Odisha CM launches Star Rating system for industries to reduce pollution

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday launched a Star Rating system for industries to reduce pollution.

This is a first-of-its-kind transparency initiative which will categorise industries from 1-star to 5-stars compliant with the pollution standards.

The initiative aims to categorise industries from 1-star to 5-stars, with 1-star being the least compliant and 5-stars being the most compliant to the pollution standards set by the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OPSCB).

“We are committed towards serving our citizens better and I am very optimistic about this program that aims to cut pollution. The Star Rating program will help the public to find out whether industries in their vicinity are fair in their environmental compliance and empower them to strengthen regulations through public participation,” said the Chief Minister.

Patnaik also appreciated the efforts of OPSCB quoting this initiative as “an excellent example of 3Ts- Technology, Transparency and Teamwork”.

“The Star Rating programme also recognizes the efforts of industries that take responsibility to maintain a clean environment and go beyond what the regulations require them to do. This system would also encourage and induce the industries to adopt clean technologies,” said the Chief Minister.

OSPCB Chairman R. Balakrishnan said, “SPCB Odisha has been collecting data through a Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) on industrial air pollution emissions. It has been an exciting journey working with researchers from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC India) in distilling this data into star ratings and using it for public disclosure.”

“The Odisha Star Rating program is a pioneering initiative that will help citizens identify the sources of pollution in their neighbourhoods and cities and empower them to help ensure that industries comply with existing Indian laws,” said Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman Professor in Economics and Director of EPIC and the Tata Center for Development at Chicago.

While the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board worked with researchers form EPIC-India and other to launch a similar programme last year, the Odisha government’s initiative is the first in India to utilize continuously monitored emission data captured in time from major industrial plants.

The Star Rating Program is based on the particulate matter (PM) emissions of large manufacturers of steel, cement, aluminium and major power plants. The program will be implemented with the help of EPIC India researchers and TCD in a phased manner.

The program will cover 20 industrial plants initially and will eventually cover all the 136 plants with continuously monitored data. OSPCB is also conducting inspection and recalibration drives to check the quality of data and would be updating the ratings every month.