The purpose of environmental assessments is to gather information, involve the public and ultimately to support sustainable development. