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  • Complete Coverage of Consent management(CTO/ CFO ) foryour Business
  • Assistance in the application and documentation process
  • Comprehensive legal guidance in obtaining the NOC
  • Coordinating with relevant agency throughout the process 

Consent for Operation (CFO) Process under SPCB/PCC

The Consent for Operation (CFO), also referred to as Consent to Operate (CTO), is granted to industrial facilities prior to commencing their operations. This permission is required under section 25/26 of the Water Act of 1974 and section 21 of the Air Act of 1981 for industries that have the potential to pollute the air and water. These industries must apply for a Pollution No Objection Certificate from their respective State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) or Pollution Control Committee (PCC). Before starting their intended operations, industries in the green, orange, and red categories need to obtain a pre-operation NOC. However, some State Pollution Control Boards have a list of exempted categories (white category) of industries that do not require consent and can operate in any area within the state, if they receive site clearance from the local authority.Once the industrial unit is established and equipped with the necessary pollution control devices, the applicant must obtain a consent to operate (CTO/CFO) for the unit. Since this consent is granted for a specific period, it needs to be renewed periodically. Industrial units are responsible for ensuring timely renewal of the NOC and complying with the terms and post-compliances specified by the Board for their specific unit.

Consent for Operation (CFO)Approval Procedure

After the industrial unit is set up and the necessary pollution control systems are in place, the entrepreneur must obtain consent to operate from the State Board before starting their operational activities. The consent management process involves several stages as follows:

Stage 1: Online Application: Submission and Consent Fee Payment through OCMMS. To streamline the consent management and monitoring process and facilitate ease of doing business, states have implemented the Online Consent Management and Monitoring System (OCMMS). This system allows for the submission of applications for fresh Consent to Establish (CTE) and Consent for Operation (CFO), as well as their renewal. In addition to the Pollution NOC, specific units handling plastic waste, electronic waste (E-waste), hazardous waste, biomedical waste, etc., require authorization from the relevant State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) or Pollution Control Committee (PCC). Some states have adopted a Consolidated Consent and Authorization (CC&A) approach, which enables a single application and clearance for obtaining consent.

Stage 2: Application Scrutiny: The application is scrutinized by a section officer who then forwards it to a supervising officer (Senior Scientific Officer/Scientific Officer/Environmental Engineer) for examination. The supervising officer may provide recommendations if necessary.

Stage 3: Site Inspection: The Board assigns an inspecting officer who will visit the site after scheduling an appropriate appointment. During the visit, the officer, who is an expert in the field, inspects the entire facility in the presence of the owner or an authorized representative. The officer gathers information, conducts sample analysis of the trade effluent, and prepares an inspection report along with recommendations.

Stage 4: Issuance/Rejection of Consent for Operation (CFO): Based on the recommendations of the inspecting officer and addressing any concerns raised during the inspection, the Chairman or Member Secretary of the concerned Pollution Control Board grants or rejects the Consent for Operation. This decision is made in accordance with the delegation of powers within the Board.

Document Required for Consent for Operation (CFO) under Air Act

While consent is granted for both air and water, the document requirements for each are outlined separately. The required documents are as follows:

  • Index/Site Plan
  • Topographical Map
  • Detailed layout plan depicting various processes and point sources of emissions, as well as the position of stacks and chimneys.
  • Process Flow Sheet
  • Latest analysis report
  • Details of air pollution control devices provided or proposed
  • Ambient Air Quality Report (if available)
  • Copy of Consent to Establish (CFE) along with implementation details for specified conditions
  • List of raw materials with their monthly quantity (in metric tons)
  • Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for chemical industries

Document Required for Consent for Operation (CFO)under Water Act

The following documents are required:

  • Details of water pollution control devices provided or proposed
  • Manufacturing process flow diagram illustrating the input and output in terms of products and waste generated, including for captive power generation and demineralized water
  • Site map indicating the location of the site
  • Site clearance obtained from the local authority
  • Breakdown of water usage and water balance, including process consumption, domestic usage, canteen usage, gardening usage, boiler usage, and other uses
  • Boiler and steam generation certificate that certifies the daily steam generation and consumption of coal, duly certified by the office of the boiler inspector
  • List of raw materials with their monthly quantity (in metric tons)
  • Third-party analysis report for wastewater analysis, source sampling, and ambient air quality analysis conducted by a laboratory accredited by NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) or MoEF (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change). [This requirement is applicable during the consent renewal process.]

