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The Environment Management Act, 2002 Part IV - Integrated Environmental Management

CONTENTS | PART I | PART II | PART III | PART IV | PART V | PART VI | PART VII | PART VIII | PART IX | PART X | PART XI | SCHEDULE 1

PART IV - INTEGRATED ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT

State of the Environment Report

29. (1) The Minister shall within two years of the entry into force of this Act, and every two years thereafter, publish a State of the Environment Report.

(2) The State of the Environment Report shall provide information on the environment in Swaziland and, in particular, on the quality of the environment, and without limiting its generality, shall:

a. describe the quality of the rural and urban environment and the results of environmental quality monitoring programmes;

b. describe any significant adverse effects that have been caused, are being caused and are likely to be caused in the foreseeable future, and where possible identify the causes and trends;

c. indicate the number and nature of the licences issued under the Act and describe how the licensing system is being implemented in order to improve environmental protection, and where applicable, indicate the type and/or quantity or characteristics of pollutants which may lawfully be discharged under these licences in a particular area, and whether, and to what degree this has increased or decreased;

d. describe the monitoring, enforcement and other measures which have been, and are being taken to address the causes of the adverse effects and to improve environmental quality;

e. list all charges laid and convictions entered for contraventions of this Act;

f. with respect to international agreements and negotiations relating to the environment of Swaziland, the regional or the global environment:

i. report on all agreements to which Swaziland is a party, and on their domestic implementation;

ii. report on negotiations in which Swaziland has participated since the previous State of the Environment Report; and

iii. list all relevant agreements to which Swaziland is not a party and all relevant negotiations in which Swaziland has not participated since the previous State of the Environment Report.

National Environment Mgmt Action Plan

30. (1) The Authority shall, within two years of this Act coming into force and every five years thereafter, prepare and publish a National Environment Mgmt Action Plan.

(2) The National Environment Mgmt Action Plan shall include:

a. an assessment of both the urgency and the importance of actions that should be taken in the short, medium and long-term in order to prevent, eliminate and reduce adverse effects as described in the most recent State of the Environment Report;

b. an assessment of the resources at the disposal of the Government as a whole, the Minister, and the Authority which may be used to take those actions; and

c. a strategy and schedule for the implementation of those actions.

(3) Each draft National Environment Mgmt Action Plan shall be subject to public review in accordance with section 52 before being finalised.

Strategic Environmental Assessments

31. (1) The proponent of a Bill, regulation, public policy, programme, or plan that could have an adverse effect on the protection, conservation or enhancement of the environment or on the sustainable management of natural resources:

a. shall conduct a strategic environmental assessment of the draft Bill, regulation, policy, programme, or plan; and

b. shall not present the Bill to Parliament, make the regulation, or adopt the public policy or programme, unless:

i. the Authority has consented in writing;

ii. the period within which the Authority may lodge an objection with the proponent under subsection (8) has expired without the Authority lodging an objection; or

iii. the Minister, after considering an objection lodged under subsection (9), has consented in writing.

(2) For the purposes of this section:

a. "strategic environmental assessment" and "assessment" means an assessment of the positive and adverse effects that implementation of legislation or of a public policy, programme, or plan is likely to have an impact on the enhancement, protection, and conservation of the environment and on the sustainable management of natural resources;

b. "public policy, plan or programme" means a policy, programme or plan which relates to the whole country or a specific region of the country, and which has been formulated by, or will be implemented by, an organ of Government or a public body and without limitation includes policies, programmes and plans relating to national development, the spatial and structural development of urban and rural areas, land use, livestock, transport, the exploitation of minerals, industrial development, water utilisation, and agriculture, and revisions of any of these;

c. "proponent" means the Government, public body, a private member's Bill mover of corporate body responsible for a Bill, regulation, policy, programme, or plan.

(3) Every strategic environmental assessment report shall include:

a. a full description of the Bill, regulation, public policy, programme, or plan and the objectives it intends to achieve;

b. an identification, description and assessment of the positive and adverse effects that implementation of the proposed policy, programme, plan or legislation is likely to have on the environment and on the sustainable management of natural resources;

c. an identification, description and assessment of the likely effects of alternative means to achieve the objectives of the Bill, regulation, policy, programme, or plan;

d. an identification, description and assessment of a range of practicable measures that could be taken to avoid, mitigate or remedy any adverse effect that may occur as a result of the implementation of the Bill, regulation, policy, programme, or plan; and

e. any other information prescribed by the Minister by regulation.

