by Kelly Abram
Although there is a National Air Quality Act, each province is mandated to produce its own air quality management plan that takes into account the specifics of the province.
In Limpopo, LEDET is tasked with this project and has engaged Airshed Planning Professionals, C&M Consulting Engineers and Zitholele Consulting to assist. The Management Plan aims to improve air quality; to address the effect of emissions from domestic fuel burning, industrial operations, vehicles and other sources; to give effect to best practice in air quality management; and to describe how local municipalities will give effect to their air quality management plan.
The process will undertake the following: goal setting; baseline assessment (current step); intervention strategies; action plan implementation; and evaluation and follow-up. Stakeholders will be identified and involved. Partnerships with key stakeholders will be established.
The plan will ultimately outline the present air quality situation and examine how and which activity sectors are causing which kinds of air quality problems. Strategies to address these problems will be devised.
By engaging with stakeholders from the beginning of the process it is hoped that a workable, implementable action plan will be achieved.
The management plan will look at both sources and the receiving environment, that is, the dispersion patterns and where air pollutants end up in the environment. The plan will look at all sources of pollutants not only industrial sources. The plan will be standardised so that comparison among provinces and even districts will be possible. The plan will:
- Provide a baseline assessment by identifying Provincial priority pollutants: sources and areas;
- Establish Provincial air quality and emission standards;
- Appoint a Provincial Air Quality Officer;
- Prepare a Provincial management plan as part of their Environmental Implementation Plan (EIP);
- Establish a system to monitor ambient air quality;
- Declare Provincial priority areas;
- Establish a system of annual reports regarding the implementation (i.e., are the goals being achieved?);
- Prescribe regulations for implementing and enforcing the management plan;
- Perform emission licensing authority functions;
- Declare and set requirements for controlled fuels;
- Establish a programme of public recognition of significant achievement in air pollution prevention;
- Prescribe measures for the control of dust, noise and odours.
The Waterberg Nature Conservancy and the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve were represented at the first meeting (7 June 2012). The meeting introduced the project, identified the relevant stakeholders and requested assistance in gathering baseline data. The baseline data report is available from the consultants.
The subsequent meeting was held on 7 August, but neither the Conservancy nor Biosphere was represented, sad to say. The meeting was intended to focus on an emission inventory for all major polluters, specifying the location of each source and the time variations in the emissions.