There are several Acts of Parliament that regulates the way in which organisations, such as filling stations, conduct their day to day business.
These acts apply to the whole of South Africa and address the following key issues:
TO Health and Safety (Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act (Act 85 of 1993));
Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases (COlD) Act (Act 130 of 1993); and
Environment (National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998 as amended) and NEMA).
The construction of a filling station, including associated structures and infrastructures, as well as any facility for the underground storage of dangerous goods, is listed as activity number 3 under Government Notice Number Regulation (GNR). 387 of 2006 in terms of the NEMA, as amended and the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 2006 (Version 1), as promulgated by the DEAT. Activity 3 is described as:
The construction of filling stations, including associated structures and infrastructure, or any other facility for the underground storage of dangerous goods, including petrol, diesel, liquid petroleum gas or paraffin.
The proposed development may require road widening and access roads in excess of 30 m in length within Jan van Riebeeck Street which is listed as activity number 15 in terms of Government Notice R. 386 (Basic Assessment process) of the EIA Regulations of 2006. Activity 15 is described as:
The construction of a road that is wider than 4 m or that has a reserve wider than 6 m, excluding roads that fall within the ambit of anoUler listed activity or which are access roads of less than 30 m long.
In view of the fact that the proposed development includes activities falling within the ambit of Scoping and EIA processes, this application is being conducted as a Scoping and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) application as per the listed activities of the Government Notice Regulation No. 387 of 2006. In addition to NEMA, the following key legislation and guidelines are also relevant to the process:
- Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act (Act 45 of 1965);
- TO Environment Conservation Act (ECA) (Act 73 of 1989);
- Environment Conservation Amendment Act (Act 50 of 2003);
- Hazardous Substances Act (Act 15 of 1973);
- Heritage Resources Act (Act 25 of 1999);
- TO National Building Regulations and Standards Act No. 103 of 1997;
- National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No.1 0 of 2004);
- National Heritage Resources Act, 1999 (Act No. 25 of 1999);
- National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998 as amended);
- National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act (Act 39 of 2004);
- Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act (Act 85 of 1993);
- Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No.2 of 2000);
- DEAT Guideline 3: General Guideline to the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations (2006);
- DEAT Guideline 4: Public Participation (2006); and M DEAT Guideline 5: Assessment of Alternatives and Impacts (2006).
Provincial authorities (Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET)) also have their own regulations for carrying out EIAs.
There may also be municipal by-laws that may include regulations for the quality of effluent water and smoke control. Furthermore, the proposed activity is to comply with all relevant engineering standards as dictated by the SABS and Oil Company Standards, which include:
- SABS 0131 (1977): The storage and Handling of Liquid Fuel. Part 1: Small Consumer Installations;
- SABS 0131(1979): The storage and Handling of Liquid Fuel. Part 11: Larger Consumer Installations;
- SABS 0131 (1982): The storage and Handling of Liquid Fuel. Part 111: Bulk-flashpoint fuel storage and allied facilities at large consumer installations;
- SABS 0131 (1999): The petroleum industry. Part 3: The installation of underground storage tanks, pumps I dispensers and pipe work at service stations and consumer installations;
- SANS 10089 – 3 (1999): The petroleum industry Part 3: The installation of underground storage tanks, pumps I dispensers and pipe work at filling stations and consumer installations;
- SANS 10089 – 2 (2002): The petroleum industry Part 2: Electrical installations in the distribution and marketing sector;
- SANS 10108 (2002): The classification of hazardous locations and the selection of apparatus for use in such locations;
- SANS 10400 (1990): The application of the National Building Regulations;
- SANS 1186 -1 (2003): Symbolic safety signs Part 1: Standard signs and general requirements;
- SANS 10142 – 1 (2003): The wiring of premises Part 1: Low-voltage installations; and
- SANS 1535 (2003): Glass-reinforced polyester-coated steel tanks for the underground storage of hydrocarbons and oxygenated solvents and intended for burial horizontally.
As a guideline, the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD), previously the Gauteng Department of Agriculture Conservation and Environment (GDACE) further requires that their EIA Administrative Guideline for the Construction and Upgrade of Filling Stations and Associated Tank Installations (March 2002), be taken into consideration.
In terms of the guidelines, filling stations can have significant social impacts on the environment, which may detrimentally affect the social well-being of citizens, which include:
- Noise impacts;
- Reduction in land value and real estate properties in proximity of filling stations;
- Visual impact and “sense of place”;
- Impact on the safety and security of an area and specifically adjacent properties;
- Potential impacts on health as a result of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions;
- Impacts associated with fire;
- Impact on the feasibility of filling stations in close proximity, i.e. the financial security of existing filling station owners, job-security of his I her employees; and
- The necessity for rehabilitating the land.