In India, a Hazardous Substances Management Division has been constituted as a nodal point within the Ministry of Environment and Forest. This nodal agency is responsible for Planning, over-seeing and implementing the policies and programmes on management of hazardous substances and Chemical Emergencies.
The principal objective of framing this nodal agency is to promote safe handling, management and use of hazardous substances including hazardous chemicals and hazardous wastes so as to prevent potential damage to the community Health and environment.
Following rules have been made, and implemented in association with the Central Pollution Control Board (CDCB), State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB) and Pollution Control Committees (PCCs). The Ministry of Environment and Forests; Government of India, takes the responsibility of monitoring of these rules on regular basis.
The thrust areas of the Hazardous Substances Management Division in respect of its activities are- Chemical Safety, Hazardous Waste Management and Solid Waste Management. The division exercises its powers through different Rules concerned to the three thrust areas.
Regulations for Chemical Safety
The main instruments or Rules for ensuring chemical safety in India are-
1. The Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals (MSIHC) Rules, 1989 / 2000, and
2. Chemical Accidents (Emergency Planning, Preparedness and Response) Rules, 1986.
3. Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991 as amended in 1992.
Regulations for Hazardous Waste Management
The main instruments or rules for insuring Hazardous Waste Management in India, are-
1. The Hazardous Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1989, as amended in 2000, further rationalised and revised as well as notified on 20th May 2003.
2. The Biomedical Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 / 2000. These rules were notified to regulate the management of wastes generated by Health Care Establishments all over the country.
3. The Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001.These rules were notified in May, 2001 to regulate collection, channelization and recycling as well as import of used lead acid batteries.
Regulations for Solid Waste Management
The main instruments or the Rules for insuring Solid Waste Management in India are-
1. The Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2000,
2. The Fly Ash notification, 1999.
3. The Recycled Plastics (Manufacture & Usage) Amendment Rules, 1999 (amended and notified on 17th June, 2003).
The above are the Rules that constitute the regulatory framework for the management of Solid Waste in India.Besides the above, following arrangements have also been made for the handling and management of hazardous wastes in India-
(i). The National Hazardous Waste Information System (NHWIS),
(ii).Chemical Crisis Alert System,
(iii) Legislations related to Hazardous Substances Management, and (iv) The Accident Reporting Procedure.