• Philip Dukas

Environmental Compliance Monitoring - Part One

Updated: Nov 7, 2021

What is Environmental Compliance?

Environmental compliance is defined as: "conforming to environmental laws, regulations, standards and other requirements."

Environmental Compliance Monitoring

Environmental compliance monitoring is a program that was developed to monitor operations within an organization and to make sure they are environmentally safe and sound.

Environmental Compliance and Enforcement in South Africa

In South Africa (and elsewhere in the world) project developments are generally issued with some form of Environmental Authorization (EA) - previously known as a Record of Decision (RoD). This is done following a successful environmental impact assessment process, be it a Basic Assessment or full Scoping-EIA.

Contained within such an Environmental Authorization are various requirements stipulated by the authorizing Department (e.g. DEADP) upon the Applicant (Developer).

One section in particular lays out the requirements for monitoring, evaluating and reporting on environmental compliance in relation to National, Provincial and Local legislation and regulations, as well as in relation to the requirements contained within the EIA, the Environmental Authorization and the mitigation measures contained within the approved Environmental Management Plan (EMP).

The Importance of an Environmental Management Plan

There are three broad categories of environmental management plans:

  • The construction EMP

  • The operations EMP

  • The decommissioning EMP

However, the objectives of these EMPs remain the same:

  • To identify the potential impacts the proposed activity or project will have on the environment

  • To develop measures and strategies to mitigate, minimize and manage these impacts effectively

Environmental Authorization

In most cases the Environmental Authorization (EA) will refer to the appointment of either an independent (or not) full-time or part-time Environmental Control Officer (ECO) who is suitably qualified and experienced to monitor, evaluate and report on environmental compliance to the stipulated Department, Environmental Monitoring Committee (EMC) and/or Project Team.

The environmental compliance monitoring aspect is the practical, on-the-ground step for environmental management to ensure the academic research, planning and management recommendations are actually implemented - thus mitigating the negative environmental and social impacts that were identified (e.g. protection of wetlands, prevention of hazardous waste pollution).

It's important to note that the goal is not only to minimize, mitigate and manage, but also to enhance the positive impacts/opportunities that were conceptualized so as to add value to the project and its stakeholders (e.g. biodiversity offsets).

Adaptera Strategic Support Services - Environmental Compliance

At Adaptera, we put the environment first and have the knowledge and expertise to help other businesses do the same.

We can assist your organisation with achieving environmental compliance as we work towards ensuring a bright, sustainable future for all.

To find out more, please don't hesitate to contact us.

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