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The company responsible for sending interested and affected parties’ (IAP) comments on KZN’s proposed off-shore drilling to the Petroleum Agency of South Africa (PASA), says the process suffered no prejudice after comments were omitted from the official report. This comes after Environmental Resources Management (ERM) admitted to an oversight during the collating of IAP comments, which led to some being mistakenly omitted from the comments and response report (CRR). ERM also failed to respond to these comments.
‘Having carefully reviewed the omitted comments, ERM concluded that no information was presented that has not been addressed by responses in previous comments received earlier during the public participation process,’ said ERM in a statement.
ERM has collated the omitted comments into a supplementary CRR which was submitted to PASA on 22 February. Hard copies of the supplementary CRR are available at, among other places, Richards Bay library.
‘Because there was no new information in the omitted comments, responses to them, or the final EIA report, it follows that there was no legal obligation to circulate the final EIA report for further comment to the IAPs before submitting it to the decision maker.
‘It also follows that since IAPs had no further right to comment on the final EIA report and the specialists’ reports, they suffered no prejudice as a result of the circulation of the supplementary CRR.’
These two reports are available for public viewing on the project website – www.erm.com/eni-exploration-eia, as well as at the Richards Bay library and other public libraries along the east coast.
ERM is the independent assessment practitioner for Eni South Africa BV and Sasol Africa Limited, which hold an exploration right off the east coast of South Africa.
Eni and Sasol are considering the possibility of conducting an exploration drilling programme in Block ER236 to assess the commercial viability of the hydrocarbon reservoir for future development.
Reports are available for public viewing on the project website – www.erm.com/eni-exploration-eia