Is there any Environmental Regulation in Pakistan? How is it enforceable?

In Dec. 1997, Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997 (Act) was passed so as to repeal Pakistan Environmental Protection Ordinance, 1983. Act extended existing coverage and provided systematic judicial mechanism taking cognizance of offences relating to environments. Pollution Charge for Industry (Calculation and Collection) Rules 2001 were published on Oct. 5, 2001 stipulating levy of “pollution charge” payable by any industrial unit breaching environmental laws. Charge shall be calculated by multiplying pollution level, as determined by specially constituted inspection team, with actual production during period in which charges are to be paid, and with applicable rate per pollution unit for year in accordance with rates and escalation table shown in Schedule III.

Under new Act, like previous Ordinance, offices of Pakistan Environmental Protection Council were retained to administer and implement provisions of this Act. Offices are headed by Prime Minister or other person nominated by Prime Minister and consist of federal and provincial ministers in charge of environment and Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (PEPA) headed by Director General both at Federal and Provincial levels.

Other important feature of Act was establishment of Environmental Tribunals to handle all cases relating to contraventions under Act. Tribunal also possesses appellate powers. However appeal against order of Tribunal shall lie to High Court. Provincial Sustainable Development Funds is also established to provide financial assistance to projects designed for protection and improvement of environment.

Land Improvement Loans Act 1883 provides for loans for improvement of land such as storage, supply or distribution of water, drainage, reclamation from rivers or other waters etc.

In addition there are various other federal and provincial statutes which regulate water and air quality, noise, toxic and hazardous substances, solid wastes and effluents, marine and fisheries, forest conservation, parks, wildlife and mineral development.

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