Business & Industry Civil Society DEA

Public hearings on amendments to Air Quality Act

The Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs will be holding public hearings on “The potential or unintended consequences of the proposed amendments to the listed activities listed under section 21 of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004”, and invites all interested stakeholders to submit written comments on the subject matter not later than 11 April 2013. Public hearings are targeted for week of the 16 April 2013.

Section 21(3)(a) and (b) of the Act provide that the notice which sets out the listed activities:

“(a) must establish minimum emission standards in respect of a substance or mixture of substances resulting from a listed activity and identified in the notice, including –
(i) the permissible amount, volume, emission rate or concentration of that substances or mixture of substances that may be emitted; and
(ii) the manner in which measurements of such emissions must be carried out;
(b) may contain transitional and other special arrangements in respect of activities which are carried out at the time of their listing…”.

The AQA provides for consultative procedures before amendment of the list as set out in sections 56 and 57 of the AQA. The DEA has followed these procedures and further provided an extension for submissions of this important issue within the environmental sector. However, it is equally important for legislators to provide a national forum for public consideration of issues, including by scrutinising and overseeing executive action.

The Portfolio Committee considers the listed activities published under s.21 of AQA extremely important legislation, and deems it necessary to hold public hearings to maintain oversight within its portfolios of the water and environmental sector. The listed activities are integral in controlling and monitoring harmful or potential atmospheric emissions, and in meeting the AQA’s objective of protecting the environment and human health.

Kindly note that the Portfolio Committee retains the right to regulate its own proceedings, including the right to decide whether to allow oral representations in respect of any submission, and the format, procedure and duration of any oral representation.

All written comments appropriately referenced as “The potential or unintended consequences of the proposed amendments to the listed activities’’ can be emailed to: tmadubela@parliament.gov.za

For enquiries, contact Ms Madubela on 021 403 3713 or 083 304 9586.

Issued by Adv. Johnny de Lange, M.P.: Chairperson: Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs.

Here are the Draft Amendments to Air Quality Act’s list of activities

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