The question many people are asking, is air pollution a problem in South Africa?  In short, it is, and it will get worse if the industry does not follow the legislative requirements as set out in the Air Quality Act, 39 of 2004 (AQA). The burning of Fossil Fuels emitted from the combustion of fossil fuels like coal, petroleum and other factory combustibles, as well as pollution emitted from vehicles, trains, and planes causes air pollution.

There are several air pollution laws and regulations in South Africa, and industry should be aligned to these to ensure they are doing what they can to reduce emissions.

We are all aware of effects of air pollution on the environment with the ever-depleting ozone layer, as well as the impacts of pollution on climate change and global warming, but what can be done to reduce air pollution? There are several ways to reduce air pollution from industries, and every employee can do their bit. So start by going green and soft copy documents in the office rather than printing them out, switch off the lights in your office building once everyone has gone home, use energy efficient globes, encourage telephonic meetings rather than face to face meetings, i.e. reduce fuel emissions and your carbon footprint. Plant more trees at the office if you can, but if not at home.

Then for the employer or manufacturers consider the following to reduce your industrial air pollution. Boost the performance of boilers by ensuring regular maintenance is carried out on the boilers. Switching from coal and oil to natural gas, which will reduce operating costs and extend the plant’s life.

An air quality monitoring and air quality management plan can help you measure the types of pollutants and their concentrations, which can then be analyzed and interpreted. This information can be used to take actions and corrected. Ensure you monitor irregularities in pollutants level in the air and keep your pollutants level within limits of the atmospheric emissions regulations.

So what is an atmospheric emission license? In South Africa, it is one of the tools for controlling air pollution. This legislation requires that any operation producing air pollution – which in terms of the Act is referred to as an atmospheric emission – must ensure that they have in place an effective air quality management plan.

For stationary sources of air pollution, i.e. industries such as power plants, oil refineries, industrial facilities, factories and mines it is vitally important to monitor your air quality. Gondwana Environmental solutions an environmental consulting company in Gauteng, South Africa, make it our priority to ensure we are up to date at all time on any changes to laws and regulations in South Africa. We can assist industry in ensuring they are compliant and help them with air pollution monitoring and air pollution management plans.