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Community environmental monitoring (CEM) Phase 2 presentation. July 20, 2012. Quick recap…. CEM - Initiated in 2003 SIPCOT industrial estate. Extent of the proble m. W ithin 12 years of SIPCOT’s establishment in Cuddalore , we see:

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Community environmental monitoring cem phase 2 presentation
Community environmental monitoring (CEM)Phase 2 presentation

July 20, 2012

Quick recap
Quick recap…

  • CEM - Initiated in 2003

  • SIPCOT industrial estate

Extent of the proble m
Extent of the problem

Within 12 years of SIPCOT’s establishment in Cuddalore, we see:

  • Health problems – acute dermatitis, nausea, narcosis and reduced reproductive capacity

  • Contamination of water table, air and soil

  • Lowered farm production and dwindling fish catch

  • Poisoning of the river resulting in altered riverine ecosystem

  • Chemical and gas leaks injure workers and villagers

  • And as I mentioned these are just snippets….

  • For more information – please visit:

What they do
What they do?

  • Assist pollution impacted communities and communities fighting industrial pollution

  • Help – technical, legal, strategic, solidarity

  • Meetings, Skill exchanges, training, interaction with other pollution impacted communities.

Highlights from 2011 2012
Highlights from 2011 - 2012

  • Environmental patrol – in Cuddalore (updates on their website)

  • Jan – Feb 2011:

    Lobby work over issues on worker’s status in Kodaikanaland pending cases of Public Liability Insurance and Employee State Insurance in Mettur

    Change in chairperson of TNPCB – issue by issue orientation by CEM on various environmental campaigns in TN

  • Mar 2011:

    Two day training for residents an activists from Tuticorin, currently engaged in fighting environment and human rights violations of SterliteIndustries copper smelter and Drangdara Chemical Work’s PVC plant in the district. The workshop included interaction with the residents, training on the skills of environmental monitoring, site visit and strategy discussions for the months ahead.

    Gas leak from Shasun Chemicals – more than 300 people affected. Lobbying by CEM to Environment depts. and TNPCB to ensure that such instances do not repeat in similar units in the complex.

Community environmental monitoring cem phase 2 presentation

  • 3-day workshop organized by Sierra Club and Bombay Environment Action Group. CEM made a presentation on the status of coal fired thermal plants in TN and its engagement in challenging the plants in Cuddalore

  • CEM has also shared its data on air quality in SIPCOT Cuddalore with IFMR’s India Pollution Map project – meant to support more meaningful tracking of environmental change by creating a repository on pollution monitoring to capture and disseminate data to civil society in a systematic and user-friendly manner

Community environmental monitoring cem phase 2 presentation

  • June 2011: Environment Action Group. CEM made a presentation on the status of coal fired thermal plants in TN and its engagement in challenging the plants in

    CEM along with Metturresidents released a report titled “Zero Discharge; Zero Truth -- ChemplastSanmar'sIllegal Discharge into River Kaveri” highlighting ChemplastSanmar’s violations in the region

  • July 2011:

    Challenge a proposal for locating shipbuilding Goodearth Shipbuilding Pvt. Ltd during a public hearing of the project.

    Displacing an adjoining mangrove forest, considered to be the 2nd largest in world

    More than 700 residents from the proposed project impacted region attended the hearing

    Decision by Ministry of Environment and Forests (Government of India).

Community environmental monitoring cem phase 2 presentation

  • Fundraiser for HLL affected workers – Dance and Mercury in the Mist documentary release

  • Mobilizing support

  • Fact finding team composed of residents, retired HC judge and CEM team members – still to get report from Shweta-ji

  • Central Govt. appointed team – along with medical doctors, specialists made a visit to Kodai; health check-up and site visit reports to be turned in court – more updates from Shweta


  • Partnered with Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) in conducting a two day workshop in the Munseling School at Spiti Valley, Himalayas in the month of July.

  • 80 students from the 8th to 10th grade in the school.

  • Topics - impacts of pollution and toxics on health, garbage, plastics, climate change to the role of individuals in protecting the environment.

  • CEM and GAIA are working with the school on follow up activities for the year.

Plans for this year
Plans for this year: the Mist documentary release

Moratorium in the SIPCOT region

Withdrawn based on fudged data in February 2011.

Force the government for a regional carrying capacity study of Cuddalore

Study for data to support that the environment cant take more burdens of chemical industries.

Petrochemical SEZ

CEM has discovered that a new proposal to set up a petrochemical SEZ along the Cuddalore coast is being planned by the TN and the Central Government.

In order to compile information we have already started filing RTIs with various government departments.

Extensive base line data of the Cuddalore coast to challenge this proposal.

Work focused on collecting data, strengthening relationships with the coastal communities

Community environmental monitoring cem phase 2 presentation

Suo the Mist documentary release motto case Cuddalore:

  • 2004 - High Court of Madras initiates suo motto notice of the pollution in SIPCOT Cuddalorebased on the release of CEM's first air quality report for Cuddalorein Sept 2004.

  • 2004 – 2010 (no activity…..)

  • 2010 – case revived.

  • HighCourt closed down Cuddalore SIPCOT Industries Common Utilities Ltd for its violations and now has forced the industries to pay for an environmental study by NEERI in the region.

  • Industries in SIPCOT will finance the study. The court has also asked NEERI to consult the SACEM counsel on the study. Monitoring and providing inputs to the study and recommendations to improve environmental conditions in SIPCOT through this case will be a key campaign this year.

    OHS assessment:

  • Growing trust among SIPCOT workers and their trade unions

  • Next step - talks about the occupational health and safety issues.

  • This year - proposals to work on assessing the Occupational Health and Safety status in SIPCOT region.

Community environmental monitoring cem phase 2 presentation

Comprehensive Cancer Screening: the Mist documentary release

Work on a comprehensive Cancer Screening process for the region.

Identify patients suffering from cancer

Provide them with better health care.

Plans to rope in Adayar Cancer Institute forguidance.

Raise awareness of health related issues in the region and set up a support network for serious diseases like cancer.

National Green Tribunal

- Established by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) in Nov 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010

- Effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources

- Includes enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and

giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected

therewith or incidental thereto.

- a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to

handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues.

proposed to be located - New Delhi (future – Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai)

  • Current cases pending with respect to Cuddalore, Mettur, Kodai will be directed by CEM to NGT for assisting communities in bringing up pending cases related to clean-up, dumping violation etc. in these regions

Plans for this year1
Plans for this year: the Mist documentary release


  • Establishment of Mettur Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) – coalition of representatives from three villages

  • In assistance with CEM released a report last year titled “Zero Discharge; Zero Truth -- ChemplastSanmar's Illegal Discharge into River Kaveri” highlighting ChemplastSanmar’s violations in the region

  • Assistance with technical and legal cases on remediation of contaminated lands and groundwater in Mettur

  • Continue legal and technical support to the mercury affected workers in Kodaikanal, communities fighting hazardous waste landfill in Gummidipoondi, communities fighting garbage dumping and burning in Kodungaiyur and Pallikarnai

Budget for this year
Budget for this year the Mist documentary release

  • Total amount requested - $21,405

  • Local Travel expenses and portion of campaign material

  • Salary for Overall CEM Coordinator included in the requested since Baton Rouge and Kansas City chapter may not renew their funding this year.

Budget: the Mist documentary release