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Colour Codes of Industries for Environment Clearances

March 8, 2016

Colour Codes Of Industries

Fighting pollution gets renewed thrust with government releasing new ‘colour’ codes for industries based on their pollution load factor.

On 5 March 2016, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Prakash Javadekar released the four colour categorizations for industries as per the following Pollution Index (PI) score between 0 and 100:

  • Industries with Pollution Index score of 60 and above: Red category
  • Industries with Pollution Index score of 41 to 59: Orange category
  • Industries with Pollution Index score of 21 to 40: Green category
  • Industries with Pollution Index score including and upto 20: White category

As per the Minister, new colour categorization of industries was imperative as the earlier colour categorization did not correctly reflect the pollution levels generated by industries. In the earlier colour-based categorization, 25 industries, which were not critically polluting, were included in the Red category. This presented a distorted picture and therefore there was a need felt for fair categorization.

The ‘White’ category is a new addition and covers 36 industrial sectors that are mostly non-polluting. The white category will exempt companies from obtaining ‘Consent to Operate’ certificate. Henceforth, a mere written intimation to PCC or SPCB will be sufficient to proceed.

Industries falling under ‘White’ category include LED and CFL bulb assembly, power generation using solar photovoltaic technology, wind power generating units, hydel units less than 25 MW, products made from rolled PVC sheets using automatic vacuum forming machines, cotton and woolen hosiers using dry processes etc.

Normally, industries falling under ‘Red’ category will not be permitted in ecologically fragile or sensitive areas. Interestingly, industries like integrated automobile manufacturing, airports and commercial air strips, and milk & dairy products are included in the ‘Red’ category.

It is hoped that the new colour categorization will spur companies to adopt cleaner technologies that are more efficient and less polluting to the environment.

Another major objective of the new colour categorization has been the need to establish a clear, fair and transparent system for clearances from MoEFCC and minimize subjectivity in categorization that led to corruption in clearances.

The new code will enable the process of applicant companies to self-assess their industry categorization and submit their application online. Based on the colour category, they will need to submit the requisite documents that are less cumbersome. The entire process of clearance will be fast, transparent and visible to the applicant.

What is Pollution Index?

Pollution Index (PI) measures the level of ‘emissions’ that cause air pollution, ‘effluents’ that contaminate water, ‘hazardous wastes’ which includes dangerous chemicals and ‘consumption of resources’ which excessively use natural resources.

Based on the pollution levels, a PI score is assigned. A higher level of pollution will reflect a higher score. The Index was derived after extensive consultation with various pollution control and monitoring bodies like CPCB, SPCB along with MoEFCC.

