The Environmental implications of the exploration and production of mineral oil and natural gas are well known. Global problems like “enhanced greenhouse effect” to locally increased incidence of respiratory disorders are attributed to such operations. So are other forms of pollution, which adversely affect the flora, fauna, humans, domesticated animals and all other forms of life. In the theory and practice of environmental management, a paradigm shift is taking place from 'end-of-the-pipe treatment' of pollution or negative environmental externalities, to 'Preventive Environmental Management'.
The paper attempts to analyse compatibility of the existing environmental management practices with the principles of Environmental Management System (EMS). The study shows that Oil India Limited (OIL), a major public sector organization in India that explores and produces mineral oil and natural gas, has adopted certain measures to protect the environment in the course of its operation. These include a well-organized Safety & Environment (S & E) department, adoption of the Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Policy, ISO 14000 certification for three departments, compliance with the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) provisions, regular departmental, inter-departmental and other seminars, conferences, meetings and training programmes etc.
The paper concludes with the following policy recommendations:
Strict assurances of consent and compliance by OIL;
· Conducting soil permeability test;
· ISO Certification for all the departments in OIL;
· Quantifiable and time-bound environmental targets;
· Continuous intensive sensitization of staff on the environment;
· Introduction of Environment Effects Register for book-keeping environmental inventory;
· Regular external audit of EMS; and