Pakistan Environmental Protection Act
The Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997 was passed by the National Assembly of Pakistan on September 3, 1997, and by the Senate of Pakistan on November 7, 1997. The Act received the assent of the President of Pakistan on December 3, 1997.
The text of the Environmental Protection Act 1997 is as follows:
Act No. XXXIV of 1997
An Act to provide for the protection, conservation, rehabilitation and improvement of the environment, for the prevention and control of pollution, and promotion of sustainable development.
Whereas it is expedient to provide for the protection, conservation, rehabilitation and
Improvement of the environment, prevention and control of pollution, promotion of sustainable development and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto;
It is hereby enacted as follows:
1) Short Title, Extent and Commencement
(1) This Act may be called the Environmental Protection Act 1997.
(2) It extends to the whole of Pakistan.
(3) It shall come into force at once.
In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context:
(i) "adverse environmental effect" means impairment of, or damage to, the environment
(a) impairment of, or damage to, human health and safety or to biodiversity or
(b) pollution; and
(c) any adverse environmental effect as may be specified in the regulation.
(ii) "agricultural waste" means waste from farm and agricultural activities including
poultry, cattle farming, animal husbandry, residues from the use of fertilizers, pesticides and other farm chemicals;
(iii) "air pollutant" means any substance that causes pollution of air and includes soot, smoke, dust particles, odor, light, electro-magnetic, radiation, heat, fumes, combustion
exhaust, exhaust gases, noxious gases, hazardous substances and radioactive substances;
(iv) "biodiversity" or "biological diversity" means the variability among living
organizations from all sources, including inter alia terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems;
(v) "council" means the Pakistan Environmental Protection Council established under
(vi) "discharge" means spilling, leaking, pumping, depositing, seeping, releasing,
flowing out, pouring, emitting, emptying or dumping;
(vii) "ecosystem" means a dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism
communities and their non-living environment interacting as a functional unit;
(viii) "effluent" means any material in solid, liquid or gaseous form or combination
thereof being discharged from industrial activity or any other source and includes a
slurry, suspension or vapour;
(ix) "emission standards" means the permissible standards established by the Federal Agency or a Provincial Agency for emission of air pollutants and noise and for discharge of effluent and waste;
(x) "environment" means-
(a) air, water and land;
(b) all layers of the atmosphere;
(c) all organic and inorganic matter and living organisms;
(d) the ecosystem and ecological relationships;
(e) buildings, structures, roads, facilities and works;
(f) all social and economic conditions affecting community life; and
(g) the inter-relationships between any of the factors in sub-clauses (a) to (f)
(xi) "environmental impact assessment" means an environmental study comprising collection of data, prediction of qualitative and quantitative impacts, comparison of alternatives, evaluation of preventive, mitigatory and compensatory measures, formulation of environmental management and training plans and monitoring arrangements, and framing of recommendations and such other components as may be prescribed;
(xii) " Environmental Magistrate" means the Magistrate of the First Class appointed under section 24;
(xiii) "Environmental Tribunal" means the Environmental Tribunal constituted under section 20;
(xiv) Exclusive Economic Zone" shall have the same meaning as defined in the
Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act, 1976 (LXXXII of 1976);
(xv) "factory" means any premises in which industrial activity is being undertaken;
(xvi) "Federal Agency" means the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency
established under section 5, or any Government Agency, local council or local authority exercising the powers and functions of the Federal Agency;
(xvii) "Government Agency" includes-
(a) a division, department, attached department, bureau, section, commission, board,
office or unit of the Federal Government or a Provincial Government;
(b) a development or a local authority, company or corporation established or
controlled by the Federal Government or Provincial Government;
(c) a Provincial Environmental Protection Agency; and
(d) any other body defined and listed in the Rules of Business of the Federal
Government or a Provincial Government;
(xviii) "hazardous substance" means-
(a) a substance or mixture of substance, other than a pesticide as defined in the
Agricultural Pesticide Ordinance, 1971 (II of 1971), which, by reason of its chemical
activity is toxic, explosive, flammable, corrosive, radioactive or other characteristics
causes, or is likely to cause, directly or in combination with other matters, an adverse
environmental effect; and
(b) any substance which may be prescribed as a hazardous substance;
(xix) "hazardous waste" means waste which is or which contains a hazardous substance or which may be prescribed as hazardous waste, and includes hospital waste and nuclear waste;
(xx) "historic waters" means such limits of the waters adjacent to the land territory of Pakistan as may be specified by notification under section 7 of the Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act, 1976 (LXXXII of 1976);
(xxi) "hospital waste"
includes waste medical supplies and materials of all kinds, and waste blood, tissue, organs and other parts of the human and animal bodies, from hospitals, clinics and laboratories;
(xxii) "industrial activity" means any operation or process for manufacturing, making, formulating, synthesizing, altering, repairing, ornamenting, finishing, packing or otherwise treating any article or substance with a view to its use, sale, transport, delivery or disposal, or for mining, for oil and gas exploration and development, or for pumping water or sewage, or for generating, transforming or transmitting power or for any other industrial or commercial purpose;
(xxiii) "industrial waste" means waste resulting from an industrial activity;
(xxiv) "initial environmental examination" means a preliminary environmental review of the reasonably foreseeable qualitative and quantitative impacts on the environment of a proposed project to determine whether it is likely to cause an environmental effect for requiring preparation of an environmental impact assessment;
(xxv) "local authority" means any agency set-up or designated by the Federal Government or a Provincial Government by notification in the official Gazette to be a local authority for the purposes of this Act;
(xxvi) "local council" means a local council constituted or established under a law relating to local government;
(xxvii) "motor vehicle" means any mechanically propelled vehicle adapted for use upon land whether its power of propulsion is transmitted thereto from an external or internal source, and includes a chassis to which a body has not been attached, and a trailer, but does not include a vehicle running upon fixed rails;
