19 May 2014 by Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Environmental Alert

National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, No 39 of 2004: Declaration of greenhouse gases as priority air pollutants

Greenhouse gases have been declared priority air pollutants under the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, No 39 of 2004: Declaration Of Greenhouse Gases As Priority Air Pollutants (Declaration). These gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride.

If a party conducts any activities in relation to these greenhouse gases identified in Annexure I of the Declaration (such as the manufacturing of chemicals that produce greenhouse gases) and produces more than 0.1 megatonne of any one of the gases per year, a prevention pollution plan must be submitted to the Minister.

Failure to submit such a plan is an offence and, on conviction, a party could be liable to a maximum fine or imprisonment of R10 million and 10 years respectively.

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