(4) If any proponent considers that a Bill, regulation, or public policy, programme, or plan, does not require a strategic environmental assessment under this section it shall submit a draft of the relevant document to the Authority and the Authority shall as soon as practicable determine whether or not an assessment is required and shall publish its decision and the reasons for it.

(5) Where there is no single organ of Government or public body responsible for a Bill, regulation, or public policy, programme, or plan, the Minister shall as soon as practicable determine which organ of Government or public body is primarily responsible, and that organ shall be deemed to be the proponent.

(6) Where a determination under subsection (5) is required, no person shall take any step to further the presentation to Parliament, making, adoption, finalisation, amendment, repeal, revocation or implementation of the Bill, regulation, policy, programme, or plan for which a strategic environmental impact assessment is required under this section until the Minister's determination has been made.

(7) After receipt of the strategic environmental assessment report the proponent shall review the legislation, policy, programme or plan taking into consideration the strategic environmental assessment report and shall submit the following documents to the Minister and to the Authority:

a. the strategic environmental assessment report;

b. a report indicating:

i. the revisions that have been made to the original document in order to promote environmental protection and the sustainable management of natural resources or to avoid, mitigate or remedy any adverse effects which implementation of the original legislation, policy, programme or plan, may have had; and

ii. any other measures that have been, or will be taken to avoid, mitigate or remedy any adverse effects, and when these were or will be taken, and if any measures recommended by the assessment report have or will not be taken, the reasons for not doing so; and

c. a revised version of the legislation, policy, programme or plan.

(8) If the Authority is of the opinion that the environmental concerns raised during the strategic environmental assessment process are not adequately addressed by the revised legislation, or public policy, programme or plan, and that additional cost-effective measures to avoid or mitigate these adverse effects should be taken, the Authority, shall within 30 days of receipt of the documents referred to in subsection (7), lodge an objection with the proponent and then consult with the proponent with a view to reaching agreement on the amendments to be made to the revised legislation, or public policy, programme or plan in order to give full effect to the purpose and principles of this Act.

(9) If the Authority and the proponent are unable to reach agreement on the amendments to be made to the revised legislation, or public policy, programme or plan or the measures to be taken, the Director or the proponent may lodge a notice of objection with the Minister.

(10) The Minister may order the documents referred to in subsection (7) to be subjected to public review and/or to a public hearing before making a final determination under subsection (9).

Environmental Assessment

32. (1) Subject to the provisions of regulations made under paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) of section 33, no person shall undertake any project that may have an effect on the environment without the written approval of the Authority, or in the case of a review, of the Minister, and except in accordance with any conditions imposed in that approval.

(2) A person who contravenes sub-section (1) commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding E100,000.00 or to imprisonment to a term not exceeding two years or to both.

(3) No person, organ of Government or public body may grant a permit or licence for the execution of a project referred to in subsection (1) unless an approval for the project has first been granted by the Authority, or the grant of the permit of licence is made conditional upon such approval being granted.

(4) A person proposing to undertake a project referred to in subsection (1) shall submit a project brief to the Authority containing sufficient information to enable the Authority to determine the potential impacts of the project on the environment.

(5) If after reviewing the project brief the Authority is satisfied that:

a. the potential effect of the project on the environment is likely to be minimal or insignificant, it may approve the project;

b. the potential effect on the environment is likely to be more than minimal or insignificant, it may require the applicant:

i. to conduct an environmental impact assessment in relation to the project, with or without a public hearing;

ii. to submit to the Authority an environmental impact statement in accordance with subsection (7); and

iii. to submit to the Authority a comprehensive mitigation plan in accordance with subsection (8).

(6) Subject to this Act, the Authority may delegate to another body or person any of its functions under this section and may impose conditions with respect to the exercise of those delegated functions, provided that nothing in this subsection shall be construed so as to absolve the Authority from ultimate responsibility for any act done by such a body or person in the exercise of this delegated authority.

