NILU supports South African implementation of air quality management

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The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) in South Africa is preparing an efficient implementation of the sections of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act (Act No. 39, 200) which details governmental air quality management planning requirements. Together with Zanokuhle Environmental Services (ZES) in Durban, NILU supports DEAT in establishing the baseline for the air quality management (AQM) planning tools.

In the process of developing a Draft AQM manual, NILU has together with ZES reviewed current South African initiatives in the field. The review process included the establishment of a project reference group, consisting of Air Quality Officers from all provinces of South Africa as well as representatives from municipalities already operating AQMP initiatives. The reference group formed cooperative partnerships and networks for the exchange of information.

The manual was based on the information collected during the reference group meetings and on a National Framework Report (NFR) which was prepared parallel to the implementation manual. The NFR provides the foundation for future frameworks and describes the technical norms and standards which are being developed in the different projects now in progress.

NILU supports South African implementation of air quality management
The main purpose of an AQM development process is to establish an effective and sound basis for planning and management of air quality in a selected area. The manual establishes best practice guidelines on definition of objectives, strategies, plans and procedures for each sphere of government, in order to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, (Act No. 39 of 2004).

This type of planning will ensure that significant sources of impacts are identified and controlled in the most cost-effective manner.  The ultimate objective is to assure that health effects and impacts on building materials and the environment will be minimized in the future.

The development of an AQMP takes account of the following:

  • Air Quality Management System (AQMS) requirements
  • Operational and functional structure requirements
  • Source identification through emission inventories
  • Source reduction alternatives, which may be implemented
  • Mechanisms for facilitating interdepartmental cooperation in order to assure that actions are being taken
  • Institutional building and training
NILU supports South African implementation of air quality management
The document developed by DEAT based on the input by NILU and ZES describes the procedure to develop and implement an AQMP and defines the roles and responsibilities of each level of government in the development of AQMPs in South Africa.

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