This project involves an evaluation of the use of Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS) as a tool to regulate industrial Particulate Matter (PM) emissions. Although the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) mandated the installation of CEMS in highly polluting industries across the country in 2014, regulators largely rely on manual monitoring methods to capture information on industry emissions. The advent of CEMS marks a potential transition in India’s regulatory landscape towards a regime build on high-quality data and evidence-based decisions.

CEMS enable regulators and industries to view stack emissions on a per minute basis, with data transferred directly to a data acquisition centre at the regulator office. In the absence of such instruments, data must be collected manually, and this typically happens only a few times a year. Outside those testing periods therefore, the regulator has no insight into industry pollution. The use of CEMS therefore represents a significant step forward in how environmental regulators track air pollution in industries. This influx of information brings with it a promise of more efficient regulation, improved compliance and a doorway to market-based regulation.

This project is a joint research initiative between EPIC-India, J-PAL South Asia, EPoD – India and the Gujarat Pollution Control Board and is supported by the ClimateWorks Foundation, USAID, International Growth Center and the MacArthur Foundation.

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