Deadline for comments on review of Coastal Waters Discharge Permit extended

An extension has been granted to allow the public to submit their comments on the review of Coastal Waters Discharge Permits issued to fish processing facilities operating within St Helena Bay in the Western Cape. The notice calling for public participation was published in various newspapers on 23 November 2023, as well as on the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment's (DFFE) website. The date for submissions has been extended to 29 February 2024. 'The review process of the Coastal Waters Discharge Permits (CWDPs) aims to amend inconsistencies in the conditions of the CWDPs to establish uniformity and ensure gradual and consistent improvement of water quality in St Helena Bay over a five-year period. 'Persons or entities who discharge, or intend to discharge, effluent from land-based sources are required to obtain a CWDP or a General Discharge Authorisation from DFFE,' the department said on Friday. This is according to Section 69 of the National Environmental Management: Integrated Coa stal Management Act 24 of 2009 (ICM Act) which regulates pollution that originates from land-based sources. Four fish processing establishments (FPEs) in St Helena Bay, namely Lucky Star, West Point Processor, Pioneer Fishing and Amawandle, have historically been discharging effluent into coastal waters using CWDPs obtained prior to the enforcement of the ICM Act. 'The review process intends to set effluent discharge limits based on the 90th percentile of the FPEs' effluent monitoring results from January 2022 to December 2022. Subsequently, the effluent improvement limits will mandate a 20% annual enhancement of interim limits for all FPEs. 'To achieve these improvements and meet the stricter limits, the FPEs will be required to upgrade their infrastructure. Members of the public, including interested and affected stakeholders, are encouraged to take advantage of this extension to make valuable contributions and submissions,' the department said. Inputs can be delivered by hand to: The Director: Coastal Pollution Management Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment 1 East Pier Building, East Pier Road V and A Waterfront, Cape Town Attention: Dr Yazeed Peterson They can also be emailed to fpp@dffe.gov.za. Copies of the current CWDPs, together with proposed amendments, can be downloaded from the department's website at https://www.dffe.gov.za/permits/coastalwatersdischarge or obtained via email from rmolale@dffe.gov.za. Hard copies of these documents can be obtained from any of the four FPF companies mentioned above. Any enquires may be directed to Rueben Molale on 021 819 2493. Source: South African Government News Agency