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Environmental Impact Assessment

Introduction

MCWAP entails certain activities that require authorisation in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (No. 107 of 1998). Nemai Consulting was appointed by DWS as the independent Environmental Assessment Practitioner to undertake the requisite environmental assessment for MCWAP in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations (Government Notice No. R385, R386 and R387). The EIA decision-making authority is the National Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), as the project proponent (i.e. DWS) is a national department. However, the Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (DEDET) is regarded as a key authority during the execution of the EIA, and all documentation will thus be forwarded to this Department.

Environmental Assesments

As explained, MCWAP is divided into three main components, namely de-bottlenecking of an existing pipeline, Phase 1 and Phase 2. Following pre-consultation with DEA it was decided to submit a Class Application for the three aforementioned sub-projects, where separate environmental assessments are being undertaken for each MCWAP component, as shown in the table below.

MCWAP Component

Environmental Assessment

DEA Reference No.

Phase 1

Scoping & EIA

12/12/20/1465

Phase 2

Scoping & EIA

12/12/20/1466

De-bottlenecking

Basic Assessment

12/12/20/1467

The environmental assessment process for MCWAP Phase 1 and Phase 2 (i.e. Scoping and EIA) is outlined below.


Overview of Scoping and EIA process

SPECIALIST STUDIES

As part of the EIA phase, the following specialist studies have to date been identified for MCWAP:

  • Ecological Study - Terrestrial;
  • Ecological Study - Aquatic;
  • Traffic Impact Assessment;
  • Heritage Impact Assessment;
  • Socio-economic Study; and
  • Visual Impact Assessment.

STATUS QUO

To date, the following milestones have been reached in the respective MCWAP environmental assessments:

  1. Pre-consultation meetings held with DEA on 09 January 2009 and 03 March 2009;
  2. Application Forms (for Phase 1 and Phase 2) and Notice of Intent (for De-bottlenecking) submitted to DEA on 03 April 2009;
  3. Notification and registration period (Scoping Phase) - 14 May to 19 June 2009; and
  4. Public meetings (Scoping Phase) - 27 to 28 May 2009.

The next step is for the draft Scoping Reports (Phase 1 and Phase 2) and draft Basic Assessment Report (De-bottlenecking) to be lodged for public review, which is anticipated to start from early November 2009.

 

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