Summary of findings and company response
AECI’s environmental policy states as follows:
Taking the AECI values and the SHE1 policy and standards into account, we have formulated the AECI Group environmental vision as diligent management of our environmental footprint.
This environmental vision is based on three critical environmental footprint reduction goals; namely, resource conservation, energy conservation and pollution prevention.2
Other than AECI’s annual reports, there is no publicly available information relating to environmental non-compliances by the company. In AECI’s response to Full Disclosure, the company’s Group Technical and EHS Manager confirmed that AECI has not been the subject of compliance monitoring or enforcement action by the authorities.
AECI’s 2009, 2010 and 2011 company reports disclose a number of serious environmental incidents, all relating to the spillage or leakage of chemicals. No serious environmental incidents are reported in the 2012, 2013 or 2014 annual reports.
In its 2014 Annual Report, AECI reported that an application had been made by AEL Mining, one of the AECI group of companies, for a postponement of compliance with the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act minimum emission standards. These standards, which came into effect in April 2015, impose stricter limits on toxic emissions than were previously allowed.
The CER has recently ascertained further details on this application. AECI appears to have submitted its application for postponement on 31 March 2015, almost a year after the deadline for doing so (31 March 2014) had expired. In its application, AEL Mining seeks to postpone compliance with the 2015 standards for oxides of nitrogen, ammonia and for particulate matter for various of its plants for 5 years.
SRK Consulting (Pty) Limited, the environmental assessment practitioner for this postponement application, advised the CER on 3 September 2015 that a decision on the application had not yet been made by the National Air Quality Officer.
- Safety, Health and Environment
- Green Gauge Update 2014, at p4, available at http://www.aeci.co.za/pdf/green_gauge_2013.pdf