Technically False information
I have asked APPCB for information related to hazardous waste generation and authorisation. I find the information given is technically incorrect. APPCB being a regulatory authority with technically qualified employees and assisted by nominated expert committees they are supposed to check the information supplied by the company to obtain permissions before issuing the clearances. For example inmy first appeal I asked
From the production data given for Vishnu and Deccan chemicals, it is shown that <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comffice:smarttags" /><st1lace w:st="on">Deccan</st1lace> with only 15 TPD of dichromate production is making 20 TPD of sodium sulphate while Vishnu with 20 TPD of dichromate production is producing only 16 TPD of sulphate. All this indicates the sad state of expertise of the consent issuing committees. As per the reaction stoichiometry for conversion of sodium chromate to dichromate 1 mole of sodium sulphate is produced for every mole of dichromate. Quantity wise for every tonne of sodium dichromate dihydrate 0.476 tonnes of sodium sulphate is produced. How come sodium sulphate (MW 142) produced is more than the dichromate (MW 298) produced in case of <st1lace w:st="on">Deccan</st1lace> chromates?
The information given under 3 shows that VCL lifted 13,224.265 Tons in 12 months up to July 2007 at an average of 1102 TPM. It means the average daily production of waste is 36.73 TPD that is about 2.45 times the authorized quantity and such huge increase cannot be due to variation in the quality of chromite ore.
Last column representing water leach test is not acceptable as it is not approved under any regulation and also is not as per the HWA issued. Note below the data tables showing the water leach test as CPCB guidelines is wanton disinformation. It may also be noted that SW 846 is only a collection of approved analytical methods for various categories of solid wastes issued by US EPA and it does not specify any limits.
AA never responded. So, I made a second appeal to SIC. Hearing is fixed for 30 January 2008. Today I received a single sentence response from AA stating that all the information held by APPCB is given. Their own records have contradicting information as in the case of hazardous waste at VCL. APPCB gave authorisation for 15 tons per day (TPD) to VCL and they have actually lifted to a landfill at an average of 36.73 tpd. This information is also available with them. Then the figure of authorisation 15 tpd becomes false. And there are several more like this.
They have discovered anew test called water leach test to justify permitting landfilling of hazardous waste which is not an approved test. Does it not amount to false information?
In my second appeal I have requested for appointing an independant panel to verify the records and check the quality and quantity of hazardous generated by each of the plants. Is it feasible under the RTI Act. I thought like social audit permitted, technical audit also can be permitted by the SIC. Several companies are indulging in duping hazardous waste indiscriminately to cut costs of proper disposal. Recently a company in AP dumped about 700 tons of cancer causing waste on a drinking water canal bund. Current issue of DOWN TO EARTH published an investigative story on inter state dumping racket.
What should be the thrust of my argument before the SIC? They hold wrong information either intentionally or to serve the interests of polluters to get their monthly envelopes. Is there a way RTI can be used check this kind of escapism by the PAs?
Re: Technically False information
1. I hope your stoichiometry calculations are correct....I am just too lazy to dust off my Chemistry books ! Maybe some of the raw materials are bought from other suppliers OR are sold off separately ? Just check that too.
2. If they are, then both the companies are producing something from nothing. As the old saying goes Material cannot be created or destroyed....
3. Vishnu Chemicals is a Public Limited Company. If you can quickly get a copy of their Balance Sheet from the ROC, you will be able to get the production, consumption, stock data from the schedules attached to the balance sheet. A simple correlation will prove whether the information given by APPCB is incorrect/misleading or not.
4. For Deccan Chromates Ltd, I cannot find out if it is a Public limited company or not. You might have to try different method to confirm if the information given is correct or not.
5. Amount of waste generated might be much more than the "authorised" waste but that will only serve your purpose depending on what is the information you asked for.
As per RTI Act, information supplied has to be as per what is available with the PA. In this case, probably APPCB has this "incorrect" information available on their records and PIO have supplied that to you. The fact that the information is incorrect does not matter as long as they have given you the information.
Please see the thread:
6. The fact the AA's reply was received by you after you made the Second Appeal does not have any bearing. In fact, you can point this out during the hearing for your appeal, since AA's reply is vague and after the time limit prescribed in the RTI Act.
7. I don't think that SIC has any powers to order a technical audit.
8. Main ground in the Second appeal has to be incorrect, false & misleading information as per Section 18(1)(e) of RTI Act. But you should be able to prove it. If you cannot do that and can make the SIC confused, then during the Second Appeal hearing try to "lead" the hearing towards allowing you to at least inspect all APPCB records. I have seen many decisions of the CIC and some SIC's where the applicant argued well that the information given was false and that the only way this could be proved was by allowing inspection of records. This was granted during teh hearing even though "inspection" was not part of the original application.
9. Other alternative you can look at is by highlighting this in the media. This depends on how "polluting" or "harmful" are the pollutants and if you can give media some good juicy story. Then SIC cannot do much about not allowing you inspection.
If you need any further help or suggestion, please pm me and I will give you my mobile number since I am also in Hyderabad. I think we exchanged pm's once.
Re: Technically False information
Thank you Mr Karira for the elaborate reply. Regarding the correctness of my calculations I shall take care to get them checked by my friends and former colleagues and ensure that no numerical errors occurred. I do not think we have talked earlier. I will check my personal email for your old mails and shall get to you with the documents I have on this matter. I am glad you are in Hyderabad and we could probably meet.