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 82 more industries from Kolhapur, Pune, Aurangabad and Raigad regions. Additionally, the program now covers food processing and the glass and ceramics sectors, taking the total number of sectors covered under the program to 12. A further 54 industries were also given their report cards as per their emission performance and their ratings were downgraded or upgraded depending on the same.
Launched on World Environment Day in June 2017, this five-star rating system gives out one star to those polluting most and five stars to those polluting the least.
“The program has been running successfully in several areas of the state and so far both the industries and citizens have shown active participation. Of the 136 industries invited today, 27 are one star industries, 36 are 2 star and 25 are five star industries. While 82 of these industries are a new addition to the problem, the rest 54 industries are getting updated ratings as per their emission performance. We are planning to expand the number of industries in months to come,” said Mr. E. Ravendiren, Hon. Member Secretary, MPCB in an event that announced the expansion of the program in Pune on 26th October, 2018.
Representatives from a total of 136 industries were present on the occasion where they were handed out report cards containing their respective ‘Star Rating’ by the MPCB.
The Star Rating Program is the first in the world to be designed to scientifically measure the impact on pollution from industry. This is being done by MPCB in collaboration with researchers from the Tata Centre for Development at UChicago (TCD), 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). The Star Rating Program makes available data from approximately 20,000 industrial stack samples over multiple years. Users can log onto the MPCB website (www.mpcb.info) to access the report cards for each industry. They can then filter industry information by sector, region and star rating.
“The Star Rating program is an exciting initiative that represents an important step in transforming environmental regulation in India into one where the public becomes partners in achieving cleaner air. As the program expands to more cities, more citizens of Maharashtra will have the opportunity to use the website as a tool to inform themselves and advocate for all industries to comply with the law,” said Professor Michael Greenstone, one of the principal investigators on the project and director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.
The workshop was chaired by Dr. V. M. Motghare, Joint Director of Air Pollution Control, MPCB who emphasized on the need for industries to become more active in the program. He specially addressed the industries who were awarded 1 & 2 stars and stressed on the need for more industries to come forward and get tested regularly for updated ratings.