DEADLINE EXTENDED: National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Draft Bill, 2015

Call for comments opened 14 October 2015 Share this page:

Submissions are now closed (since 13 November 2015)

Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

The Department of Environmental Affairs has published the National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Bill 2015, and is asking you to comment.

The Bill seeks to amend the National Environmental Management Act, 1998, so as to:

▪ correct the citation to the definition of "Constitution"; to provide clarity to the definition of "financial provision" that an applicant or holder of an environmental authorisation relating to mining activities must set aside financial provision for progressive mitigation, mine closure and the management of post closure environmental impacts; to add a new definition of "primary processing"; to provide for simultaneous submission of NEMA and SEMA applications for purposes of one environmental system; to provide clarity that the Minister responsible for mineral resources is responsible for listed or specified activities that is or Is directly related to prospecting, exploration, extraction or primary processing of a mineral or petroleum resource; to provide for simultaneous submission of NEMA and SEMA applications in order to enable integrated environmental authorisation; to provide for a trigger for the simultaneous submission of a NEMA or SEMA applications after acceptance of mining right; to provide clarity that a successor in title or person who controls the land may also lodge a section 24G application relating to an environmental authorisation or a waste management licence; to provide clarity that a section 24M exemption is not an appropriate mechanism for a third party to restrict information flowing to other interested and affected parties and applicant; to provide clarity that an applicant or holder of an environmental authorisation relating to mining activities must set aside financial provision for progressive mitigation, mine closure and the management of post closure environmental impacts; to provide clarity that a section 28(4) directive may also be issued to an owner of the land, a person in control of the land or a person that has a right to use the land in question; to provide clarity that section 28 is applicable to anticipatory costs as well as remedial measures; to provide for joint and several liability in respect of the responsible persons listed section 28(8); to provide clarity that an environmental mineral resource inspector must also undergo approved training before designation; to provide legal clarity that the conducting of a "searchrr Is not the primary purpose of an environmental management inspector undertaking a routine inspection; to provide clarity that an environmental management inspector may seize and detain an item for further analysis or verification for purposes of determining compliance or not with applicable legal requirements; to provide legal clarity that the Minister's power to develop regulations on admission of guilt fines must be read together with the Criminal Procedure Act, 1 977; to provide clarity that a person may appeal a section 28(4) directive Issued by a person acting on delegated authority; to add and remove certain offences to Schedule 3 to the NEMA;

▪ National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, 2003, so as to provide for the Chief Financial Officer of the South African National Parks to be a member of the board; to create a new offence for non· compliance with section 48A which prohibit certain activities In marine protected areas; to rectify incorrect references to offences;

▪ National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004, so as to provide to insert a definition of "eradicaterr to provide clarity on measures to be undertaken to eradicate listed invasive species; to provide for the Chief Financial Officer of the South African National Biodiversity Institute to be a member of the board; to empower the Minister to take a decision In the place of the provincial Issuing authority under certain circumstances; to provide clarity on the steps, actions or methods to be undertaken to either control or eradicate listed invasive species; to provide clarity that MECs must follow a consultation process when exercising legal power under NEMBA;

▪ National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004, so as to provide clarity on the consequences of unlawful commencement of a listed activity; to provide clarity that a provincial department responsible for environmental affairs is the licensing authority where a listed activity falls within the boundaries of more than one metropolitan municipality or more than one district municipality; to provide for textual amendment to section 36(5)(d}; to ensure alignment with respect to the implementation of one appeal process under NEMA; to ensure that an exemption in terms of section 59 may be issued subject to conditions;

▪ National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act, 2008, so as to allow for the removal of structures erected prior to commencement of the Act; to provide legal clarity that an appeal against a decision issued by delegated official must be lodged at the appropriate sphere of government and appeal authority;

▪ National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008, so as to move all definitions from Schedule 3 to section 1; to provide for textual amendment to the definitions of "residue deposits" and "residue stockpiles" and "waste"; to provide clarity that the Waste Management Bureau Is established as a specialised delivery unit within the Department; to provide clarity that the Chief Executive Officer is the accounting officer of the Bureau; to provide for consequential amendments with respect to the implementation of the waste management licensing system by the Minister responsible for mineral resources; to provide for the simultaneous submission of the site assessment report and remediation plan relating to a contaminated land; to provide clarity that the Minister responsible for mineral resources is responsible for implementation of the waste management system in so far as it relates to a waste management activity that is directly related to prospecting, exploration, extraction or primary processing of a mineral or petroleum resource; to empower the Minister to take a decision in the place of the provincial licensing authority under certain circumstances; to provide for the payment of processing fee for the variation of a waste management licence; to clarify that there will be no exemptions provided from obtaining a waste management licence; to substitute Schedule 3 with new Schedule;

▪ National Environmental Management Amendment Act, 2008, so as to clarify that an environmental management programme or plan approved under the MPRDA is valid under NEMA; to provide clarity that an appeal against an environmental management programme or plan lodged under the MPRDA must be finalised under that Act; to provide clarity on the commencement date of the National Environmental Management Amendment Act, 2008;

▪ National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Act, 2014, so as to clarify that an environmental management programme or plan approved under the MPRDA is valid under NEMWA; to provide clarity regarding an appeal against environmental management programme or plan on residue deposit or residue stockpile lodged under the MPRDA to be finalised under that Act; to provide for continuation of environmental regulations developed under the MPRDA until the development and publication of such regulations under NEMA and NEMWA.

Comments can be emailed to Mr Rudzani Netsianda at RNetsianda@environment.gov.za or TZwane@environment.gov.za by no later than Monday30 November 2015.

Enquiries can be directed to Mr Sibusiso Shabalala on tel (012) 399 9351