30 October 2020 - NW2352
Winkler, Ms HS to ask the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment
What(a) pollutants require mandatory monitoring and reporting in all air quality monitoring stations, (b) are acceptable levels of the specified pollutants and (c) steps are taken once a station reports on excessive levels of pollution at a station of the SA Air Quality Information Systems or a municipal station?
- In terms of Section 9 of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act 20 of 2014 (NEMAQA), the Minister is empowered to identify ambient air pollutants which present a threat to human health and well-being of the environment, and to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for the identified pollutants. In this regard, the Minister established national ambient air quality standards for particulate matter (PM10. articles with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 10 micrometres (10-6 m) and PM2.5, particles with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres), sulphur dioxide (SO2). nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), lead (Pb), ozone (O3) and benzene (CsH6). The NAAQS include averaging periods, limit values or concentrations, permitted frequency of exceedance per year, and compliance dates.
- The table below shows the ambient standards for the criteria pollutant.
- Where excessive levels of pollution at a station are reported by the South African Air Quality Information System or a municipal station, the information is shared with the public to empower them about the possible impacts their human health, as well as to guide them on how to carry out their daily activities to minimise the effects. In addition, tailor-made interventions are designed in air quality management plans or other strategic government programs to identify sources contributing to the pollution levels, and to implement necessary emission reduction measures. Within the regulated pollution sources such as industries, these interventions include enhanced compliance monitoring and enforcements through the atmospheric emission licencing command and control regime. For non-regulated pollution sources, air quality management interventions are designed to target those pollutants with reported excessive levels, towards progressive realisation of air that is not harmful to the health and wellbeing of the public.
MS B D CREECY, MP
MINISTER OF FORESTRY, FISHERIES AND THE ENVIRONMENT