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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Information1

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

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 frames1

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

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


Licensing1

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

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

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

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

.. 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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