AMENDMENTS TO EIA REGULATIONS 2014 AND LISTING NOTICES
Government Gazette Notices: GN 324, 325, 326, 327 in GG 40772 of 7 April 2017
Commencing Date: 7 April 2017
The Minister of Environmental Affairs amended the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 (NEMA) Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations, 2014 and Listing notices 1 to 3 of 2014. Transitional provisions have been included in Regulation 54A that provide for Environmental Management Programmes (EMPrs) and Environmental Management Plans (EMPs) approved in terms of the MPRDA to comply with the auditing requirements and the amendment of environmental authorisations, EMPr and Closure Plans contained in Part 3 of Chapter 5 of the Regulations. The first environmental audit reports must be submitted to the Competent Authority no later than 7 December 2019.
An application for the amendment of an environmental authorisation is no longer required within 3 months prior to expiry of the authorisation. The application can now be submitted to the relevant Competent Authority on condition that the environmental authorisation is valid on the date of receipt of such amendment application. The environmental authorisation then remains valid pending the finalisation of such amendment application.
The regulations now provide that the format and content of a closure plan may be combined with the relevant plan contemplated in the Financial Provisioning Regulations, 2015 and Appendix 5 on condition that both requirements must be met. The amendments also introduced provision for “protocol requirements” and “generic EMPrs”, although these instruments have not yet been gazetted. Other changes in the EIA Regulations relate to the submission of an EIA report, public participation and the content of specialist reports.
The Competent Authority has been identified in Appendix 1 in Listing Notices 1 to 3 as the provincial authority in which the activity is to be undertaken, unless:
o It is an application for an activity contemplated in section 24C(2) of the NEMA; or
o The Minister responsible for mineral resources is responsible for activities related to prospecting and mining.
Small changes have been made to the definitions in the EIA Regulations 2014 and in Listing Notices 1 to 3 and various amendments to the listed activities have also been effected.
Activity 49 and 61 of Listing Notice 1 of 2014 and Activity 10 and 20 of Listing Notice 2 have been removed.
So what for my operation?
It is important that the amendments made to the EIA Regulations and Listing Notices are considered during the planning phase of new projects. A company with existing environmental authorisations must ensure that it complies with inter alia the auditing requirements in Part 3 of Chapter 5 of the EIA Regulations.
What is Shangoni’s approach?
Shangoni has a team of highly qualified and diverse individuals specialising in, amongst others, the facilitation of environmental authorisation processes. These individuals can assist you in identifying legal requirements, facilitating the application process to obtain authorisations and in conducting a change impact screening on how these legal amendments can affect your organisation’s current control mechanisms. For more information, contact Brian Hayes at email@example.com.