Star Rating Program: an Effective and Affordable Tool for Air Pollution Abatement

The Maharashtra Star Rating Program is a transparency initiative by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). The program discloses information on industrial particulate matter air pollution in an understandable manner. The least polluting industries are rated 5-stars and the most polluting industries are rated 1-star. In this manner, the general public can easily monitor industrial air pollution in their city.

The Star Rating website was launched on 5 June 2017 by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. An industrial air pollution map is available on the website, where people can easily see the most polluted and the least polluted areas of Maharashtra, in terms of industrial air pollution.

Why Maharashtra?

Maharashtra is the most industrialized state in India, with more than 23,000 industries that have high polluting potential. Industrial air pollution in Maharashtra is one of the key reasons for deteriorating ambient air quality in several cities. While ambient air quality can be easily monitored through various websites, industrial air pollution is not as freely available. The Star Rating program allows monitoring of industrial air pollution data on a regular basis. It has the potential to increase pollution abatement by disclosing industrial air pollution rating to the general public.

Key Advantages
  • Providing industries with information on their pollution emissions can increase adoption of technology to decrease air pollution
  • MPCB already collects high quality data on industrial air pollution emissions. Thus, the program has practically no cost with high returns
  • Star Rating Report cards will be regularly updated to improve tracking of industrial air pollution emissions over time
  • The Star Rating Programme is an industry air pollution rating scheme where information on polluters is made easy to understand for the residents of Maharashtra. The ratings are easily accessible on the industry rating page.
How were industries selected?

Industries with a valid environmental consent, as issued by the MPCB, were shortlisted. They were further filtered on the basis of their primary sector of operation. Industries in the Star Rating Programme operate in one of the following ten sectors, which have been identified by MPCB as those with high air pollution potential.

Cement
Chemicals
Metal Works
Paper
Pharmaceuticals
Power
Sugar and Distilleries
Textiles
Food Processing
Glass and Ceramics
Bio-medical Waste Incinerators

A valid environmental consent needs to be granted by either the Consent Committee (CC) or the Consent Appraisal Committee (CAC). The committee granting the consent depends on the pollution potential (red, orange, green categories) and the capital investment of the industry.

CC

Red Category

Investment

Above ₹25 crore

upto ₹75 crore

CC

Orange Category

Investment

Above ₹250 crore

upto ₹750 crore

CC

Green Category

Investment

Above ₹1000 crore

upto ₹2000 crore

CAC

Red Category

Investment

Above ₹75 crore

CAC

Orange Category

Investment

Above ₹750 crore

CAC

Green Category

Investment

Above ₹2000 crore

How are industry performance ratings calculated?

In order to reflect current environmental performance, industrial air pollution ratings are calculated on the basis of the four most recent stack monitoring reports from MPCB. Five ranges of particulate matter (PM) emissions are defined, as shown in the table below. Each of these ranges correspond with a rating, varying from 1 star (most polluting) to 5 star (least polluting). An industry is assigned a performance rating corresponding to the range within which the mid-point of four most recent PM concentrations at the stack lies.

For example, the four most recent stack monitoring reports of an industry indicate PM concentrations of 25 mg/Nm3, 108 mg/Nm3, 52 mg/Nm3 and 70 mg/Nm3. The mid-point of these readings is 61 mg/Nm3. This falls in the bracket of 50 – 100 mg/Nm3. The industry will receive a 4-star rating.

Rating Range of PM Emision(mg/Nm3) Rating Key Representation
Minimum Maximum
1 Star 250 Very Poor
2 Star 150 250 Poor
3 Star 100 150 Moderate
4 Star 50 100 Good
5 Star 0 50 Very Good
How are cities rated?

An additional feature, the city rating page was launched on 4 June 2019 by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Ambient air quality monitors installed by the Board across Maharashtra are given a rating based on the particulate matter concentration reported by the monitoring stations. The residents of Maharashtra can now know industrial air pollution information and the ambient air quality in their cities on the same platform. The city rating framework has been adapted from the air quality index and standards as prescribed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). While the air quality index displays air quality information in terms of the most polluting pollutant, the city rating framework reports air quality based on PM10 data.

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Other MPCB Initiatives
Maharashtra Pollution Control Board leads the way in decreasing air pollution
  • Established Air Care Center on 22 April 2016 to monitor air pollution level and industry emissions

  • Currently maintains 83 ambient air quality monitors across the state

  • 171 Continuous emission monitoring devices are in the process of being installed across various Industries in Chandanpur, Aurangabad, Jalana and Amaravati.

  • Over 20,000 samples have been collected , cleaned and digitized under the Blind Data Collection System