NEW DELHI: The Environment Ministry has amended rules exempting expansion of mining projects from public hearing, sources said.

The rules have been amended in line with the decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) to end the prolonged delays in various projects including mining.

For one-time capacity expansion of 25 per cent or less, coal mining projects have now been exempted from public hearing provided it had taken place at the time of obtaining the existingEnvironment Clearance and the mining is confined to the existing lease area, official sources said.

It has been decided that “no fresh Environment Clearance (EC) shall be required for a mining project at the time of renewal of mining lease if EC was obtained under the EIA Notification of 2006,” says a fresh Ministry notification.