivals, we bathe in Ganga and do puja also due to the puja waste increase. Diya’s and flowers float in Ganga. We control this custom so that our future generation enjoy the fresh air and Ganga. We buy clothes so mindlessly due to this also waste is produced. We throw packets of milk, Maggi and lays in dustbin and we cannot cut properly so we cannot recycle these packets and they become waste. We mix wet waste and dry waste. We didn’t purchase clothes mindlessly and we cut the packets in a proper way so that we recycle them.
Some clothes are not recyclable in nature so we cannot use or minimise the usage of that cloth. We didn’t mix the wet and dry waste so that waste is recyclable and that waste does not become hazardous waste. In the current scenario, waste is increasing day by day and they create threatening situations for us we cannot help us. Executive and legislative both make effective laws with sanction so that waste products is decreased. Pollution is created by waste. Pollution is also very bad for our health.
Overall, it is important to understand the dangers associated with hazardous waste and to take steps to reduce its generation and properly manage and dispose of it. By doing so, we can protect human health and the environment for generations to come.
This article is written by Varsha Goel, a 2nd-year law student at Kurukshetra University.