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CPCB prohibits opening of new retail fuel stations near water bodies, makes soil testing near petrol pumps mandatory | India News

NEW DELHI: Seeking to protect water bodies from any possible contamination, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has issued fresh guidelines prohibiting setting up new petrol pumps (retail outlets) within a distance of 50 meters from the nearest point of lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, wetlands, canals and creeks.
The guidelines, sent to all public and private sector oil marketing companies, and state pollution control boards, also specify the groundwater and soil sampling protocol to monitor level of contamination at regular intervals, and suggest protection which is to be followed by petrol pumps even beyond 50 meters from the water bodies.
“Retail outlets coming within 50 meter to 100 meter from the nearest point of surface water body shall have secondary containment by way of double walled tanks or concrete protection walls around underground storage tank (UST),” said the CPCB guidelines, issued on Monday as addendum to the earlier guidelines for setting up new petrol pumps in the country, issued last year.
Acting on directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the central pollution watchdog had earlier issued draft guidelines on the issue and placed it in public domain for seeking suggestions of general public and concerned stakeholders. The final guidelines have now been issued after reviewing all suggestions by an expert committee.
The new criterion will have to be implemented for “all new petrol pumps” where construction by oil marketing companies (OMCs) starts after issuing these guidelines.
“Groundwater and soil quality monitoring near the premises of fuel retail outlets shall be conducted by OMCs once a year through Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 approved labs or labs with national/international accreditation,” said the CPCB’s guidelines.
The monitoring will be done for all those fuel retail outlets which are located within 100 meter from the nearest point of surface water bodies, regardless of the date of establishment.
The guidelines issued last year had prohibited opening of new fuel stations (retail outlets) within 50 metres from schools, hospitals and residential areas.

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