What is an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and its purpose?
An EIA is an organised process of identifying, assessing and reporting environmental impacts associated with a proposed activity or project. (National Environmental Management Act, Act No. 107 of 1998, EIA regulations, 2014).
An EIA is not meant to stop projects but seeks to achieve sustainable development by integrating the social, economic as well as environmental factors into planning, implementation and decision making to ensure that development serves the needs of both present and future generations.
The purpose of an EIA is to inform decision makers and the public about the environmental consequences of implementing a proposed project. The environmental consequences include physical environment, social, cultural as well as economic impacts therefore.
EIA documents may be sent to, [email protected]
The applicant must appoint an independent Environmental Assessment Practitioner (EAP) to conduct an EIA, who is registered with the Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa (EAPASA).
Who is the Competent Authority? In Mpumalanga Province, the competent authority for environmental authorisation is the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs, however in some instances the competent authority can be the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries depending on the nature of a project.
Commencing a listed activity without approval may result in the implementation of S24G of NEMA, which is the rectification of unlawful activity leading into a fine or imprisonment. The public is urged to partake in public participation process of proposed developments within the city and constantly check public notices on local newspapers to register as affected and interested parties.
For more information, please contact Mr. Sihle Mthembu from Environmental Compliance on 013 759-2356 or email – [email protected]
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