Order of the National Green Tribunal on accredited laboratories furnishing credible reports, 14/11/2019

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE) Vs Union of India & Others dated 14/11/2019.

The issue for consideration is the effectiveness of monitoring regime to ensure that accredited laboratories furnish credible reports with regard to analysis of air, water and other samples. According to the applicant, there are large scale grievances against authenticity of reports furnished by the laboratories which are not being properly monitored.

NGT expressed its dissatisfaction at the report filed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) which "merely mentions the procedure for recognition of laboratories and their functions." Only further comment is that CPCB conducts Analytical Quality Control (AQC) exercises. The report is silent about the findings with regard to functioning of the laboratories and the level of accuracy of the reports furnished by such laboratories.

NGT said that AQC/Proficiency test must be conducted by CPCB atleast once in two years with the participation of the concerned laboratories and asked the CPCB to engage appropriate manpower, including suitable retired personnel and utilizing available environmental compensation fund.

It was also pointed out that as per notification dated 21.02.1991 issued under Section 23 of the EP Act, recognition of private laboratories and analysts is to be done by the Central Government. Thus, list of such laboratories and analysts, monitoring mechanism about their functioning and result of such monitoring has to be made available by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).

In view of above, the Tribunal directed the MoEF&CC to furnish information about the list of laboratories and analysts recognized, monitoring mechanism in place and result of such monitoring.