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37 companies apply to postpone time frame for air quality compliance

The Department of Environmental Affairs has reached decisions regarding applications for postponement of time frames for compliance with the minimum emission standards in terms of section 21 of the National Environmental Management Air Quality Act 39 of 2004.
37 companies apply to postpone time frame for air quality compliance
© Gina Sanders – za.fotolia.com

Facilities that are not able to comply with the minimum emission standards for air quality in South Africa, are enabled, in accordance with the National Air Quality Act, to apply for postponement of the time frame for compliance.

A total of 37 applications from a range of facilities such as Eskom, Sasol, Anglo American Platinum, PPC, and a number of refiners, were received. Of these, the Department has processed 35 applications, and are still awaiting additional documentation from two applicants.

It is important to note that an application for postponement must include:

  • an air pollution impact assessment compiled in accordance with the regulations prescribing the format of an Atmospheric Impact Report (as contemplated in section 30 of the AQA), by a person registered as a professional engineer or as a professional natural scientist in the appropriate category;
  • a detailed justification and reasons for the application; and
  • a concluded public participation process undertaken as specified in the National Environmental Management Act (107) of 1998 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations.

The Department has considered all applications lodged according to the legal framework. The Department did not follow a blanket approval approach. Each application was considered on its own merits.

It is important to note that air quality problems in South Africa are not limited to industrial emissions. Although industrial pollution sources make continuous and significant contributions, there are other significant sources of pollution, for example, domestic coal combustion, mechanically generated dust and motor vehicles. This complexity was carefully considered in reaching decisions for these applications.

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