There are a number of important upcoming environmental law related compliance dates to diarise. We set these out below.
National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (NEMA)
Environmental audit reports - The following rights holders are required to prepare and submit their first environmental audit report to the competent authority on or before 7 December 2019:
- Right holders under the MPDRA with EMPRs/EMPs still in effect after 8 December 2014;
- Holders on an EA issued in terms of the ECA regulations or the previous NEMA regulations still in effect by 8 December 2014; and
- The audit report must meet the requirements of Part 3 of Chapter 5 of the EIA regulations (relating to the auditing of compliance with an EA, EMPr and closure plan, and the amendment thereof as a result of an audit).
EAP registrations - By and from
8 February 2020, EAPs must be registered with the EAPASA.
National screening tool reports - The submission of a site-specific report generated from the national web-based environmental screening tool will be compulsory when submitting an application for an EA in terms of regulations 19 and 21 of the EIA regulations, 2014 from
5 October 2019. Until such time, the screening tool will be available for voluntary use.
Financial provisioning (FP) - The transitional timeframes in the 2015 FP Regulations must be complied with despite the 2nd draft of the proposed replacement FP regulations being out for public comment:
- Holders of offshore oil or gas exploration or production rights must review their financial provision and align same with these Regulations by
19 February 2024;
- Holders of all other rights under the MPRDA must review their financial provision and align same with these Regulations by 19 February 2020.
National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (NEMWA)
Disposals of wastewater to landfill - From
23 August 2019, the prescribed forms of liquid waste will be prohibited from disposal to landfill. An additional restriction on the landfill disposal of brine or waste with a high salt content and exceedant leachable concentration for total dissolved solids will apply from
23 August 2021.
National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004 (NEMAQA)
NEMAQA listed activities - Effective
1 April 2020, all existing plants will be required to comply with the Minimum Emission Standards for new plants, subject to permissible postponement and suspension applications.
Carbon Tax Act, 2019 (CTA)
Tax period - The CTA defines the tax period as commencing on
1 June 2019 and ending on 31 December 2019; and subsequent to this period, commencing on 1 January of each year and ending on 31 December of that year.