List of activities which result in atmospheric emissions which have a significant detrimental effect on the environment

Last updated: 20 January 2022

This notice contains a list of activities that have atmospheric emissions with significant environmental impacts. It was published in accordance with the terms of section 21(1)(b) of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004.


It establishes minimum emission standards applicable for industrial activities and installations. Furthermore, it stipulates emission measurement requirements, including standards for sampling and analysis methods (listed in Annexure A). Other methods may be used if information that supports the equivalence with established methods is presented and written consent of the National Air Quality Officer is obtained.


The regulation sets different compliance time frames for new and existing plants. In particular, existing plants must comply with minimum emission standards for new plants by 01 April 2020. Application for postponement is possible, but must include an air pollution impact assessment, detailed justification and reasons for the application, and a concluded public participation process.


Further provisions include emissions monitoring requirements and standards as well as reporting requirements. Thus, atmospheric emission license holders shall submit an annual emission report in the form specified by the National Air Quality Officer to the Licensing Authority (Art.17). This report must include the total volumetric flow of gas emitted, the concentration or mass of pollutant for which emissions standards have been set, and the method or combination of methods used for determining the flow rate and concentration.


The regulation also defines that fugitive emissions management plans must be included in the Atmospheric Emission Licenses for listed activities that are likely to generate such emissions.


Part 3 lists the minimum emission standards. Category 1 covers combustion processes and installations. Category 2 sets standards for the petroleum industry, including the production of gaseous and liquid fuels as well as petrochemicals from crude oil, coal, gas, or biomass.


Subcategory 2.1 establishes standards for combustion installations including furnaces; heaters; and boilers with a design capacity equal to or greater than 50 MW heat input. Continuous flaring of hydrogen sulphide-rich gases is prohibited.


Subcategory 2.4 provides standards for petroleum products storage tanks and product transfer facilities (larger than 1000 cubic meters cumulative tankage capacity at a site). Leak detection and repair (LDAR) programs are required for facilities with vapour pressure greater than 14kPa. Prescriptive requirements are set for the control of Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOCs) at storage tanks (e.g. roof legs, slotted pipes and/or dipping well on floating roof tanks must have sleeves fitted to minimise emissions; relief valves on pressurised storage must undergo periodic checks for internal leak; all installations with a throughput of greater than 50'000 m3 per annum of products with a vapour pressure greater than 14 kPa must be fitted with vapour recovery / destruction units).


Subcategory 2.5: sets standards for industrial fuel oil recyclers (with a throughput > 5000 ton/month), with similar requirements as subcategory 2.4 (approved LDAR is required, TVOCs control methods prescribed).


Category 3, entitled Carbonization and Coal Gasification, covers: combustion installations; coke production; tar processes; char, charcoal and carbon black production; electrode paste production; synthetic gas Production and clean-up. Related standards also include LDAR programs and TVOCs control methods.


A total of ten categories are outlined, including “Mineral Processing, Storage and Handling” and “Organic Chemicals Industry”.

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