CTE and CTO from Pollution Control Board

Consent to Establish & Operate: Key Environmental Permits for Indian Industries

Navigating Environmental Approvals for Manufacturing Businesses/Units/Entities 

Starting a new manufacturing venture can be exciting, but navigating the necessary approvals can be daunting. This guide explains the key environmental Pollution Control Board NOC required under Indian regulations, specifically the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

Why Consent to Establish and Consent to Operate Matters:

Before you can open your doors, obtaining a Pollution Control Board certificate from the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) is crucial. These consents ensure your operations comply with environmental regulations, protecting public health and the environment.

Types of Pollution NOC from State Pollution Control Board:

There are two main types of consent:

  • Consent to Establish (CTE): This initial clearance is required before setting up any facility. It confirms your plans meet pollution control standards.
  • Consent to Operate (CTO): Once your facility is built and complies with pollution control measures, you need this consent to start operations.

Getting NOC from the Pollution Control Board Approved:

The Pollution Control Board categorizes industries based on their pollution potential (Red, Orange, Green, White). The approval process involves:

  1. Online application for NOC from the Pollution Control Board
  2. Submit your application through the SPCB’s online portal.
  3. Site Inspection: The Pollution Board will physically inspect your location and assess your environmental management systems.
  4. Documentation Review: Submit required documents like site plans, project reports, and pollution control details.

Required Documents (may vary by state):

  • CTE: Site plan, project report, land documents, pollution control details, business registration documents.
  • CTO: Previous consent copy, layout plan, waste/gas analysis reports, financial statements, land details (if applicable), occupation certificate.

Validity and Renewal:

  • CTE: Generally valid for 3-5 years, with possible extensions.
  • CTO: Valid for 5-15 years depending on industry category. Renewal applications must be submitted before expiry. Some states offer auto-renewal under specific conditions.


Industries in the White category and those not classified as Red, Orange, or Green might be exempt from obtaining CTE and CTO under these Acts.

Consequences of Non-Compliance of CTE and CTO:

Operating without Pollution NOC from SPCB can lead to penalties, including imprisonment and fines.

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