Industries classified under Colour Categories

S.N Red category  Orange category  Green category  White category
1 Isolated storage of hazardous chemicals Almirah, Grill Manufacturing Aluminium utensils Air coolers / conditioners
2 Automobile Manufacturing (integrated) Aluminium & copper extraction from scrap Ayurvedic medicines Bicycles, baby carriages
3 Hazardous waste recycling  (Spent cleared metal catalyst) Automobile servicing, repairing Small Bakery /confectionery Bailing of waste papers
4 Lubricating oils and grease manufacturing Ayurvedic and homeopathic medicine PP film Bio fertilizer / bio-pesticides
5 DG Set  (> 5 MVA) Brickfields Biomass briquettes Biscuits trays
6 Carbon black & allied Building and construction  >20,000 sq Melamine resins Blending / packing of tea
7 Lead acid battery Cashew nut processing Brass and bell metal utensils Block making of printing
8 Phosphate rock processing Ceramics and Refractories Candy Chalk making
9 Power generation plant Chanachur and ladoo using husk fired oven Cardboard / corrugated box Compressed oxygen gas
10 Hazardous Waste Recyclers (Spent catalyst) Coal washeries Carpentry & wooden furniture Cotton and woollen hosiers
11 Chlorinated hydrocarbons Coated electrode Cement products Diesel pump repairing
12 Sugar Coffee seed processing Ceramic colour by mixing Electric lamp (bulb) and CFL
13 Fibre glass production Compact disc computer floppy Chilling plant and ice making Electrical and electronic items
14 Fire crackers Copper waste recyclers Coke briquetting Engineering and fabrication units
15 E-Waste Recyclers Dairy and dairy products (small scale) Small Cotton spinning and weaving Flavoured betel nuts
16 Milk and dairy products DG set ( >1MVA but < 5MVA) Dal Mills Fly ash bricks / block
17 Phosphorous Dismantling of rolling stocks Decoration of ceramic cups Fountain pen
18 Pulp & Paper Dry cell battery Digital printing on PVC clothes Glass ampules
19 Coke making Dry coal / mineral processing Handling, storage of food grains Glass putty and sealant
20 Explosives / detonators Fermentation (Extra Neutral Alcohol) Flour mills Ground nut decorticating
21 Paints varnishes, pigments Ferrous and Non- ferrous metal extraction Electrical Glass, ceramic, earthen potteries Handloom/ carpet weaving
22 Organic Chemicals Fertilizer (granulation / formulation / blending Glue from starch Leather cutting and stitching
23 Airports and Commercial Air Strips Fish feed, poultry feed and cattle feed Gold and silver smithy Coir items from coconut husks
24 Asbestos Fish processing and packing Non-polluting Heat treatment Metal caps containers etc
25 Basic chemicals Flakes from rejected PET bottle Insulation /coated papers Shoe brush and wire brush
26 Cement Foam manufacturing Leather foot wear /products Medical oxygen
27 Chlorates, per-chlorates & peroxides Food and food processing Blending of Lubricating oil, greases Organic and inorganic nutrients
28 Chlorine, fluorine, bromine, iodine Forging of ferrous and non-ferrous Pasted veneers Organic manure
29 Dyes and Dye-Intermediates Formulation/pelletization of camphor tablets etc Oil mill Ghani Packing of powdered milk
30 Health-care Establishment Glass ceramics, earthen potteries and tile Packing materials Paper pins and u clips
31 Hotels (Big) Gravure printing, digital printing on flex, Phenyl/toilet cleaner Repairing of electric motors /generators
32 Lead acid battery -recyclers Heat treatment using oil fired furnace Polythene and plastic products Rope (plastic and cotton)
33 Waste electrical and electronic recyclers Hot mix plants Poultry, Hatchery and Piggery Scientific and mathematical instruments
34 Glue and gelatin Ice cream Power looms (without dye and bleaching) Solar module non-conventional energy apparatus
35 Mining and ore beneficiation Industry or processes involving foundry operations Puffed rice (muri) (gas or electrical heating) Solar power generation through solar photovoltaic cell, wind power and mini hydel power (less than 25 MW)
36 Nuclear power plant Iodized salt from crude/ raw salt Ready mix cement concrete Surgical and medical products assembling
37 Pesticides Jute processing without dyeing Reprocessing of waste cotton
38 Photographic film /chemicals large Bakery and confectionery Rice mill (Rice hullers only)
39 Yarn / Textile processing Transformer repairing/ manufacturing Rolling mill (gas fired) and cold rolling mill
40 Chlor Alkali Tyres and tubes vulcanization/ hot retread Rubber goods (gas operated baby boiler)
41 Ship Breaking Vegetable oil manufacturing Saw mills
42 Oil and gas extraction Wire drawing and wire netting Soap manufacturing
43 Metal surface treatment Large Cotton spinning and weaving Spice Blending
44 Tanneries Lime manufacturing (using lime kiln) Spice grinding
45 Ports /harbor/jetties Liquid floor cleaner, black phenyl Steel furniture
46 Synthetic fibers Manufacturing of glass Grains processing
47 Thermal Power Plants Manufacturing of mirror from sheet glass Tyres /tube retreating
48 Slaughter house Manufacturing of mosquito repellent coil Chilling /ice plant
49 Aluminium Smelter Manufacturing of Starch/Sago CO2 recovery
50 Copper Smelter Mechanized laundry using oil fired boiler Distilled water
51 Fertilizer (basic) Medium scale Hotels Small Hotels
52 Integrated Iron & Steel Modular wooden furniture Optical lenses
53 Pulp & Paper (bleaching) New highway construction project Mineralized water
54 Zinc Smelter Non-alcoholic beverages(soft drink) Tamarind powder
55 Oil Refinery Paint blending and mixing (Ball mill) Marble stone
56 Petrochemicals Paints and varnishes (mixing and blending) Emery powder
57 Pharmaceuticals Parboiled Rice Mills Fly ash export
58 Pulp & Paper (Large-Agro + wood) Pharmaceutical formulation Mineral stack yard
59 Distillery Ply-board manufacturing Oil and gas transportation pipeline
60 Railway locomotive work shop/  service centers Potable alcohol ( IMFL) by blending Seasoning of wood
61 Printing ink manufacturing Synthetic detergent
62 Printing or etching of glass sheet Tea processing
63 Printing press Pulverization of bamboo
64 Producer gas plant
65 Recyclers – used oils
66 Re-cyclers – waste oils
67 Recycling  – Paint and ink Sludge
68 Reprocessing of waste plastic /PVC
69 Rolling mill (oil or coal fired)
70 Silica gel
71 Silk /saree screen printing
72 Spray painting
73 Steel and steel products with furnaces
74 Stone crushers
75 Surgical and medical products (latex)
76 Synthetic detergents and soaps
77 Synthetic resins
78 Synthetic rubber excluding molding
79 Teflon based products
80 Thermocol manufacturing (with boiler)
81 Thermometer
82 Tobacco products including cigarettes
83 Tooth powder, toothpaste, talcum powder


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