Ratification of the United Nations Conference on Human Environment held at Stockholm, in June, 1972, ushered in a series of environment legislations in our country that culminated in the Environment Protection Act, 1986. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act came into force in 1974 which led to the establishment of the West Bengal Pollution Control Board in September, 1974 under the administrative control of the Health Department, Govt. of West Bengal and eventual transfer to the Department of Environment after its creation on 02/06/1982. The Department of Environment is headed by a Minister in Charge, with the Principal Secretary as the administrative head. The major activities have been enlisted in the West Bengal Rules of Business vide Notification No.:2649-A.R., dated: 6th July, 1982 with effect from 2nd June, 1982 are as follow :
1. Environment & Ecology.
2. Prevention and Control of the Pollution of air, water and land.
3. Co-ordination between departments and agencies of the State and Union Governments concerned with policies and schemes relating to environment.
4. All matters connected with –
1. The Bengal Smoke Nuisance Commission;
2. The West Bengal Pollution Control Board.
The Principal Secretary of the Department is assisted by a Chief Environment Officer (on deputation), Senior Environment Officers (on deputation) & an Environment Officer in technical matters and Law Officer in legal matters. The administrative functions of the Department are accomplished through the Joint Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Assistant Secretary and office staff.
Presently, the Department executes its activities through the following institutions :1. West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB)