India: Regulated Use Of Pet Coke By Industries

Last Updated: 5 July 2017
Article by S.S. Rana & Co. Advocates

The National Green Tribunal (hereinafter referred to as "NGT") has issued an order dated May 16, 2017 in the matter of People for Education Research Scholarship & Outward Nutrition v. Union of India and the Central Pollution Control Board, 471 of 20161 wherein the NGT has:

  1. directed State Governments to notify within two months from the date of the order whether pet coke is 'an approved fuel or not';
  2. directed the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (hereinafter referred to as "MoEF") to notify within two months from the date of the order, whether pet coke is hazardous waste under Hazardous Waste Management Rules, 2016; and
  3. issued guidelines on the use of Pet Coke as industrial fuel across the country.

Petroleum coke or Pet Coke is used by industries as fuel and contains various dangerous chemicals and heavy metals such as Chromium, Vanadium, etc. Pet coke also has high Sulphur contents which on burning releases large amounts of Sulphates into the atmosphere. These harmful chemicals cause air pollution and leads to various health risks and various studies have been conducted showing the effect such chemicals have on people.


  • The applicant, People for Education Research Scholarship & Outward Nutrition, a society registered under Societies Registration Act, 1860, had filed an application stating that burning of Pet Coke posed a significant health risk due to emission of high concentration of various air pollutants and therefore requested NGT:
  1. To issue appropriate guidelines or direction for handling of pet coke to minimize damage to environment.
  2. To issue direction for ban on usage of petroleum coke as fuel.
  3. To direct respondents to conduct an inquiry into illegal usage of petroleum coke by industries.
  • The respondents, MoeF and the Central Pollution Control Board (hereinafter referred to as "CPCB"), had stated that they had notified emission standards of Sulphur for various categories of industries to take suitable steps to control emission with norm, even if they were lawfully using pet coke as a fuel. MoEF stated that norms have been notified for cement industries which are applicable even if Pet Coke is mixed with coal and used for clinker making. It was mandatory for the industries to take suitable steps to control its emissions well within norm, even if they are lawfully using pet coke as fuel.
  • The CPCB also stated that Pet Coke should not be used by any industry without any express permission of Pollution Control Committee/State Pollution Control Board.
  • CPCB requested the NGT to allow Technical Review Committee constituted by MoEF and Pollution Control Committee to study the issue and decide whether Pet Coke was a waste or hazardous waste or by-product waste.


The issue before NGT was whether there should be any restriction or ban on the use of pet coke as fuel and if restrictions were to be imposed, what the same would be.


NGT observed that due to high Sulphur content and presence of metals in Pet Coke and pollution potential of Pet Coke as fuel, it was necessary to apply precautionary principle to regulate its use. The NGT, therefore, issued the following directions:

  1. In light of Section 19(3) of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 (hereinafter referred to as "Air Act") which grants power to the State Government to ban any fuel other than approved fuel, which may cause air pollution, respective State Governments were directed to notify whether pet coke is 'an approved fuel or not'.
  2. NGT directed the MoEF to notify within two months whether pet coke is hazardous waste under Hazardous Waste Management Rules, 2016 or a by-product.
  3. Section 21(5) of the Air Act provides that, any person to whom consent has been granted under the Act to establish and operate any industrial plant, should install, replace or alter pollution control equipment according to direction of SPCB. In the light of this provision industries must obtain necessary consent from State Pollution Control Board/Pollution Control Board to use Pet Coke as industrial fuel or to generate energy. Such industries shall also have to get their Air Pollution Control System approved to use Pet Coke. If industries did not have such consent, then the State Pollution Control Boards were directed to take immediate action.
  4. Industries which already have consent to use Pet Coke may continue to use the same for following two months and thereafter, shall abide by the decision taken by respective State Government and MoEF.

In Pritam Singh v. Union of India and Anr.2, the plaintiff was seeking directions from the NGT on the use of pet coke as an industrial fuel. The Principal Bench of the NGT noted that the matter had already been previously taken up in People for Education Research Scholarship & Outward Nutrition v. Union of India and the Central Pollution Control Board, wherein certain directions were issued. However, the NGT also issued another additional direction, directing that the impact on environment should also be studied before any final report is filed before the NGT.


The use of pet coke and other non-standard fuel in industries in the National Capital Region (hereinafter referred to as "NCR") and its impact is under consideration by the Supreme Court in the case of M.C. Mehta vs. Union of India, I.A.No. 345, Writ Petition Civil No. 13029 of 1985. The Supreme Court vide its order dated February 6, 2017 Court had directed all authorities such as Environmental Control Authority (hereinafter referred to as "EPCA"), Government of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh to come up with a comprehensive plan regarding action plan for reducing air pollution in NCR. The EPCA had submitted a report to Supreme Court dated April 4, 2017 in which it has suggested that the distribution, sale and use of furnace oil and pet coke should be strictly banned in NCR.

It is pertinent to note that the State Governments of U.P., Haryana and Rajasthan have made submissions to the Supreme Court stating that they have no objection if a ban is placed on the use of Furnace Oil and Pet Coke.

The Supreme Court vide its order dated May 2, 2017 has also directed the Union of India as well as the CPCB to fix standards for SO2, Nox and Sox emissions on or before June 30, 2017 for 35 industries for which standards have not been set, after giving a hearing to a limited number of authorized representatives of these industries. The 35 industries have been given time till December 31, 2017 to comply with the standards set.


The Supreme Court and NGT orders relating to regulated use of Pet Coke as fuel by industries show that the Courts are willing to take positive actions toward curbing air pollution, thereby protecting people from harmful effects of industrial operations. However, the ban on Pet Coke will be disadvantageous to the industries using Pet Coke as they may have to resort to using alternate fuels or be required to install Air Pollution Control Systems to use Pet Coke, which may not be technologically and economically viable.



2 Original Application No. 287 of 2016

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

S.S. Rana & Co. Advocates
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions