A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Hima Kohli said the national green tribunal (NGT) had set up a three-member expert panel to further examine an environmental impact assessment report by National Environment Engineering Institute (NEERI), and that the expert panel has returned a finding that the expansion plan would not have any adverse impact on the biodiversity of the area or the marine life.
“It is a project to expand the existing refinery plant and none of the expert environmentalists have found anything adverse against the expansion plan,” the bench said while dismissing a challenge to the NGT’s order giving the green nod to Nayara Energy, earlier known as Essar Oil.
A Gujarat resident Sanghar Zuber Ismail had challenged the environmental clearance to Nayara Energy for expansion of its refinery capacity from 20 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 46 mtpa of Petro-Chemical Complex, at Vadinar.
The bench scrutinized the reports of the NEERI as well as the three-member expert panel appointed by the NGT and said that Nayara has scrupulously complied with the conditions attached with the environmental clearance and noted that there had been an increase in the mangrove forest.
SC said that NGT was also apprised of the public hearing conducted regarding the expansion of the refinery and all stakeholders, duly consulted for the purpose, had no objection to the said plan.
The SC also said that the refinery has complied with the recommendations of the NEERI apart from meeting the conditions attached to the environmental clearance. “IT has put in place well-defined safeguards against possible adverse impact on the environment as is evident from the two reports,” the bench said.
The bench told the petitioner that no substantial questions of law remained to be adjudicated by the apex court and dismissed his appeal against NGT order.