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Environment Policies
National Action Plan on Climate Change

Keeping in line with the rising emphasis on climate change related concerns nationally and internationally, the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) was introduced in 2008 and outlines the existing and future policies and programs addressing climate mitigation and adaptation. Two out of eight missions could be relevant to the brick sector - The National Mission for Sustainable Habitat which aims to make habitat sustainable through improvements in energy efficiency in buildings among other measures. The Recycling of Material and Urban Waste Management will be another area of focus. However building materials are not part of their focus. The National Mission on Energy Efficiency has initiatives to promote energy efficiency through market based mechanisms and fiscal instruments in energy intensive industries. Based on the National Action Plan, individual States are preparing State Action Plans for Climate Change to set priorities to tackle climate change.

Emission standards for various brick technologies

With growing environmental consciousness at all levels of society, the pollution caused by the brick industry is under the scrutiny of environmentalists and the government. The Government of India took a step towards controlling environmental (air) pollution from brick kilns by issuing a notification on emission standards for brick kilns in April 1996. The standard laid by the Government also provides regulations on ‘stack height’ corresponding to kiln capacity in order to control emissions.

Table 1: Emission Standards for Brick Kilns in India
Size Kiln Capacity Stack Height Maximum limit concentration of SPM (mg/Nm3)

Small BTK

< 15,000 bricks per day ( < 4.5m trench width)

Minimum stack height 22 m or induced draught fan operating with minimum draught of 50 mm W.G. with 12 m stack height


Medium BTK

15,000- 30,000 bricks per day (4.5-7.0 m trench width)

Minimum stack height 27 m with gravitational settling chamber or induced draught fan operating with minimum draught of 50 mm W.G. with 15 m stack height


Large BTK

>30,000 bricks per day ( > 7.0 m trench width)

Minimum stack height 30 m or induced draught fan operating with minimum draught of 50 mm W.G. with 17 m stack height


Small DDK

< 15,000 bricks per day

12 m


Medium DDK

15,000- 30,000 bricks per day

15 m


Large DDK

>30,000 bricks per day

18 m


Small VSBK

< 15,000 bricks per day (1-3 shafts)

11 m (at least 5.5 m from loading platform)


Medium VSBK

15,000- 30,000 bricks per day (4-6 Shafts)

14 m (at least 7.5 m from loading platform)


Large VSBK

>30,000 bricks per day (>7 shafts)

16 m (at least 8.5 m from loading platform)


Source: Gazette Notification G.S.R.543(E) dated 22nd July 2009

Siting criteria for setting up brick production

An industry or an industrial area over a period of time could cause significant damage to the surrounding environment and ecological features due to the cumulative emissions or industrial waste generated in the zone. Industries are, therefore, required to be sited, striking a balance between economic and environmental considerations. According to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), the following factors must be recognised:

• No forest land shall be converted into non-forest activity for the
  sustenance of the industry (Ref. Forest Conservation Act, 1980)

• No prime agricultural land shall be converted into industrial site

• Within the acquired site, the industry must locate itself at the
  lowest location to remain obscured from general sight.

• Land acquired should be appropriate for treatment of waste
  water remaining after maximum possible reuse and recycle.
  Reclaimed (treated) wastewater shall be used to raise green belt
  and to create water body for aesthetics, recreation and if
  possible, for aquaculture. The green belt shall be ½ km wide
  around the battery limit of the industry. For odorous industry,
  it shall be a kilometre wide.

• The green belt between two adjoining large scale industries shall
   be one kilometre.

• Enough space should be provided for storage of solid wastes so
   that these could be available for possible reuse.


The Government of Orissa, Department of Science & Technology and Environment, vide memo no ENV-I-4/87/STE/18775 dated 26/10/87 have approved the following siting criteria for Brick Kilns, Lime Kilns and Coal Briquette units.

• Such industries should not be established
   on prime agricultural lands and forest lands

• They must be located at least ½ km away
   from the National and State highways high
   tide, lines, flood plains, villages and
   small settlements and 2 km away from the
   out skirts of small towns and population
   of 50, 000 or less and 5 km away from the
   outskirts of large towns of population more
   than 50, 000.

• Each unit should be at least 1 km away from
  another such unit.

• Lay out and form of the industry that may come up in the area must conform to the landscape of the area without affecting the
  scenic features of that place.

• Associated township of the industry must be created at a space having physiographic barrier between the industry and
  the township.

• Each industry is required to maintain three ambient air quality measuring stations within 120 degree angle between stations.

No Objection Certificate (NOC)

To prevent air, water and soil pollution arising out of industrial projects, regulations require entrepreneurs to obtain clearance from Central/State Pollution Control Boards before setting up the industry.

The Consent to Establish (NOC) is granted by different authorities depending upon the environmental impact of the industrial unit i.e. Red/Green category of Industrial Unit. The State Pollution Control Board is responsible for granting the NOC to brick production units. Usually, there is a separate application form, set of guidelines and other requirements for each category of unit and the brick industry falls under the red category.

The Consent to Operate (NOC) is in keeping with the provisions of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. Industries falling in the Red category – such as brick producing units are required to renew their Consent to Operate certificate every year.

Use of Fly Ash for Clay Brick Production

With a view to protect the environment, conserve top soil and prevent the dumping and disposal of fly ash discharged from coal or lignite based thermal power plants on land, a notification S.0.763 (E) was published in September, 1999. It restricts the excavation of top soil for manufacture of bricks and promotes the utilisation of fly ash in the manufacture of building materials and in construction activity within a specified radius of fifty kilometres from the thermal power plants. The notification was further modified in November 2008 (S.O. 2623 (E)) such that all construction activity within 100 km shall use only fly ash based products. Exempt of excise duty on all products using Fly ash and phosphogypsum resulted in widely scattered production of flay ash and gypsum based bricks/blocks.

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