National environmental management air quality bill
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National Environmental Management: Air Quality Bill. groundWork P.O. Box 2375, Pietermaritzburg, 3200 www.groundwork.org.za. National Report on Community-based Air Pollution Monitoring in SA. History of problem in SA What community people are doing, i.e. the Bucket Brigade and GIS monitoring

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National Environmental Management: Air Quality Bill

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National Environmental Management: Air Quality Bill

groundWork

P.O. Box 2375, Pietermaritzburg, 3200

www.groundwork.org.za

groundWork submission to PF Committee on Environment


National Report on Community-based Air Pollution Monitoring in SA

  • History of problem in SA

  • What community people are doing, i.e. the Bucket Brigade and GIS monitoring

  • Impacts of pollutants

  • Problem areas

  • Industrial practice

  • Legislation

  • What we need from the Bill

groundWork submission to PF Committee on Environment


History of AQ Bill

  • Peoples time and resources

  • Lawyers, technical people, researchers, campaigners

  • Always sought to engage with the DEAT and politicians on this issue

  • May 2002 – DEAT opportunity to engage meaningfully

  • Reports to DEAT groundWork concerns

  • Presently no changes can be made

groundWork submission to PF Committee on Environment


Positive aspects of the Bill

  • That a Bill is on the table is a victory for the community campaigners

  • Development of a Framework which will include the develop ambient and emissions standards

  • National Air Quality Advisory Committee

  • Compels reporting on air quality as part of the Chapter 3 of NEMA

  • IDP must consider air quality

  • Industry cannot operate without a license

groundWork submission to PF Committee on Environment


Health

  • S 2: Health is not seen as a +ve action, but as a “rear guard”action, i.e. reduce health risk, rather than seek to improve health.

  • The Bill must be more specific on how government seeks to give a more practical understanding of Section 24 of the Bill of Rights

  • Health is mentioned on 8 occasions, but only in three context, i)reducing risk ii) identifying substances that pose a threat to health, & iii) activities that have a “significant detrimental effect on health”

  • No improvement of health is mentioned

groundWork submission to PF Committee on Environment


Information

  • Consensus amongst stakeholder that a Waste Informational System is needed

  • Bill must indicate the system to be used by polluters and government, such as the Pollution Release and Transfer Registry or the Toxic Release Inventory

  • The Bill does not guarantee that affected communities, or even national government will get needed info

  • Does indicate if industry must make information available

groundWork submission to PF Committee on Environment


Information

  • Emission source information – municipality responsibility

  • Information will remain a contested arena, i.e. National Key Points Act

  • The Minster must state by when and how information is gathered – if we do not have this basis right the entire Bill is undermined (S 12)

  • S 9: How the minister identifies substances as critical is NB.

  • How does one define misleading information 48 g/h can only be defined if information system is defined.

groundWork submission to PF Committee on Environment


Time Frames

  • Deadline for National Framework (NEMA – 6 years and NEAF still not established)

  • Does not state when national standards will be established by – thus provincial and some local authorities could act sooner with the result that potential industries could migrate – both ambient and emissions

groundWork submission to PF Committee on Environment


Time Frames

  • Provisional certificates have unlimited duration

  • No timeframes for license as to when they expire

  • No indication when information management standard/process will be finalised

groundWork submission to PF Committee on Environment


Licensing

  • Must establish minimum emission standards

  • What are the preconditions for province and national to assume local authorities responsibility?

  • Bill does not state that practical measure must be taken to protect health - S 36 (b)

  • Does not include the protection of health

groundWork submission to PF Committee on Environment


Licensing

  • S 40 (1) does not talk about “abnormal conditions” which is becoming plentiful in oil refineries

  • Review must have a specific time period it must not be left up to “when circumstances demand that a review is necessary.”

groundWork submission to PF Committee on Environment


Challenges of Local Authority

  • How will national government support-lesser resourced local and provincial authorities with pollution monitoring, information and licensing?

  • The Bill must indicate how authorities are required to do with regards to Bill:

    • License, Monitor, etc

  • Capacity to deliver on commitments:

    • Sasolburg, Richards Bay.

  • groundWork assisting at local level

  • Power of industry at a local level:

    • Shell in south Durban

groundWork submission to PF Committee on Environment


Some of our other concerns

  • Technology standards must be included

  • Can one have standards if compliance has not been reached

  • Community “right to know” must be included

  • Vague statements, i.e. appropriate, reasonable period of time

  • Exemptions should not be entertained

groundWork submission to PF Committee on Environment


In Conclusion

  • Implementation is critical and even more so considering the vagueness in which the above issues have been presented

  • PF must urgently request DEAT to give concrete suggestions as to how to address concerns raised

  • Timeframes must be placed within this process

  • Some key implementation steps must be included in the Bill

groundWork submission to PF Committee on Environment


.. In Conclusions

  • Present response of DEAT to concerns raised by community

  • Present governance: License withdrawal use NEMA Section 28

  • Include the principles on which the regulations are developed to ensure that discretion is constrained

  • Re-apply and customize

  • We are prepared to work with DEAT and parliament to ensure progress

groundWork submission to PF Committee on Environment


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