(Gazetted 8th December 2014)
The ministers of the various governmental departments mandated with providing Authorisation’s relating to mining, water affairs and the environment agreed that a “Single Environmental System” was required, which would result in a standardised, review and decision making process across the various Competent Authority bodies.
This agreement thus drove the promulgation of the New Regulations.
The new Regulations were gazetted and came into effect on the 8th of December 2014. For those that are familiar with the old regulations promulgated in 2010 there are not too many significant changes in terms of the listing activities and their associated triggers.
The most significant, however sees the historical timeframes applied to Competent Authorities now being applied to Environmental Assessment Practitioners (EAP) as well. The rationale behind this was to try and prevent applications being submitted and dragging on for numerous years. The change is also considered to assist the relevant Competent Authorities with achieving their timeframes of decision delivery.
Thus in light of this once an application for Basic Assessment is lodged a decision will be forthcoming in 197 days.
In terms of the Environmental Impact Assessment, a decision will be forthcoming in 300 days from the date of the application being lodged.
If timeframes are not met by the EAP the application will be withdrawn and the applicant / proponent will need to re-apply, with the mandatory fee