AMENDMENTS TO THE LISTED ACTIVITIES AND ASSOCIATED MINIMUM EMISSION STANDARDS IDENTIFIED IN TERMS OF SECTION 21 OF THE ACT
Notice Title: Amendments to the listed activities and associated minimum emission standards identified in terms of section 21 of the Act
Government Gazette Notice: GN 1207 in GG 42013 of 31 October 2018
Commencing date: 31 October 2018
The Acting Minister of Environmental Affairs, amended the list of activities which result in atmospheric emissions, which have or may have a significant detrimental effect on the environment, including health, social conditions, economic conditions, ecological conditions or cultural heritage under section 21(1)(b) of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act 39 of 2004 (“the Regulations”) on 31 October 2018. The amendments to the Regulations relate, inter alia, to postponement and suspension applications, amendments to categories 1, 2, 5 and 9 of the listed activities and the replacement of schedule A that contains the methods for sampling and analysis.
How to ensure compliance at my operation?
In terms of the compliance time frames included in the Regulations new plants had to comply with the Minimum Emission Standards (“MES”) for new plants from 01 April 2010. Exiting plants had to comply with the MES for existing plants by 1 April 2015. Effective 1 April 2020 all existing plants will be required to comply with the MES for new plants. The Regulations however provides that existing plants may apply to the National Air Quality Officer for the postponement of the compliance time frames.
In terms of the amendments to the Regulations no applications for postponement of compliance timeframes or suspension of compliance timeframes with the MES for existing plants may be granted.
Existing plants may however apply for postponement of compliance timeframes with the MES for new plants. These applications may, however, only be made once and the timeframe for postponement may not exceed 5 years. This means that all existing plants that receive postponement must comply with the new plant MES by 31 March 2025. A postponement application must show that an existing plant cannot comply with a particular pollutant or pollutants and is in compliance with other emission standards. Applications must also demonstrate that applicants have invested money to implement measures to comply with the MES for new plants.
An existing plant to be decommissioned by 31 March 2030 may apply to the National Air Quality Officer for a once-off suspension of compliance timeframes with the MES for new plants. Such an application must be accompanied by a detailed decommissioning schedule.
The aforementioned postponement and suspension applications must be submitted 31 March 2019. No applications will be accepted by the National Air Quality Officer after 31 March 2019. Applications must include an Atmospheric Impact Report, a detailed justification and reasons for the application and a full public participation process must be concluded. Applicants must take into account that there are only 3 months left (taking into consideration the festive season) to complete the aforementioned applications to meet the deadline of 31 March 2019.
The amendments to categories 1, 2, 5 and 9 of the listed activities must be considered by operations when applying for a new Atmospheric Emission Licence (“AEL”) or renewal of an existing AEL.
AEL holders must take note of the amendments to schedule A to ensure that measurement, calculation and or sampling and analysis be carried out in terms of the amended schedule A, to ensure sampling technicians use these in their calculations.
What is Shangoni’s approach?
Shangoni has an air quality department that consists of highly skilled and experienced environmental consultants who can assist with AEL and related applications. For more information, contact the head of Shangoni’s Air Quality Department, Patricia van der Walt, at email@example.com