INVITATION FOR PUBLIC COMMENT AMENDMENT TO THE AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT BY-LAW

BACKGROUND

 Notice is hereby given in terms of Section 12(3)(b) of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act No 32 of 2000 that that the Capricorn District Municipality has reviewed and amended the AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT BY-LAW promulgated on 18 May 2018 by publication in the Provincial Gazette, Notice no. 80 of 2018.

 

The purpose of the amendments is to address shortcomings identified during implementation.

Two copies of the amended By-law are attached hereto; (1) A copy wherein words or paragraphs removed from the existing By-law are shown with strike-through lines whilst new insertions are shown in red font; and, (2) a cleaned final By-law with corrected words ready for consultation and/or approval.

ABOUT

The National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act no. 39 of 2004 (AQA) came into full effect on 1 April 2010 thereby decentralising the air quality management function to local, district and provincial government. Metropolitan and district municipalities became the Licensing Authorities for Atmospheric Emission Licenses.

CDM, in terms of section 156(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act, 1996, developed the Air Quality Management By-law that provides for regulatory mechanisms for incidental matters, which are not covered by the Air Quality Act.

During enforcement / implementation of the By-law, officials realized that the By-law has certain shortcomings, which may make it legally ineffective, whereafter the By-law was reviewed to address the shortcomings as per the attached reviewed draft Air Quality Management By-law.

In general, the review focused on the consistent use of words; alignment of definitions with meanings same as those assigned in the Air Quality Act; as well as the removal/addition/rephrasing and replacement of words or paragraphs to strengthen the By-law for enforcement purposes.

Key amendments areas

1.       Law enforcement officer was replaced with “authorized person”;

2.       Smoke control zone replaced with “Air pollution control zone” including scrapping all requirements relating to dark smoke emissions. This is due to the fact that there is no tool to measure dark smoke and it is essentially a subjective observation (Chapter 3 / Page 6);

3.       New Regulations for Small Boilers have been issued by DEFF (Department of Environmental Affairs, Forestry & Fisheries) and a clause to ensure facilities comply with Regulations within a specified time is included in the By-law (Chapter 4 / Page 7)

4.       The insertion of wording emphasizing that failure to adhere to clauses or to undertake certain activities is an offence (Pages 8; 9; 10; & 11);

5.       Open burning and burning of materials is prohibited, not only burning to recover metals (Chapter 5 / Page 9);

6.       Emphasizing that open burning for the purposes of a barbecue, cooking or domestic purposes is allowed (Chapter 5 / Page 9);

7.       Application for an Atmospheric Emission License is now an online procedure whereas in the past it was a paper exercise and this procedure is now included (Chapter 6 / Page 10);

8.       Clauses relating to offences and penalties have been strengthened (Chapter 7 / Page 11);

9.       A requirement contained in the Air quality Act, that polluters can be requested conduct specialist studies or undertake specific monitoring is also now included in the By-law (Chapter 8 / Page 11);

10.    The Schedule of Offences have been aligned to the wording in the By-law where required and fines for offences have been adjusted / increased where required (Schedule 1 / Page 14).  

 

ENQUIRIES

 

Any enquiries relating to the amendment of the Air Quality Management By-law may be directed to the Air Quality Officer, Ms Modjadji Rangwato on rangwatom@cdm.org.za or mobile phone 082 486 6024.

COMMENTS

All comments on the proposed amendments to the Air Quality Management By-law must be submitted in writing in a sealed envelope clearly marked, “Comments: Proposed amendments to the Air Quality Management By-law” and addressed to the Acting Municipal Manager, P.O. Box 4100, Polokwane, 0700 or hand delivered to the Capricorn District Municipality Head Office located at 41 Biccard Street, Polokwane, 0699.

 

Written comments must be submitted on or before 30 September 2021.

 

THUSO NEMUGUMONI

ACTING MUNICIPAL MANAGER

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