Section 15(2) of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act (NEM: AQA) (Act No. 39 on 2004) requires each province to develop an Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP), to be included in the Environmental Management Plan (EMP). In response, Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment (GDACE) developed the first provincial AQMP in South Africa in 2009.
The Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) has initiated a project to review the 2009 Gauteng AQMP. uMoya-NILU Consulting (Pty) Ltd was appointed to assist GDARD and to lead the revision of the AQMP. The AQMP review is a 14-month project and is planned to conclude in March 2018.
The main aim of the project is to review the current AQMP and to develop new objectives and strategies to ensure improvement in provincial ambient air quality and the maintenance thereof. The AQMP review project for Gauteng involves a number of steps, namely:
- Stakeholder participation aims to ensure that all issues are identified and that interventions are appropriate and the implementation is successful. In the development and implementation of an AQMP, the range of stakeholders include National and Provincial Government, industry, agriculture, planning and development departments, communities, NGOs, and academic institutions.
- The Status Quo Assessment describes trends and the state of air quality in an area including the climate, meteorology, geography and sources of air pollutants. Ambient monitoring data and dispersion modelling describes the current state of air quality. The assessment also addresses the status of capacity in the municipality to fulfil the air quality management mandate.
- Air quality management gaps and issues are then identified from the status quo assessment and provides focus for setting goals for the AQMP.
- The vision and mission of the 2009 AQMP are assessed and revised according to the gap and problem analysis, and short and longer-term goals are set in consultation with the relevant stakeholders to guide air quality management by GDARD for the next 5 years.
- Realistic, implementable and appropriate intervention strategies are then developed with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the desired outcome will be achieved through the implementation of the AQMP. The intervention strategies include :
- Action plans with activities;
- The responsible implementing party;
- Timeframes for implementation and indicators to monitor implementation and, the efficacy of the interventions.
- Monitoring and evaluation: Monitoring is the on-going assessment of the implementation of the AQMP, while evaluation is the assessment of the respective interventions in reaching the goals of the AQMP.