EnviroServ considering court action amid pending Shongweni landfill shutdown


EnviroServ considering court action amid pending Shongweni landfill shutdown

Matthew Savides | 2017-04-05 13:19:33.0

The Shongweni landfill‚ which caused a stench among residents of the Durban’s outer-west suburbs‚ faces closure following an investigation.

Image by: EnviroServ

The company responsible for the controversial Shongweni landfill site‚ west of Durban‚ says it is “considering its options” after the department of environmental affairs ordered it to shut down.

On Tuesday‚ the department suspended EnviroServ’s Waste Management Licence for the site‚ giving the company until Friday to cease operations. Residents of nearby suburbs in the Outer West area of the eThekwini municipality have blamed the facility for a “noxious” smell.

“There is still an unacceptably high level of landfill gases being emitted from the Shongweni landfill site‚ which the authorities have confirmed to be the source of the malodour emanating from the site.

The decision to suspend the Waste Management Licence (WML) is therefore one of the significant steps to a permanent solution to this catastrophic situation‚” the department said. But EnviroServ CEO Dean Thompson said the company was likely to head to the courts to appeal the decision.

 “The department has this week issued the Shongweni Landfill site with a notice of suspension of its Waste Management Licence. Our legal experts are currently considering this notice and will act in due course.

The provisional advice is that an appeal will be filed against this directive as we believe that not all relevant information has been properly considered‚” he said. Thompson added that‚ just last week‚ the company shared air quality data with the department from monitors installed in affected communities.

“These monitors revealed the presence of high levels of sulfur dioxide‚ a harmful gas with a pungent odour‚ a gas typically produced by combustion processes‚ and which does not emanate from landfill sites.

This‚ to our knowledge‚ has yet to be followed up by the authorities. We will continue engaging and sharing information with the Upper Highway NPC and their appointed experts WSP. Our remediation plans as agreed-upon with the DEA remain on track to mitigate our diminishing contribution to the existing odour problem in the coming months‚” he said.

 – TMG Digital/The Times

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