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I am pleased to report that victories are following on victories in our work with Ritwick Dutta in India!

Last year, we worked with Ritwick to secure a big win for a large urban area suffering from toxic industrial emissions:

national-green-tribunal-logoOne million people live in and around the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA) complex, 12 miles south of New Delhi.  Thousands of families are exposed to a barrage of chemicals emitted into the air and discharged into the water daily by more than 100 factories in NOIDA.  Ritwick petitioned the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for relief and the NGT responded positively: It banned the expansion of existing factories and the establishment of new factories, and ordered the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board to provide a full accounting of toxic pollutant releases from all factories in the complex.

ELAW has continued to work with Ritwick to ensure that the Pollution Control Board is indeed making pollutant release levels available to the public, and identifying violators.  I worked with Ritwick to analyze the latest figures and identified many facilities not complying with standards and releasing dangerous levels of pollutants.  Ritwick shared this information at the National Green Tribunal.  Last  Tuesday, the NGT ordered 18 of the worst-polluting facilities to close until they can prove they are complying with environmental standards.

Congratulations to Ritwick for his perseverance and commitment to clean air and water for all.

Mark Chernaik
Staff Scientist

Ritwick Dutta

I am pleased to announce an enormous victory in India that will protect the public from excessive exposure to radiation!

Radiation in coal ash is a significant health hazard.  On Monday, India’s National Green Tribunal ordered the Ministry of the Environment to investigate the impacts of a coal-fired plant in Maharashtra District and put national standards in place within one year.  ELAW partner Ritwick Dutta argued the case on behalf of the local community and thanked ELAW for providing critical information.

Read more in our eBulletin.

Mara Hvistendahl at Scientific American reports that coal ash is more radioactive than nuclear waste.

She writes:  “At issue is coal’s content of uranium and thorium, both radioactive elements.  They occur in such trace amounts in natural, or “whole,” coal that they aren’t a problem.  But when coal is burned into fly ash, uranium and thorium are concentrated at up to 10 times their original levels.”

ELAW has collaborated with Ritwick and his Delhi-based organization, the EIA Response and Resource Centre, for many years.

Congratulations to Ritwick for this hard fought win for the people of India!

Maggie Keenan
Communications Director

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