In September, 2012, the "Green Scorpions" of Gauteng issued a compliance notice to Arcelo Mittal South Africa (AMSA) regarding non-compliance to environmental legislation. AMSA was instructed to cease operations at the electric arc furnace and submit an atmospheric impact report to deal with the fugitive emissions. The electric arc furnace was shut down in October 2012.
AMSA lodged an objection with the MEC regarding the compliance notice. After the Green Scorpions verified the compliance with emissions limits, including the reasons given in the objection, the MEC withdrew the above instruction. The Green Scorpions continued with monitoring of the Compliance Notice until they were satisfied that AMSA fully complied with all the conditions of the Compliance Notice. A letter was sent to AMSA to this effect.
On 9 February 2013, a fire at the AMSA steel making plant apparently caused extensive damage to the facility. The fire was reported to the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) on Monday 11 February 2013 and, in terms of Section 30 of NEMA, GDARD requested an emergency report from AMSA.
AMSA has submitted the S30 emergency report and has thus far met all the reporting obligations in terms of S30 of NEMA. GDARD wishes to express its sincere appreciation to AMSA for the manner in which it handled the emergency incident. However the Green Scorpions will continue with their monitoring activities at the plant.
A media article was published by the Union Solidariteit that requested GDARD to withdraw the compliance notice and that alleged that jobs will be lost because of the compliance notice. GDARD is of the opinion that the unions were not updated on the latest developments. GDARD is firmly committed to assisting all industries in Gauteng and will provide all the necessary support for industries to comply with the environmental legislation. However, there is a reciprocal obligation on all industries to ensure that they conduct their operations in a sustainable manner so that jobs are not lost.