(7) An environmental impact statement shall include:

a. a full description of the project and the aim(s) it is intended to achieve; and

b. an identification, description and assessment of:

i. the likely environmental effects of: the project; alternative means of carrying out the project, including the preferred means; alternatives to the project that would achieve the same aim as the project was intended to achieve; and

ii. all relevant measures that could be undertaken to avoid, remedy or mitigate any adverse effects that could be caused by the project;

c. any other information prescribed by the Minister.

(8) A comprehensive mitigation plan shall include:

a. a description of the mitigation measures that will be implemented in order to prevent, reduce or otherwise manage the environmental effects of a project;

b. how these measures will be implemented; and

c. any other information prescribed by the Minister.

(9) If the Authority believes that a project is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the environment of another country the Authority shall advise the Minister who shall forward the environmental impact statement and comprehensive mitigation plan and other relevant reports and documents to that country and shall invite comments within a specified period.

(10) If the Minister has invited comments under subsection (9) the Authority shall not decide whether or not to grant an approval until the period for comments has expired without any comments being received, or if comments are received, without considering those comments.

(11) Upon receipt of the documents required under subsection (5)(b), the Authority may:

a. if the application fails to contain the appropriate administration fee or fails to provide any information required under this section, refuse to consider the application and return the application to the applicant, together with written reasons for the refusal;

b. if the application does not provide adequate information required under this section, advise the applicant in writing of the reasons why it is inadequate and permit the applicant to revise the application, in which case the date of the revised application shall be considered as the date of application;

c. consider the application, and-

i. if it is determined that the project will significantly affect the public interest, require the matter to be subjected to public review and/or request the Minister to convene a public hearing in accordance with section 53; and

ii. if it is determined that the project will not significantly affect the public interest, determine whether to grant the approval and whether to impose any conditions in the approval.

(12) If the Minister, acting on the advice of the Authority, considers that all the environmental concerns or effects are adequately addressed by the environmental impact assessment report and the accompanying comprehensive mitigation plan, the Minister shall grant an approval for a project subject to whatever terms and conditions the Minister considers appropriate to ensure that the adverse effects of the project are effectively avoided, mitigated and/or remedied.

(13) The Minister shall refuse to grant an approval in respect of a project if the Authority considers that the implementation of the project would bring about unacceptable adverse effects or that the mitigation measures may be inadequate to satisfactorily mitigate the adverse effects of the proposed project.

(14) Any person may within 60 days of the granting or refusal of an approval under this section, lodge an appeal in accordance with section 82 if that person:

a. has applied for an approval and the application has been refused;

b. objects to approval conditions imposed by the Minister;

c. objects to the granting of an approval; or

d. objects to a regulation deeming a project or class of projects to be likely, or not to be likely, to have an effect on the environment, or to significantly affect or not significantly affect the public interest.

Regulations

33. The Minister, on the advice of the Authority, may make regulations for the better administration of strategic environmental assessments and environmental impact assessments and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, may by regulation prescribe:

a. categories of projects that are deemed to have an effect on the environment for the purposes of subsection 32(1);

b. categories of projects that are deemed not to have an effect on the environment for the purposes of subsection 32(1) and are consequently exempt from the application of that subsection;

c. categories of projects that are deemed to have a significant effect on the public interest for the purposes of subsection 32(10);

d. procedural requirements for public hearings;

e. the information to be included in a strategic environmental assessment report, an environmental impact assessment report and comprehensive mitigation plan;

f. administration fees for the costs of dealing with approval applications;

g. categories of facilities and activities in respect of which the Authority may require environmental audits to be conducted and may require the submission of report on those audits to the Authority;

h. the contents of an environmental audit reports, which may include among other things-

i. a detailed description of any facility or activity;

ii. a detailed description of the environmental effects of a facility or activity; and

iii. plans to prevent and reduce the risk of adverse effects, and to remedy adverse effects, caused by a facility or activity; and

iv. penalties if any person fails to comply with a plan under subparagraph (iii) of paragraph (h).

i. penalties if any person fails to comply with a plan under subparagraph (iii) of paragraph (h).

CONTENTS | PART I | PART II | PART III | PART IV | PART V | PART VI | PART VII | PART VIII | PART IX | PART X | PART XI | SCHEDULE 1

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