The tank farm in the Port Elizabeth harbour is managed by Shell. The National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act (NEM: AQA) (No. 39, 2004) amendment published in the Government Gazette no. 36161 on 15 February 2013 now requires Shell to tighten up their environmental controls – i.e. spend money on ensuring the continued good health of all citizens within close proximity of the harbour!
The act does allow for Shell to ask for permission to extend the time to compliance. This necessitates a public meetings and a report to Environmental Affairs on how the public feel about such an extension – another kudo for our wonderful open constitution and another reason for business to employ consultants to mitigate and reduce their costs.
The PE Tank Farm has been slated to be moved to Coega within the next couple of years – initially expected to be in 2015 and now it appears to be around 2017 despite excavations having already begun.
In an indication that compliance will be a costly business Shell have applied to have their compliance with the above amendment extended to 2017. Rather disingenuous one would say as they are expected to be gone from the PE Harbour by then. In the same BID document Shell say that they are applying for a postponement as the facility is relocating in 2017 and that; “…the terminal in its current location has a negligible impact on ambient air quality”.
Shell does not give figures as to what their Minimum Emission Standards (MES) at the facility are though and how much in excess of the MES they are.
Shell recently advertised their intention to hold a public meeting and have been sending stakeholders notification of such meeting, BUT, this is where the concern comes into play as they have chosen to hold the public meeting at a date, time and place that are certainly inconvenient to the general public as you will see from the email below:
Invitation to attend a public meeting for the Application for Postponement of Certain Minimum Emission Standards for the Shell Port Elizabeth Terminal
Venue: The Terrace at The Grand Hotel, Cnr Belmont Terrace and Whites Road, Central Port Elizabeth
Time: 17:00 – 20:00
You are cordially invited to attend a public meeting to discuss Shell South Africa’s Application for Postponement of Certain Minimum Emission Standards for the Shell Port Elizabeth Terminal. Please find attached a background information document with further information.
If you would like to attend the meeting please R.S.V.P by 14.05.2014
If you were one of the people who signed the petition here: Your chance to stop Shell trampling on your rights – and have not received your invite please write to Sarisha post haste and confirm your attendance – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please do attend the public meeting as it certainly appears that Shell are doing all in their power to evade the many objections that are sure to come from members of the Port Elizabeth public.[Tweet “It seems that Shell are trying to evade objections from members of the PE public”]