Quashed mining leases have to get fresh EC

PANJIM: All the 88 iron ore mines, whose leases were quashed and set aside by Supreme Court, will now have to go for fresh environmental clearance (EC), post its fresh or re-allocation, irrespective of its validity at time when the lease period lapsed.

The Union Ministry of Environment & Forests has notified its draft making it mandatory for lease holders to obtain fresh EC irrespective of its validity. As per the notification, the ministry will thus implement the judgment of the Supreme Court dated February 7, 2018 in Special Leave to Appeal in the matter of Goa Foundation versus M/s Sesa Sterlite Ltd and Ors.The leases granted to 88 iron ore mining are quashed and set aside by the Supreme Court through an order dated February 7, 2018, wherein it directed the State government to initiate process for granting fresh leases. As such, as on date, no mining lease is valid in Goa and all stand expired.MoEF Joint Secretary Geeta Menon in the notification said that the Central government directs implementation of the Supreme Court judgment as well as continuation of the mining activity without any changes to the approved mining scheme, mining plan, production capacity, mine lease areas specified in the EC granted under the provisions of the EIA notification, 2006, through an expeditious mechanism for grant of fresh EC.Those who manage to get the mining lease have to make fresh application under EIA notification 2006, for grant of EC. The applications will be considered by the concerned Expert Appraisal Committee or the State Level Expert Appraisal Committee, as the case may be, who has to decide in the light of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP). [H]