Draft National Air Quality Appeal Regulations (“the draft appeal regulations”) were published for comment on 24 October 2014 by the Minister of Environmental Affairs in terms of section 53 of the National Environmental Management Air Quality Act 39 of 2004 (“the Act”).

The draft appeal regulations govern appeals lodged against decisions made by official in terms of the Act to the appeal authority. “Appeal authority” is defined in the draft appeal regulations as the Minister, MEC, a designated authority or an appeal authority in terms of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000. An appeal is not available if the decision was made by one of these parties in his or her capacity as the licencing authority.

An appellant must submit a written appeal within 20 days of the date that the decision was sent to the appellant. The appeal must be submitted to the person who administers the appeal on behalf of the appeal authority (the appeal administrator); the applicant; and any interested and affected parties.

The appeal must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • a statement setting out the grounds of the appeal;
  • any documents which were not considered when the original decision was taken; and
  • a statement by the appellant confirming that they have submitted the appeal within the 20 days and to all the relevant parties.

No mention has been made as to what the fee for the appeal will be.

Parties who received the appeal submission must then submit written responses within 20 days of receipt thereof.

The Appeal Authority may decide to seek expert advice or appoint an appeal panel, who, once appointed, must provide advice to the appeal administrator within 10 days from receipt of instruction.

The appeal administrator must make a recommendation to the appeal authority within 30 days of receipt of written responses or within 10 days of receipt of advice from the expert or appeal board. The appeal authority must then reach a decision within 20 days of receipt of the recommendation from the appeal administrator and provide the appellant with written reasons for the decision. The decision must be communicated to all parties in terms of section 47D of the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998.

In the interim period before the draft appeal regulations commence, appeals that are currently still pending or that are lodged prior to the commencement of the draft appeal regulations, must be finalised in terms of the legislation that applied when the appeal was lodged.

Comments on these draft appeal regulations must be lodged by 24 November 2014.