President authenticates Environment Protection Bill-2019

Kathmandu, October 12

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has authenticated the Environment Protection Bill endorsed by both Houses of the Federal Parliament.

A press statement issued by the Office of the President yesterday said President Bhandari authenticated the bill in accordance with Article 113 of the constitution.

The bill has come into effect following its authentication.

This law has stipulated a provision of compensation to any person or organisation harmed by hazardous waste or pollution emitted against the standards set by the government.

As per the act, if any person or organisation suffered any loss or damage due to sound pollution, harmful waste or due to air pollution by anyone, the victim may file an application at the concerned authority at local level demanding compensation from the polluter.

“While examining the application, if it is confirmed that loss or damage has been caused, the executive of the local level shall order concerned person or organisation or the proponent of a project to pay reasonable compensation to the victim depending on the gravity of the harm,” states Section 33 of the act.

The act also prohibits carrying out of any project without getting the environmental impact assessment or initial environmental examination approved by the local level or the concerned agency. If any person or organisation is found to have committed such offence, prescribed authorities can punish him/ her with fine ranging from Rs 500,000 to one million rupees, depending on the gravity of the case.

The act also envisions to protect fundamental right of every citizen to live in clean and healthy environment, with proper use and sustainable management of natural resources.

According to the act, the government may declare any place with a natural heritage, rare wildlife, plants or places with biodiversity and places of historical and cultural significance as protected area by issuing notice in the Nepal Gazette.

The government may also issue an order to maintain any particular area as an open space or a green zone with the objective of protecting the environment.

The act also empowers the government to restrict the movement of general public in and around a place where harmful materials or waste have been stored or disposed, by declaring it ‘polluted’ area.

“The government may participate in carbon trading as per international treaties and agreements with foreign governments or institutions, professional bodies and private sectors,” the act states.

As per the act, the government is empowered to set standards to reduce or mitigate adverse impacts of pollution or hazardous waste by vehicles, machines, equipment,industrial enterprises, hotels and restaurants.