The Maharashtra Government’s Star Rating Program, a first-of-its-kind in India to rate large industrial plants based on their emission, has expanded to include 103 more industries from across Maharashtra. This five-star rating system gives out one star to those polluting most and five stars to those who pollute the least. Launched on World Environment Day in June, 2017, this unique transparency initiative could change how the entire country thinks about environmental regulation.
Of the 103 new industries added to the platform, 65 industries fall in the most-polluting 1-star & 2-star category. While 36 of them have got a 1-star rating, 29 of them were awarded 2-stars. There were 13 industries that were ranked 3-stars, 15 in 4-star & 10 industries fall in the least polluting 5-star categories.
Representatives from some of the industries were present on the occasion where they were handed out report cards containing their respective ‘Star Rating’ by the MPCB. Report cards were distributed by Dr. V. M. Motghare, Joint Director, Air Pollution Control, MPCB and Dr. Leni Chaudhuri, Country Director, Tata Center for Development at UChicago.
The Star Rating Program is the first in the world to be designed to scientifically measure the impact of pollution from industry. This is being done by MPCB in collaboration with researchers from the Tata Centre for Development (TCD) and Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago’s India team (EPIC-India), Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at Harvard Kennedy School, and Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL).
“MPCB’s programme is path-breaking by providing the public with critical information and rigorously testing its impact on pollution emissions,” said Professor Michael Greenstone, one of the principal investigators on the project and director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC). “It is apparent that MPCB is an international leader in identifying low-cost methods to achieve a cleaner environment.”
The Maharashtra Star Rating Program makes available data from approximately 20,000 industrial stack samples over multiple years. Users can log onto the MPCB website (mpcb.info) to access the report cards for each industry. They can then filter industry information by sector, region and star rating.
To ensure wider citizen engagement, a series of awareness events are being carried out in some of the more polluted cities such as Mumbai, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Chandrapur, Kolhapur, Nashik, and Pune. The aim of these initiatives is to reach out to a larger and wider spectrum of the public and encourage them to use the Star Rating platform to create awareness about air pollution in their respective communities.
The Star Rating Program currently reflects ratings of 414 industries across 11 sectors in Maharashtra.