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Developing a Waste Water Discharge Fee Programme in Sri Lanka Kolitha Himal Muthukuda Arachchi Deputy Director General, Pollution Control Central Environmental Authority December 14, 2007
Background Discharge of industrial wastewater managed through a licensing scheme called Environmental Protection License (EPL); Licensing administered by Sri Lanka’s Central Environmental Authority (CEA) as per National Environmental Act; The EPL is valid for a period of 3 years and is issued only if the industrial facilities demonstrate compliance with existing regulations; A license fee (of approximately 150 USD) is paid upon issuing of the EPL.
Industries discharging waste water into the environment must meet the relevant concentration based standards established by the CEA. No regulations to restrict the quantity of pollutants discharged into the environment. As a result, pollution load into the environment cannot be controlled adequately. Background
Disadvantages of EPL System System is not equitable, since high as well as low polluters are subject to the same license fee; Irrespective of the load of pollution discharged, only a flat fee is charged for the EPL; Thus, large industries discharging a high volume of waste and a high pollution load pay the same amount as a small industry discharging a low pollution load.
Proposed Waste Water Discharge Fee (WDF) Programme The WDF system is an example of a market-based instrument; This is a more equitable system in the sense that the larger the amount of pollution discharged, the more the industrial facility will have to pay; On the other hand, the smaller the amount of pollution discharged, the less the industrial facility will have to pay.
Advantages of the Proposed WDF Programme This system will induce polluting industries to: establish of more efficient waste water treatment systems by better process control; reduce costs by better house keeping; reduce use of water; reduce/recycling of treated waste water.
Enforcement of the system will involve greater private sector participation: participation of private accredited laboratories; wider participation of environment technological and consultancy firms. Advantages of the Proposed WDF Programme
Collected charges would generate a separate fund which will be used for environmental management activities in Sri Lanka, including: Provision of soft loans for waste water treatment systems Adoption of cleaner production technologies; Environmental cleanup programs Advantages of the Proposed WDF Programme
When polluters have to pay for pollution based on actual quantity of pollutants they will try to reduce costs and improve efficiency. This programme benefits both industries as well as the authorities, by encouraging the industries to adopt cleaner production technology. recycle waste water. facilitate enforcement by the authorities. Advantages of the Proposed WDF Programme
Key Challenges Application of WDF to non-EPL industries Legal /institutional overlaps (Board of Investment) Formulation and collection of fees Technology transfer and use of funds Self reporting & impact monitoring
Implementation Requirements Amend National Environmental Act and regulations giving legal effect to the WDF program; Develop institutional capacity of the CEA for program implementation; Prioritize industrial sector Develop load calculation procedure and protocol; Assist industries to establish flow measuring systems; Establish the WDF- Fund and administrative structure for its operation.
Implementation Strategy Implement the WDF scheme using sectoral focus (Initially applied to textile, tanning sector, chemical, and sectors) In first phase, COD is the priority pollution parameter, later to be extended to toxics Piloting testing will commence from January 2009 and will gradually cover all sectors Industry awareness / capacity development will be given high priority Share experience with other countries in Asia
Policy Decisions Taken WDF program will be established as a separate part in the NEA WDF will be applied in respect of activities that either have an EPL, or are in the process of obtaining an EPL Administrative fee will be kept at 20%.
Work Plan for WDF System Creation of Technical Support Committee (2007 July) Legal Reforms Technical Evaluation Justification of sector selection. Institutional needs assessment Preparation of operational guidelines Linkages with counterparts in Asia – e.g,. Philippines, Vietnam and China
Technical Support Committee A Technical Support Committee was appointed and is being convened by the Chairman CEA to make technical decisions. The institutes represent are: The Ministry of Water Supply and Sanitation, The Ministry of Industry, The Ministry of Environment, The National Water Supply & Drainage Board
Current Status-Legal Reforms Legal consultation in progress to incorporate necessary provision to existing law Proposed provisions cover : Implementing the WDF Program Determining the wastewater discharge fee Collection of wastewater discharge fee Discontinuance of water supply upon default Regulations Maintenance of the resulting revenues Provision enabling the utilization of such funds [ [
Current Status - Technical Track Key Considerations: Type of Pollution Load/Volume discharged Point of discharge Sensitivity of the discharge Area Developing capacity and capabilities
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