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Time for industry to comment and prepare for pending regulations to phase out the use of persistent organic pollutants

2 August 2017
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South Africa is a signatory to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Subject to any exemptions that may apply, Parties to the Convention must take steps to eliminate the production and use of Annex A chemicals, to restrict the production and use of Annex B chemicals and to reduce the unintentional release of Annex C chemicals.  

Regulations under the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 (NEMA) relating to phasing out the use of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) materials and PCB-contaminated materials have already been promulgated (PCBs are Annex C chemicals). Subject to the further provisions of the PCB Phase-Out Regulations, the phase-out timeframes for PCBs stipulate that no person may:

  • use any PCB material or PCB-contaminated materials after 2023; or
  • have any PCB materials, PCB-contaminated materials or PCB waste in their possession after 2026, with the exclusion of disposed PCB waste.

Proposed new regulations to phase out the use of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) were published by the Minister of Environmental Affairs on 30 June 2017, inviting members of the public to submit written representations or objections to the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) within 60 days of publication of the notice.