Requirement of Consent for Operation

Once the site construction is completed and the entrepreneur has installed all the necessary waste management and pollution control equipment according to the applicable standards, they can proceed to apply for the Consent for Operation (CFO). It is important to note that the application process takes around 30 days, so the unit should consider this timeframe when planning their application submission.

In addition to the application process, the unit must ensure strict compliance with the applicable discharge standards for pollutants in the trade discharge they generate. The following limits must be adhered to:

Air Emissions: Emissions from chimneys, exhausts, and vents after exhaust treatment should be tested using air pollution control devices. The concentration of the following pollutants in parts per million (PPM) must be regulated:

  • PM10
  • SO2
  • NOx

Wastewater Discharge: Effluent and wastewater discharge need to be tested and regulated. Various parameters must meet the standards during site inspection, including:

  • pH
  • Total Suspended Solids (TSS)
  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
  • Oil & Grease
  • Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)
  • Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)

Noise Levels: The ambient and operating noise levels at the facility must be tested and regulated in accordance with the directions issued by the Board. Different noise level limits apply for daytime (6 AM to 10 PM) and nighttime (10 PM to 6 AM).

It is essential for the unit to ensure compliance with these limits and regulations to maintain the required environmental standards and obtain the Consent for Operation (CFO).

Validity of Consent for Operation (CFO) from SPCB


The duration of the consent to operate varies for different categories of industries. The green category industries are granted consent for a longer period compared to the orange and red category industries. However, regardless of the category, every industrial unit must ensure timely renewal of the consent for operation before the existing NOC expires. The table below indicates the validity period for different industries:


Validity Period

1. Red Category (Large, Medium, Small & Micro-scale units

5 years

2. Orange Category (Large, Medium, & Small scale)

10 years

3. Orange Category (Micro-scale)

10 years

4. Green Category (Large scale)

15 Years

5. Green Category (Medium scale)

15 Years

6. Green Category (Micro & Small scale)

15 Years

How can Enterclimate assist you?

End-to-End assistance  


Owing to our extensive experience of over ten years in the field of licensing and compliance, our team of professionals is fully equipped to provide comprehensive assistance for your Consent for Operation.

Expert Legal Guidance  


Enterclimate provides a complete range of support services for Consent for Operation, including legal advice, through a customizable package that can be tailored to address the specific priorities and needs of our clients.

Best in Class client Support  


Our dedicated support team ensures that our clients are kept up to date with the latest guidelines and updates from relevant government departments regarding Consent for Operation and other related NOCs.


The approval from the Board's authority for the release of effluent (sewage or trade effluent) into a stream, well, sewer, or land, or for the emission of air pollutants into the atmosphere.

The Consent to Establish is the initial clearance required, while the Consent to Operate is obtained once the industry, plant, or process has been set up in compliance with the necessary pollution control systems.

Any industry, operation, process, or its extension or addition, that has the potential to release sewerage or trade effluent into the environment or emit air pollution into the atmosphere must obtain the necessary consent.

Without obtaining prior consent from the State Board, it is prohibited for any individual to establish or operate an industrial plant within an air pollution control area.

To obtain consent to establish and operate, the procedure requires submitting of an application to the relevant State Pollution Control Board through the online portal which is to be accompanied by the necessary documents and scrutiny fees as specified by the Board.

The approval of the Board's authority for releasing sewage or trade effluent into a stream, well, sewer, or land, or for emitting air pollutants into the atmosphere.

For obtaining Consent to Operate from the Board, the entrepreneurs are required to apply online (https://wbocmms.nic.in).

The Consent to Operate (CTO) Certificate is a No Objection Certificate (NOC) issued by the Pollution Control Board of each respective state, allowing a business to operate after obtaining approval for the Consent to Establish (CTE).

The Consent to Establish (CTE), also referred to as the CTE, is the required authorization from the relevant authority to establish or conduct any manufacturing industries.

As per the CFO consent for operation Businesses with the potential to pollute the air and water are required to apply for this Pollution NOC at their local State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) or Pollution Control Committee.

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