EThekwini Municipality releases draft Air Quality Management Plan for public comment
Submitted by: Bukelwa Nzimande, Wednesday, November 4, 2015
EThekwini Municipality has released its draft Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP) for public comment. Citizens are invited to comment on the draft plan to ensure that all air quality issues are reflected in the draft plan, and that the necessary interventions are outlined to ensure successful implementation. The comment period closes on the 9th of December 2015.
Purpose of the Air Quality Management Plan
EThekwini Municipality’s AQMP was initially developed and implemented in 2007, in response to increasing reports of high levels of air pollution and forecasted deterioration of air quality in various industrial regions within the municipality. This initial document has since been re-assessed, evaluated, and reviewed, and is currently in the process of being updated to align with the requirements of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act (NEMA:AQA) (Act No. 39 of 2004). The purpose of the plan is to help eThekwini Municipality to improve and maintain good air quality standards; to identify and reduce the negative effects of air pollution on people’s health and wellbeing; to address the effects of emissions from various sources including industry, transportation, residential fuel burning and agriculture; to give effect to best practice in air quality management; and, to describe how implementation will be effected and measured.
EThekwini Municipality is willing to engage with and work together with communities to ensure that good air quality standards in the city are achieved. Special attention will be given to those communities that live in close proximity to industrialised areas. Speaking on the importance of the AQMP Chairperson of the eThekwini Municipality’s Community and Emergency Services Committee, Cllr Zandile Gumede, said “We call on all stakeholders to work closely with the City in ensuring that we respond properly to any incidences that may pose danger to their quality of life. The City will continue to invest in ensuring that our Air Quality Monitoring department is adequately equipped and resourced to fulfil its legislated mandate.” EThekwini Municipality encourages various stakeholders, including members of the community to participate in the development of the city’s AQMO by registering as a stakeholder on the project website.
Presentation and Submission of Comments
The draft plan will be presented to the public at three stakeholder meetings to be held during November 2015, during which stakeholders will be provided with the opportunity to comment on the AQMP. These presentations will be held in Isipingo on the 12th of November 2015, Tongaat on the 17th of November 2015, and Westville on the 9th of November 2015. Following these presentations the draft AQMP will be made available on the project website to view and provide comments. The comment period will be open until the 9th of December 2015. All comments should be submitted via email to Sarisha Perumal, Project Secretary.
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