National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 (NEMA) – Section 30A
To only proceed with a listed activity without an environmental authorisation when permission has been received.
The competent authority may on its own initiative or on written or oral request from a person, direct a person verbally or in writing to carry out a listed or specified activity, without obtaining an environmental authorisation, in order to prevent or contain an emergency situation or to prevent, contain or mitigate the effects of the emergency situation.
What is an emergency situation?
In this section ‘emergency situation’ means a situation that has arisen suddenly that poses an imminent and serious threat to the environment, human life or property, including a ‘disaster’ as defined in section 1 of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002), but does not include an incident referred to in section 30 of NEMA.
Request made to authority to proceed with a listed activity without an environmental authorisation
The request from the person referred to above must at least include, where known-
(a) the nature, scope and possible impact of the emergency situation;
(b) the listed or specified activities that will be commenced with in response to the emergency situation;
(c) the cause of the emergency situation; and
(d) the proposed measures to prevent or to contain the emergency situation or to prevent, contain or mitigate the effects of the emergency situation.
What information does the competent authority have to consider prior to making a decision?
(a) the nature of the emergency situation;
(b) the information contained in the request referred to in subsection (2);
(c) whether the emergency situation was caused by or the fault of the person;
(d) the principles in section 2;
(e) the risk of the impact on the environment as a result of the emergency and the costs of the measures considered; and
(f) the risk of the impact on the environment of the emergency situation, prevention, control or mitigation measures and the post-event mitigation or rehabilitation measures that may be required.
Directives from competent authority
The competent authority may direct the person to undertake specific measures within a specific time period in order to prevent or contain an emergency situation or to prevent, contain or mitigate the effects of the emergency situation. If this directive is verbal, such must be confirmed in writing at the earliest opportunity, which must be within seven days.