The lefties’ alternative regulations - 1 April 2014
Turns out the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) is already well on top of these ‘best practices’ as they issued a counter-proposal to the DMR’s regulations last December. The gist of it:
- fracking regs need to comply with all our other existing regs and constitutional requirements (our constitutional right to food and water, to a healthy environment, to information and to just administrative action; the country’s respective environmental, water, waste and air quality acts);
- the regulations must comply with more than just the best practices of industry-invested institutions, like those of the American Petroleum Institute which the current best practices are tied into;
- the regs are ‘streamlined’ under the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (2002) but need to point to other regulations more explicitly;
- the CER points out how the two authorities responsible for monitoring and evaluation - the DMR and the DWA - have such a shortage of staff and skills that they’re not equipped to do the job. This points to one of the longstanding criticisms of SA environmental law - that we might have some of the best legislation, internationally, but if you cannot implement the laws, they’re not much use.
Read the CER’s full analysis here.