The reduction of regulations to a mere formality has been catalysed by relaxing the norms for environmental impact assessments – begun by Veerappa Moily and continued by Prakash Javadekar.
- Irrigation projects with cultural command area up to 2,000 hectares exempted from clearance*
- Distance from protected areas reduced to 5 km from 10 km for projects to be treated as category A projects (such projects require environmental clearance from the Centre)*
- Public hearing exempted for coal-mines seeking one-time expansion up to 16 MTPA*
- Did away the compulsory scrutiny of projects at the scoping stage. Project proponents are now allowed to start EIAs based on standard ToRs without waiting for grant of project-specific ToRs.*
- Validity of clearances extended to seven years from 5, including those project that were already cleared
- Decentralisation of clearance: several projects now treated as category B, to be decided by State level committees. Mining of mineral up to 5 ha to be appraised by District Level Committee.
- Several activities exempted from clearance, including dredging and de-silting activities in dams, canals etc., for maintenance purposes, construction activities involving educational institutes, industrial sheds, etc.