(xxviii) "municipal waste" includes sewage, refuse, garbage, waste from abattoirs, sludge and human excreta and the like;
(xxix) "National Environmental Quality Standards" means standards established by the Federal Agency under clause (e) of sub-section (1) of section 6 and approved by the Council under clause (c) of sub-section (1) of section 4;
(xxx) "noise" means the intensity, duration and character from all sources, and includes vibrations;
(xxxi) "nuclear waste" means waste from any nuclear reactor or nuclear or other nuclear energy system, whether or not such waste is radioactive;
(xxxii) "person" means any natural person or legal entity and includes an individual, firm, association, partnership, society, group, company, corporation, co-operative society, Government Agency, non-governmental organization, community-based organization, village organization, local council or local authority and, in the case of a vessel, the master or other person having for the time being the charge or control of the vessel;
(xxxiii) "pollution" means the contamination of air, land or water by the discharge or
emission or effluents or wastes or air pollutants or noise or other matter which either directly or indirectly or in combination with other discharges or substances alters unfavourably the chemical, physical, biological, radiational, thermal or radiological or aesthetic properties of the air, land or water or which may, or is likely to make the air, land or water unclean, noxious or impure or injurious, disagreeable or detrimental to the health, safety, welfare or property of persons or harmful to biodiversity;
(xxxiv) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(xxxv) "project" means any activity, plan, scheme, proposal or undertaking involving any change in the environment and includes;
(a) construction or use of buildings or other works;
(b) construction or use of roads or other transport systems;
(c) construction or operation of factories or other installations;
(d) mineral prospecting, mining, quarrying, stone-crushing, drilling and the like;
(e) any change of land use or water use; and
(f) alteration, expansion, repair, decommissioning or abandonment of existing
buildings or other works, roads or other transport systems; factories or other
(xxxvi) "proponent" means the person who proposes or intends to undertake a project;
(xxxvii) "Provincial Agency" means a Provincial Environmental Protection Agency
established under section 8;
(xxxviii) "regulations" means regulations made under this Act;
(xxxix) "rules" means rules made under this Act;
(xl) "sewage" means liquid or semi-solid wastes and sludge from sanitary conveniences, kitchens, laundries, washing and similar activities and from any sewerage system or sewage disposal works;
(xli) "standards" means qualitative and quantitative standards for discharge of effluents and wastes and for emission of air pollutants and noise either for general applicability or for a particular area, or from a particular production process, or for a particular product, and includes the National Environmental Quality Standards, emission standards and other standards established under this Act and the rules and regulations made thereunder;
(xlii) "sustainable development" means development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs;
(xliii) "territorial waters" shall have the same meaning as defined in the Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act, 1976 (LXXXII of 1976);
(xliv) "vessel" includes anything made for the conveyance by water of human beings or of goods; and
(xlv) "waste" means any substance or object which has been, is being or is intended to be, discarded or disposed of, and includes liquid waste, solid waste, waste gases, suspended waste, industrial waste, agricultural waste, nuclear waste, municipal waste, hospital waste, used polyethylene bags and residues from the incineration of all types of waste.
3) Establishment of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Council-
(1) The Federal Government shall, by notification in the official Gazette, establish a Council to be known as the Pakistan Environmental Protection Council consisting of;
(i)Prime Minister or such other person as the Prime Chairperson
Minister may nominate in this behalf.
(ii)Minister Incharge of the Ministry or Division Vice Chairperson
dealing with the subject of environment.
(iii) Chief Ministers of the Provinces. Members
(iv) Ministers Incharge of the subject of environment in the provinces. Members
(v) Such other persons not exceeding thirty-five as the Federal Members Government may appoint, of which at least twenty shall be non -official including five representatives of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Industrial Associations and one or more representatives of the Chambers of Agriculture, the medical and legal professions, trade unions, and non-governmental organizations concerned with the environment and development, and scientists, technical experts and educationists.
vi) Secretary to the Government of Pakistan, in-charge of Member/Secretary the Ministry or Division dealing with the subject of environment
(2) The Members of the Council, other than ex–officio members, shall be appointed in accordance with the prescribed procedure and shall hold office for a term of three years.
(3) The Council shall frame its own rules of procedure.
(4) The Council shall hold meetings as and when necessary, but not less than two meetings shall be held in a year.
(5) The Council may constitute committees of its members and entrust them with such functions as it may deem fit, and the recommendations of the committees shall be submitted to the Council for approval.
(6) The Council or any of its committees may invite any technical expert or representative of any Government Agency or non-governmental organization or other person possessing specialized knowledge of any subject for assistance in performance of its functions.
4) Function and Powers of the Council
(1) The Council shall-
(a) co-ordinate and supervise enforcement of the provisions of this Act;
(b) approve comprehensive national environmental policies and ensure their implementation within the framework of a national conservation strategy as may be approved by the Federal Government from time to time;
(c) approve the National Environmental Quality Standards;
(d) provide guidelines for the protection and conservation of species, habitats, and
biodiversity in general, and for the conservation of renewable and non-renewable resources;
(e) coordinate integration of the principles and concerns of sustainable development into national development plans and policies; and
(f) consider the National Environment Report and give appropriate directions thereon.
(2) The Council may, either itself or on the request of any person or organization, direct the Federal Agency or any Government Agency to prepare, submit, promote or implement projects for the protection, conservation, rehabilitation and improvement of the environment, the prevention and control of pollution, and the sustainable development of resources, or to undertake research in any specified aspect of environment.