Orissa government has set up State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) to stop inordinate delay in getting environmental permission from the central government for small projects. An eight-member team of experts would verify applications before sending them to SEIAA. The SEIAA would issue environmental clearance to small thermal power projects of 50 megawatt (MW) to 500 MW capacity. 50 watt to 25 MW river valley projects would also be considered by SEIAA.

The clearance from the Centre will henceforth be required for mega projects, environment director Bhagirathi Behera, said.

Behera continued that the state had already appointed members and other functionaries for both the state level expert appraisal committee and the SEIAA.

The state had already signed nearly 50 memorandum of understandings for different projects including industries, ports, mining, irrigation and power.

For clearance of small projects like 50 hectare of mining lease and 10,000 hectare capacity of irrigation projects SEIAA would be authorized.

Mega projects would be sent for clearance to the union ministry of forest and environment.