11 February 2019

South Africa: Eskom Wants to Dodge Air Pollution Rules - Again


Energy Minister Jeff Radebe told last week's Mining Indaba that government is investing in research to develop 'clean coal technologies'. But Eskom's power stations show that coal-based power cannot be clean.

Eskom has asked for 10 of its polluting coal-fired power stations to be exempted from air pollution emission regulations that come into effect in 2020 -- and it says that some of its stations will never be able to comply.

The power utility wants the stations to be granted a suspension of compliance, which will mean that they do not have to meet the minimum emissions standards due to come into effect from April 1 2020.

The minimum emissions standards regulate how much air pollution can be released by industries to limit the harmful impacts on people's health, wellbeing and the environment. They were decided on during a five-year multi-stakeholder process and published on March 31, 2010.

Air pollution is one of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) top 10 priorities for 2019 as the quality of air worldwide has plummeted. Eskom's air pollution is responsible for more than 2,200 deaths a year, and causes thousands of cases of bronchitis and asthma in adults and children annually, according to research...

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