Salient features of the act are as follows:
(i) The Act provides for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution.
(ii) In the Act, air pollution has been defined as the presence of any solid, liquid or gaseous substance (including noise) in the atmosphere in such concentration as may be or tend to be harmful to human beings or any other living creatures or plants or property or environment.
(iii) Noise pollution has been inserted as Pollution, in the Act in 1987.
(iv) Pollution control boards at the central or state level have the regulatory authority to implement the Air Act. Just parallel to the functions related to Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, the board performs similar functions related to improvement of air quality.
The boards have to check whether or not the industry strictly follows the norms or standards laid down by the Board under section 17, regarding the discharge of emission of any air pollutant. Based upon analysis report consent is granted or refused to the industry.
(v) Just like Water Act, the Air Act has provision for defining the constitution, powers and function of Pollution Control Boards funds, accounts, audit, penalties and procedures.
(vi) Section 20 of the Act has provision for ensuring emission standards from automobiles. Based upon it the state government is empowered to issue instructions to the authority in charge of registration of motor vehicles (under Motor Vehicles Act 1939) that is bound to comply with such instructions.
(vii) As per section 19 in consultation with the State Pollution Control Board, the State Government may declare an area within the state as “air pollution control area” and can prohibit the use of any fuel other than approved fuel in that area causing air pollution. No person shall, without prior consent of State Board operate or establish any industrial unit in the “air pollution control area”.
The Water and Air Acts also made special provisions for appeals Under Section 28 of Water Act and Section 31 of Air Act, a provision for appeals has been made An Appellate Authority consisting of a single person or three person appointed by the Head of the State,’ Governor is constituted to hear such appeals as filed by some aggrieved party (industry) due to some order made by State Board within 30 days of passing the orders.
The Appellate Authority after giving the appellant and the State Board an opportunity of being heard disposes off the appeal as expeditiously as possible.