Environmental Protection Agency Directed To Form Body To Enforce Pollution Charge Rules
The Lahore High Court Green Bench has directed the Punjab Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enforce Pollution Charge Rules by forming an inquiry committee in collaboration with Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
The bench, comprising of Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, was hearing a petition filed by a citizen, Muhammad Naeem, questioning vires of Environmental Impact Assessment and Initial Environmental Examination Rules.
At the outset of the hearing, petitioner’s counsel Sheraz Zaka stated that the EPA and other authorities had failed to perform their statutory obligations and Pollution Charge Rules 2001 neither existed nor were they subsequently implemented. He said the historic Lahore was becoming one of the most polluted cities in the world due to non-implementation of the rules.
The court expressed surprise when EPA’s counsel said there had not been any implementation of pollution charge rules.
Advocate Zaka argued that after the Paris Agreement signed in 2015 to curb pollution and environmental degradation, it was utmost important to implement the Pollution Charge Rules and adhere to the UN Climate Change Convention to which Pakistan had become a signatory in 1992.
Advocate Saima Khawaja being amicus curie assisted the court on the matter and said until EPA and its monitoring units performed their statutory obligations, the whole of Punjab would continue to get adversely affected by increasing industrialization and global warming effects.
Justice Shah directed the Agency to make the department work efficiently and implement the Pollution Charge Rules by forming an inquiry committee in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce and submit a compliance report on the next hearing.
This news was previously published in DAWN and it is being republished here with permission.