Odisha launches ‘star-rating’ system for industries to cut air pollution

Bhubaneswar: In its bid to clean up the air, the Odisha government on Monday launched a ‘Star Rating’ system here for industries, the first-of-its-kind initiative in the state, to ensure transparency in compliance to pollution standards.

The programme, launched by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, will rate industries from 1 to 5 based on their efforts to meet the standards set by Odisha’s pollution control board.

A joint effort of State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) and Energy Policy Institute of the University of Chicago, the project is an example of the state’s 3T framework – Teamwork, Transparency and Technology, the CM said.

“It will go a long way in strengthening the pollution board’s regulatory efforts,” he observed.

Describing the programme as yet another initiative, where his government has demonstrated commitment to transparency and accountability, Patnaik said that the system will encourage industries to adopt clean technologies.

“This ‘Star Rating’ programme will help public find out whether industries in their vicinity are fair in their environmental compliance. It will also recognise the efforts of industries that take responsibility to maintain clean environment,” Patnaik said.

On the occasion, the chief minister also launched a website, where citizens can access information in this regard.

Development commissioner and chairman of SPCB, R Balakrishnan, said the pollution board has been collecting data through a Continuous Emission Monitoring System on industrial pollution.

“It has been an exciting journey working with researchers from the Energy Policy Institute (EPIC) to distill data into star ratings for public disclosure,” he said.

Economist Michael Greenstone, who is also the director of EPIC, said citizens will be able to identify the sources of pollution through this project.

“The Odisha Star Rating program is a pioneering initiative to empower people to ensure that industries comply with existing laws,” he said.

State Industries Minister Anant Das, Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray and Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi were among others who attended the programme here in the morning.