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Full Disclosure 2016

Non-compliance with environmental laws as reported in the National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Reports

Department of Environmental Affairs’ compliance monitoring and enforcement action

Secunda Refinery, Mpumalanga
NECER Significant Inspection Findings Further Developments and Status of Enforcement Process
20091 The following non-compliances were discovered at an inspection carried out on 4-5 March 2008:

Significant non-compliance with conditions of numerous authorisations applicable to the facility, including APPA registration certificates; EIA Records of Decision and the two waste permits relating to the fine ash dump and the Charlie 1 Waste Disposal Site;

Environmentally harmful activities that could be prevented / rehabilitated in terms of the NEMA duty of care, particularly in relation to the raw material and coal storage areas and the spillage of hazardous substances.

The following information was provided regarding the enforcement process:

The inspectorate is presently awaiting representations from the facility based on the findings set out in the inspection report.

20102 In 2010, the following information was stated regarding the enforcement process:

Representations were received in response to the inspection report findings which are reflected in last year’s National Compliance and Enforcement Report. A follow-up inspection will also be conducted at this facility in 2010/2011 in order to check whether or not the commitments made by the facility to rectify certain of the non-compliances/issues have been met. This follow-up inspection will inform the Department’s decision on whether or not to institute any enforcement action against the facility.

20113 A follow-up inspection was carried out in August 2010, and the following findings were made:

Non-compliances to authorisations still ongoing.

Environmentally harmful activities with regards to raw material storage, coal storage and spillages of hazardous substances still not addressed.

Failure to comply with general duty of care in respect of waste management on site.

In the 2011 report the following information was also provided regarding the enforcement process:

Follow-up compliance inspection report in vetting process and enforcement strategy will then be developed.

20124 In 2012, the following update was provided:

Enforcement strategy has been developed which has incorporated APPA review process, as well a Waste Management Licence review process in which the facility is currently engaged.

Following this engagement, a further decision will be required as to which non-compliances will be covered by the administrative enforcement process.

20135 In 2013, the enforcement strategy was described:

Enforcement strategy has been developed which has incorporated APPA review process, as well a Waste Management Licence review process in which the facility is currently engaged.

Due to the nature of the above-mentioned processes a significant number of these non-compliances will be addressed.

A follow-up inspection to the facility (during which compliance with the newly issued AEL and WML will be assessed), will determine the type of enforcement action, if any, to be taken against the facility.

20146 The following information, which coincides in part with the above, was provided in the 2014 report:

Against this background, and in 2011, DEA undertook an extensive and in-depth APPA registration certificate and WML review process. During this process a number of compliance related challenges and concerns were raised with the facility. It was acknowledged these challenges and concerns had to be dealt with in an efficient and effective manner.

Pursuant to a consideration of all the information gathered during the review process, new air and waste related licences are being finalised to ensure that the issues and concerns identified at the facility are addressed. The new set of licence conditions are aimed at ensuring the facility operates in a compliant manner. Accordingly, DEA has decided not to take any enforcement action against the facility at this juncture. DEA will, however, continue to monitor compliance at the site.

20157 A monitoring inspection with a focus on air quality was conducted at the facility on 24 and 25 of February 2015. The report states that:

The inspection report has not yet been issued to the facility for representations. Accordingly the findings cannot be released at this time.

20168 The following update is provided in 2016:

The inspection report for the 2015 inspection was issued to the facility by DEA on 25 August 2015. The findings were as follows:

  • Non-compliance with conditions of the AEL including PM exceedances at the Boilers and West Sludge Incinerator;
  • emission monitoring and sampling not in line with the approved methods;
  • consultation meetings not held with interested and affected parties as required; and
  • storage of hazardous waste in a manner which contravenes the general duty of care in respect of waste management and storage.

It should be noted that the inspection was conducted before the Minimum Emission Standards came into effect in April 2015. Therefore a request to
obtain the recent emission monitoring reports will be sent to the facility. A decision in relation to the appropriate enforcement action will follow in the
2016/2017 edition of NECER.

  1. National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report 2008/2009 at p27, available at http://cer.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/NECER-2008-9.pdf
  2. National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report 2009/2010 at p25, available at http://cer.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/NECER-2009-10.pdf
  3. National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report 2010/2011 at p40, available at http://cer.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/NECER-2010-11.pdf
  4. National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report 2011/2012 at p36, available at http://cer.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/NECER-2011-12.pdf
  5. National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report 2012/2013 at p36, available at http://cer.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/NECER-2012-13.pdf
  6. National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report 2013/2014 at p48, available at http://cer.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/NECER-2013-14.pdf
  7. National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report 2014/2015, at p49.
  8. National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report 2015/2016, at p57.