Knowledge Brief

What are the emission standards for air pollution from brick kilns in India?

The Government of India sets emission standards as a means to limit the levels of pollution from industrial sources. The minimum national standards for emissions have been notified for over 100 industries/activities, this also includes emission standards for air pollution from brick kilns.

What is air pollution?

Air pollution can be defined as the presence of toxic chemicals or compounds in the air, at levels that pose a health risk. These chemicals or compounds could be in a gaseous form (e.g. carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, etc.), or in a solid form (as particulate matter suspended in air).

How are emission standards developed?

Emission standards are developed through an elaborate process which usually takes several years. The process starts at the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), where draft standards are developed. Usually a detailed sector study by an independent consultant, along with inputs from industry and experts, forms the basis for the draft standards. The draft standards are then sent to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), which reviews the standards and puts them for public consultation. The standards are also reviewed by the Law Ministry before they are notified. These are minimum national standards, but the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) have the authority to set tighter standards if required.

Who is responsible for the implementation of the emission standards?

The State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) have the main responsibility for the implementation of the emission standards.

What are the existing emissions standards for brick kilns in India (as on June 30, 2018)?

India has emission standards for three types of brick kilns – Bull's Trench Kiln, Down-Draft Kiln and Vertical Shaft Kiln. There are no emissions standards specifically for  Clamp Kilns. The emission standards specify the maximum concentration of Particulate Matter in the flue gases in milligram/normal cubic metre (mg/Nm3), and the minimum chimney height in metre (m).

Type of Kiln

Capacity

Limiting concentration of Particulate Matter (mg/Nm3)

Minimum Chimney Height (m)

Natural Draft

With fan operating with minimum draft of 50 mm WG

Bull's Trench Kiln

Small

1000

22

12

 

Medium

750

27

15

 

Large

750

30

17

Down-Draft Kiln

Small

1200

12

NA

 

Medium

1200

15

NA

 

Large

1200

18

NA

Vertical Shaft Kiln

Small

250

11

NA

 

Medium

250

14

NA

 

Large

250

16

NA

The complete emission standards can be downloaded from
http://envfor.nic.in/legis/ep/543_E.pdf.

How do emission standards for brick kilns in India compare with that in other countries?

In large brick producing countries like China and South Africa, the emission standards for brick kilns are more stringent. In South Africa, the emission standards for “new” brick kilns (excluding clamp kilns) for particulate matter emission are at 50 mg/Nm3, while for “existing” brick kilns (excluding clamp kilns) are at 150 mg/Nm3. Similarly, in case of China, the proposed emission standards for “new” brick kilns (drying and firing) are at 50 mg/Nm3, while for “existing” brick kilns (drying and firing) are at 100 mg/Nm3. The emission standards for brick kilns in the developed countries of Europe and North America apart from being more stringent, cover many more parameters. For example, the standard in USA covers emission limits for acid gases, mercury, and particulate matter.

Are the existing emissions standards for brick kilns in India being reviewed?

The existing emission standards for brick kilns were notified in 2009. The  process of revising the emission standards for brick kilns started in 2010. MoEFCC has till now put two versions of draft emission standards for public comments, once in 2015 and recently in 2018. The draft standards which were put for public comments  in March 2018, propose to make the emission standards stringent by reducing the  limiting concentration of Particulate Matter  to 250 mg/Nm3 (normalized at 4% CO2) for  several types of brick kilns, that includes, Bull's Trench Kilns, Induced/High Draft Kilns, Hoffmann Kilns, Tunnel Kilns, Down-Draft Kilns, Vertical Shaft Kilns, and Zigzag Kilns

After taking into account the public comments, the new emission standards are expected to be announced during 2018.

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