Basic assessments may be prepared for certain activities. The content of basic assessment reports is described in section 22 of the EIA Regulations and the process requires an opportunity for public participation in accordance with section 21(2), a draft environmental management plan, an alternatives analysis, and a description of any assumptions, uncertainties and gaps in knowledge. See generally Chapter 3, Part 2 of the EIA Regulations.
Best Practices in Lieu of EIA:
Who Conducts Screening Detail:
Screening is conducted by the environmental assessment practitioner (EIA contractor) to determine whether a basic assessment or a scoping and environmental impact reporting process (S&EIR) is warranted, taking into account applicable guidelines and any advice provided by the competent authority. EIA Regulations, sec. 19.
Criteria for Screening:
List or appendix of project or activity types
Criteria for Screening Detail:
See Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 2010: Listing Notice 1: List of activities and competent authorities identified in terms of sections 24(2) and 24D (activities for which a basic assessment process must be conducted)(Government Notice No. R. 544 of 2010); Listing Notice 2: List of activities and competent authorities identified in terms of sections 24(2) and 24D (activities for which an S&EIR process must be conducted) (Government Notice No. R. 545 of 2010); Listing Notice 3: List of activities and competent authorities identified in terms of sections 24(2), 24(5) and 24D (activities and sensitive areas per province, for which a basic assessment process must be conducted) (Government Notice No. R. 546).
Who Prepares EIA:
Project Proponent (with or without contractor)
Who Prepares EIA Detail:
An applicant must appoint an environmental assessment practitioner (EAP) to manage the application and prepare the basic assessment report or S&EIR report. EIA Regulations, sec. 16(1). The project proponent may apply for an exemption from this requirement. NEMA, sec. 24M(1); EIA Regulationss, sec. 50. “If an exemption from the appointment of an EAP has been applied for, the applicant must perform the tasks required of an EAP as indicated in this guideline.” Guideline on Public Participation, EIA Guideline and Information Document Series (March 2013) at 5, http://eadp.westerncape.gov.za/sites/default/files/your-resource-library/EIA%20Guidelines%20%26%20Info%20Doc%20Series%20March%202013.pdf (accessed June 26, 2013).
Who Pays for EIA Detail:
"Before conducting basic assessment or S&EIR, an applicant must appoint an EAP at own cost to manage the application." EIA Regulations, sec. 16(1).
EIA Contractor Qualifications:
EIA Contractor Qualification Detail:
An environmental assessment practitioner (EAP) must be independent, have expertise in conducting environmental impact assessment, comply with regulations, and disclose potential conflicts. EIA Regulations, sec. 17. The project proponent must “take all reasonable steps to verify the EAP to be appointed complies with regulation 17.” EIA Regulations, sec. 16(2)(a).
Conflict of Interest Detail:
When an EAP submits an application for environmental authorization under the basic assessment process or the S&EIR process, the EAP must submit a declaration of interest along with the completed application. EIA Regulations, secs. 21(1) and 26(b)(i). If the competent authority has reason to believe that an EAP or contracted specialist is not complying with the regulations or is not acting independently, it may refuse to accept further reports or input from the contractor and may request the project proponent to commission an external review of the reports prepared by the contractor, redo any specific aspects of the work, or complete any unfinished work. EIA Regulations, sec. 18. An interested and affected party may notify the competent authority of suspected non-compliance on the part of an EAP. EIA Regulations, sec. 18(2). The competent authority must investigate the allegation. EIA Regulations, sec. 18(3).
Terms of Reference Detail:
The terms of reference are embodied in a "scoping report" prepared by the EIA contractor and submitted to the competent authority for review and approval. "If the competent authority accepts a scoping report and advises the EAP . . . to proceed with the tasks contemplated in the plan of study for environmental impact assessment, the EAP must proceed with those tasks . . . ." EIA Regulations, sec. 31(1). The plan of study for environmental impact assessment is a document that forms part of a scoping report and sets out how an environmental impact assessment must be conducted. EIA Regulations, secs. 1(1) and 28(1)(n).
Days for Decision Maker Review:
60 (accept/reject EIA) + 45 (decision)
Automatic Approval Detail:
If the decisionmaking timeframe (including automatic extension of 60 days) expires, the project proponent may seek judicial review under sections 6(2)(g) and (3) of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000 (agency failure to take decision). EIA Regulations, secs. 9(3)-(4)).
Written Decision Detail:
After the competent authority has reached a decision, it must within two days notify the applicant of its decision – and, if available, the opportunity to appeal the decision – in writing and provide reasons for the decision. EIA Regulations, sec. 10(1). See also section 37 of the EIA Regulations (describing required content of environmental authorisation)
Expiry of Decision:
Indefinite unless specified in authorisation
Expiry of Decision Detail:
EIA Regulations, sec. 37(d)(1)
Financial Assurances or Bond:
Financial Assurances Detail:
“An applicant for an environmental authorisation relating to prospecting, mining, exploration, production or related activities on a prospecting, mining, exploration or production area must make the prescribed financial provision for the rehabilitation, management and closure of environmental impacts, before the Minister of Minerals and Energy issues the environmental authorisation.” NEMA, sec. 24P(1). The Minister may make the financial provision applicable to other applications. NEMA, sec. 24P(7). See also NEMA, secs. 24(5)(b) and (d), 24P, and 24R; EIA Regulations, secs. 33(g)(v) and 37(1)(d).