A tannery in Ambur, India, owned by T Abdul Wahid (TAW) Tanneries, one of the largest exporters of leather to the US and Europe, has been ordered to shut down immediately by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

A fine of Rs110,000 has also been issued, for polluting a well near the effluent treatment plant and operating without valid consents, under the Water Act and Air Act, which expired two years ago.

The tannery, located in Solur village at Ambur in Vellore, has also been found to be operating without valid authorisation under the Hazardous Waste Management Rules. A TAW tannery engineer said that they have put forward an application to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), seeking consent to reopen under the Air and Water Acts.

The board took the action after a team of scientists from CPCB’s regional directorate in Bengaluru found that the water in the well was black, indicating a discharge or mixing of untreated effluents with the well water. It also found that the tannery does not maintain data on water consumption.