Make in USA: Indian environment ministry ‘steals’ content from the US to draft its policy

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Indian environment ministry has come under sharp criticism after it emerged that its newly drafted Environment Supplement Plan had lifted 75% content from the US’ Supplement Environment Projects Policy.

In an embarrassing revelation, it has emerged that of the 3,850 words of Indian draft, 2,900 words were directly copied and pasted from the American document. The new draft, according to Indian Express, proposes to allow those who go ahead with project work without prior environmental clearance under Environment Impact Assessment Notification (EIA), 2006 to “remediate the damage caused” and compensate by implementing the ESP.

Under existing laws, these are criminal offences punishable with imprisonment.

The Ministry had notified and put up the draft on its website on 10 May, inviting public feedback over a two-month window.

— US (Introduction A): Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) is an environmentally beneficial project or activity that is not required by law, but that a defendant agrees to undertake as part of the settlement of an enforcement action.

India (Clause 1): An Environmental Supplemental Plan (ESP) is an environmentally beneficial project or activity that is not required by law, but that an alleged violator of Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006 agrees to undertake as part of the process of environmental clearance.

— US (II D): SEPs provide defendants with an opportunity to develop and demonstrate new technologies that may prove more protective of human health and the environment than existing processes and procedures.

India (4 iii): Innovative Technology: Environmental Supplemental Plan will provide the proponent and the Expert Group with an opportunity to develop and demonstrate new technologies that may prove more protective of human health and the environment than existing processes and procedures.

US (IV A III): The project must demonstrate that it is designed to reduce: a. The likelihood that similar violations will occur in the future; b. The adverse impact to public health and/or the environment to which the violation at issue contributes; or, c. The overall risk to public health and/or the environment potentially affected by the violation at issue.

India (5): The project must demonstrate that it is designed to remediate the ecological damage caused due to violations and it will reduce, a. The likelihood that similar violations will occur in the future; b. The adverse impact to public health and the environment to which the violation at issue contributes; c. The overall risk to public health and the environment potentially affected by the violation at issue.

US (X B): With regard to the SEP, Defendant certifies the truth and accuracy of each of the following: a. That all cost information provided to the EPA in connection with the EPA’s approval of the SEP is complete and accurate and that Defendant in good faith estimates that the cost to implement the SEP[, exclusive of _____ costs,] is $_____;

India (12): With regard to the Environmental Supplemental Plan, the project proponent shall certify the truth and accuracy of each of the following: a. That all cost information provided to the Expert Group in connection with the Environmental Supplemental Plan is complete and accurate and that the proponent in good faith estimates that the cost to implement the Environmental Supplemental Plan is Rs. —————;

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