What is an Environmental Recommendation (ER)?
Assessing site suitability is one of the most important procedures adopted by the CEA for non- prescribed activities under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regulations. All proposed industrial activities which are going to be sited outside the industrial estates approved under part IV C of the National Environmental Act those which are provided with proper environmental infrastructure facilities such as common wastewater treatment systems etc. are required to adopt and manage with environmentally sound pollution control measures before the operational stage.
Therefore, all potential industrial sites or the establishment of new industrial activities which are not subject to EIA and industries and activities which required an Environmental Protection License (EPL) are listed in Gazette Notification No 2264/18 dated 27.01.2022, are advised to obtain Environmental Recommendation (ER) from the CEA for the proposed sites.
In considering the suitability, the proposed sites are evaluated in terms of its compatibility with respect to the zoning plans of relevant local authorities surrounding land use, land availability for buffer zones, and the capacity of the area to receive additional pollution load and waste disposal requirements.
Objectives of the issuing Environmental Recommendation(ER)
• To take adequate mitigatory measures in advance to abate or minimize the anticipated environment pollution arising from a proposed industrial activity at the initial stage.
• Avoid difficulties to comply with the standards stipulated by the CEA (i.e., which discharge, deposit their effluents/wastes to the environment or emit noise or gases to the environment.) as industrialists have located their industries in a haphazard manner without incorporating the mitigatory measures at the beginning.
This is beneficiary to both the CEA as well as the industrialists in various aspects. The CEA gets benefit by controlling the possible pollution at the initial stage and the industrialists gets the same if they adhere to the conditions stipulated in the Environmental Recommendation.
Procedure to obtain Environmental Recommendation (ER)
Application for siting of new industries can be obtained from the CEA Head Office and Provincial offices or District Offices of the CEA.
The applicant must submit duly filled application with following supporting documents to the relevant Provincial Office or District Office of the CEA.
1. Copy of the survey plan of the site
2. Copy of the building plan if any
3. Route sketch of the proposed site from the nearest town
Determination and payment of inspection fee
Based on the details furnished by the industrialist, the relevant Provincial/District Office decides the amount of the inspection fee to be paid and a written request will be made to the industrialist. At present minimum amount is Rs: 3472.22 and maximum amount is Rs: 23009.26 (Without government approved tax)
The industrialist has to make such payment to the relevant Provincial/District Office, Head Office or any other Provincial/District office of the CEA. After the payment is made the receipt should be submitted to the relevant Provincial/District Office.
Field Inspection, Inspection Report with Recommendations
Once the receipt of the inspection fee is received, a team of officers will carry out a field inspection in order to assess the data furnished in the application with respect to the site and to decide the possibility to operate such industry with controlling pollution.
Inspection team will prepare a report based on the field inspection details regarding the site along with their recommendations.
Issuing Environmental Recommendation (ER)
If the site could be recommended, issue of the Environmental Recommendation to the Municipal Commissioner /Chairman of the relevant Local Authority with conditions to mitigate the possible environmental pollution. A copy of the ER will be sent to the applicant and to any other organizations/firms if related. At present, Administration fee of Rs. 5000/= is charged for issuing of ER letter. (With government approved tax)