Legal challenge to proposed coal-fired power station

Kuyasa Mining and iPower have withdrawn their opposition to the court challenge launched by groundWork – with the assistance of the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) – of the proposed KiPower coal-fired power station, to be based near Delmas, Mpumalanga. groundWork launched court proceedings in August 2017 against KiPower’s environmental authorisation and the Minister of Environmental Affairs’ decision to allow the power station to go ahead without a climate change impact assessment.  The Minister could have averted the court proceedings if she had responded to letters from the CER sent before the litigation was launched. KiPower and Kuyasa’s attorneys have now indicated that they plan to apply afresh for a new environmental authorisation for the power station, and that they will not be opposing the application to have KiPower’s existing environmental authorisation set aside. It is not yet known whether the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Minister intend to oppose the litigation.  KiPower’s existing environmental authorisation remains in place until set aside. It is also not clear whether KiPower’s new environmental impact assessment (EIA) application will include a climate change impact assessment and will address the numerous deficiencies and water pollution concerns that arose from the original EIA. The Hawerklip community and other communities in the Highveld – with whom groundWork is working – have strong objections to this proposed power station, given the impacts it will have on, amongst other things, the already high air pollution, the water resources on which they depend, climate change, and most importantly, their health and overall wellbeing.

Contact Annette Gibbs, Centre for Environmental Rights NPC, Tel  082 467 1295, agibbs@cer.org.za

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Source: EE plublishers

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