Environmental consultant Rayten Engineering Solutions is acquiring South African National Accreditation System accreditation for stack emissions monitoring and dust fallout monitoring to improve its service offering.
The company plans to expand its business into Africa and Europe in the near future and is also working on attaining Level 2 black economic empowerment accreditation. This will further improve its business transformation goals to allow for the growth of individuals within the business.
The hope is that all industries and sectors will increasingly become aware of their responsibilities in minimising harsh impacts on the environment and the importance of doing so, says Rayten executive manager Sophia Rosslee.
“We would like to see that there is transparency between emitters and the regulatory body, and that different sectors and industries engage regularly and encourage information sharing so that we can all learn from one another,” she says.
Rosslee emphasises that there should be a balance between environmental legislative requirements and businesses continuing to run efficiently and profitably.
Most importantly, competent people should occupy positions regarding the inspection of emissions to assist South Africa in reaching international air-quality standards and fulfilling the agreements it has signed.
“[There is] momentum for a regulatory body to be formed to ensure that the people who are involved with the monitoring of emissions in terms of Section 21 of Air Quality Act No 39 of 2004 are properly educated and trained to accepted standards,” she points out.
The recent legislative developments have shown significant progress in attempting to manage air quality in South Africa. With the introduction of carbon tax in South Africa – and the payment of the tax into the National Revenue Fund – Rosslee states that a regulation should be put forward to channel those funds towards providing more efficient and updated process equipment for facilities that are unable to afford them.
This would, subsequently, minimise the quantity of atmospheric emissions.
“From a consultative point of view, we find that many of our clients are unaware of new regulations that have come into effect. Going forward, regular awareness campaigns – apart from the mandatory public participation process – should take place in central areas, alerting company owners, consultants and other interested and affected parties about new regulations, and amendments to old regulations.”
Further, the Carbon Tax Act No 15 of 2019 – recently signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa – states that any company or entity that undertakes an activity – above a certain threshold – and is responsible for the release of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, is required to report on their emissions to the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries by March 31 every year.
These activities generally include stationary fuel combustion installations; fugitive emissions associated with coal mining, and oil and gas operations waste disposal and treatment, including wastewater; industrial process emissions; mineral production and processing activities; chemical production activities; pulp and paper production activities; glass production activities; and metallurgical industrial activities.
Rosslee highlights that GHG emitters are required to pay tax on emissions that were reported to the department. As such, Rayten is working with companies to calculate their GHG emissions and determine their carbon tax liability.
Moreover, Rayten is also assisting companies in developing a pollution prevention plan for their operations, which specifically focuses on reducing their overall carbon footprint.