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SA waste law update; September 2013

SA Waste Act, Amendments and Bills, relevant to South African waste law update are posted here. There are major updates in September 2013.

SA Waste Act

The SA National Environmental Management Waste Act includes these Regulations;
• R634 Waste Classification and Management Regulations
• R635 National Norms and Standards for Assessment of Waste for Landfill Disposal
• R636 National Norms and Standards for Disposal of Waste to Landfill.

Queries are invited to the Department of Environmental Affairs via Shauna Costley on 012 310 3330, or Rendani Ndou on 012 310 3782, rndou@environment.gov.za

SA Waste Amendment Bill

Comment by 16 September on Bill 26 of 2013 and Government Notice 845 in Government Gazette 36765 of 16 August 2013, under the National Environmental Waste Act and Regulations.

Parliament had passed the NEM Waste Amendment Bill of 2013, proposing that;
(i) The Waste Act would apply to residue deposits and residue stockpiles regulated under the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act;
(ii) The Minister of Mineral Resources is the licensing authority where a waste management activity involves residue deposits and residue stock piles on a prospecting, mining, exploration or production area;
(iii) Provision for regulations for the management and control of residue stock piles and deposits on a prospecting, mining, exploration and production area.

SA Waste Information System, SAWIS, back on line (again)

The South African Waste Information System which has been offline for some time, has been redeployed at http://sawic.environment.gov.za

Queries are invited to Jeremia Sibande or Musa Maringa on 012 395 1808 /1806. The SAWIS Regulations have been in force for some time. Chemical employer organisation CAIA intends to approach the Department for certain amendments to be considered.

SA business waste law update

Government notice R634 in Government Gazette 36784 of 23 August 2013, under the Waste Act and Regulations, provides waste classification and management regulations, relevant to the Standard for Assessment of Waste for Landfill Disposal, and Standard for Disposal of Waste to Landfill;

(i) Waste must be separated and classified within 180 days (and at stages reclassified) according to SANS 10234, excluding domestic waste or waste listed in annexure 1 (such as business waste not containing hazardous waste or hazardous chemicals);

(ii) Safety data sheets (MSDSs) must be prepared for hazardous waste as per SANS 10234, with variations for general non-domestic waste that contains hazardous waste or hazardous chemicals and for mixed hazardous chemical wastes from analytical laboratories (health care risk waste is covered by a separate regulation);

(iii) It is prohibited to have or accept unclassified waste (where classification is required) that existed for more than 180 days, diluting contents simply for classification or assessment purposes or waste managers storing waste for more than 18 months (they must ensure their waste is re-used, recycled, recovered, treated and/or disposed of within that period (Contemporary Gazette reports that five years is given for re-use, recycling, recovery, treatment or disposal of waste currently stored in an existing facility);

(iv) Container or storage impoundment holding waste must be labelled, or keep records where labelling is not possible;

(v) It is prohibited to mix or treat waste so that this reduces the potential for re-use, recycling or recovery or results in treatment that is not controlled and not permanent;

(vi) Waste must be assessed in terms of the Assessment Standard before disposal in a landfill as per the Disposal Standard. (Contemporary Gazette reports that the Assessment Standard will not apply to annexure 1 types of waste (waste tyres are covered in a separate regulation) or generators of business waste that is collected by a municipality (as business waste not involving hazardous waste or chemicals already appear in annexure 1 the latter seems to refer to business waste involving hazardous waste or chemicals). The Disposal Standard will not apply to domestic waste, business waste not containing hazardous waste or hazardous chemicals, non-infectious animal carcasses, garden waste, waste packaging, waste tyres, building and demolition waste not containing hazardous waste or hazardous chemicals, excavated earth material not containing hazardous waste or hazardous chemicals or business waste collected by a municipality);

(vii) Applications may be made to exclude certain waste management activities from requiring a licence;

(viii) Accurate and up to date prescribed records of the management of waste must be kept (This requirement will not apply to domestic waste, business waste not containing hazardous waste or chemicals, non-infectious animal carcasses, garden waste, waste packaging, waste tyres, building and demolition waste not containing hazardous waste or hazardous chemicals or excavated earth material not containing hazardous waste or hazardous chemicals);

(ix) Hazardous waste, asbestos waste, expired or unused hazardous products, mixed waste, general non-domestic waste that contains hazardous waste or hazardous chemicals, mixed hazardous chemical wastes from analytical laboratories and health care risk waste must meet the waste manifest system information requirements (the manifest must be kept for 5 years, accompany any transport of such waste, and be filled out by transporters and waste managers);

(x) Existing waste must be classified, re-classified or assessed within periods ranging from 1 to 3 years after the draft regulations are made regulations.

Ozone-depleting substances Regulations

Comment by 15 October on Government Notice 849 in Government Gazette 36749 of 15 August 2013, under National Environmental Management Act and Regulations; PCB Materials, relevant to draft phase-out of the use of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) materials and PCB contaminated materials. See GG 36749 under GN849.

South Africa has published Ozone Depletion Substances (ODS) Regulations, which includes phase-out of HCFCs. CFCs were banned by law in South Africa 20 years ago. Examples of ODS include chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydro-fluorocarbons (HFCs).

The United Nations designates September 16 as World Ozone Day. Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) are manmade chemicals which include those which contain Chlorine, Fluorine, Bromine, or a combination thereof, which have a high potential to deplete the ozone layer through chemical interactions with the earth’s stratosphere.

PCBs were typically used in transformers, capacitors, voltage regulators, switches, reclosers, bushings, electromagnets, oil used in motors and hydraulic systems, old electrical devices or appliances containing PCB capacitors, fluorescent light ballasts, cable insulation, thermal insulation material (including fiberglass, felt, foam, and cork), adhesives and tapes, oil-based paint, caulking, plastics, carbonless copy paper and floor finish.

There are timeframes for phasing out and disposal apply to import, use, store, transport, process, treat or dispose of:
• PCB material (oil or articles with PCB concentration greater than 500mg per kg)
• PCB contaminated material (oil or articles with PCB concentration greater than 51mg/kg but less than 500mg/kg)
• PCB waste.

A person may not use PCB materials or PCB contaminated materials after 2023, and a person may not possess PCB materials, PCB contaminated materials or PCB waste in their possession after 2026.

• This post is a summary, and not professional advice, and may include lay terms and interpretations.
• Sources; Contemporary Gazette. CAIA. Responsible Care.

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