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BASIC ASSESSMENT REPORT (BAR) AND A SCOPING/ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT (EIR) UNPACKED

What is a Basic Assessment Report (BAR)?

A BAR is required if any activities from the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations, 2014 (as amended in 2017) in terms of Listing Notice 1 (GN: 327) and Listing notice 3 (GN: 324) of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998) are triggered. These are smaller scale activities, the impacts of which are generally known and can be easily managed. Typically, these activities are considered less likely to have significant environmental impacts and, therefore, do not require a full-blown and detailed EIA. However, it still requires public notification and participation, consideration of the potential environmental impacts of the activity, assessment of possible mitigation measures, and an assessment of whether there are any significant issues or impacts that might require further investigation.

BAR process and AEL (Atmospheric Emissions License): 

A BAR will be required where there is an expansion to existing facilities, and where the expansion will result in the need for a new, or amendment of the existing AEL.

Example:

The client operates an asphalt plant and holds an AEL for its boilers. The client plans to expand their operations by including an additional boiler to increase their product turnover. As the facility will be expanded to accommodate the additional boiler, and the existing AEL will need to be amended (due to material changes in the emissions profile), a BAR will be required.

Scoping and Environmental Impact Report (EIR)

A full-blown scoping and EIR is required when activities described in Listing notice (GN: 325), are triggered. These activities (due to their nature and/or extent) are likely to have significant impacts that cannot be easily predicted. They are therefore higher risk activities that are associated with potentially higher levels of pollution, waste, and environmental degradation. A Scoping Report requires a description of the proposed activity and any feasible and reasonable alternatives, a description of the the environment that may be affected, and the way the biological, social, economic and cultural aspects of the environment may be impacted upon by the proposed activity; description of environmental issues and potential impacts, including cumulative impacts that have been identified, and details of the public participation process undertaken. Scoping Report must contain a Plan of Study for the EIA, specifying the methodology to be used to assess the potential impacts, and the specialists or specialist reports that will be necessary.

Scoping and EIR process, and AEL:

A Scoping and EIR is required for the construction of facilities or infrastructure for any process or activity which requires an AEL. The activities which require an AEL in terms of Section 21 of the Air Quality Act can be found here.

Example:

The client plans to build a new foundry facility to produce steel and ferro alloys.  Foundries are a listed activity in terms of Section 21 Air Quality Act (Subcategory 4.10). As the construction and operation of the facility will require an AEL, a full-blown scoping and EIR is required as part of the environmental authorisation process.

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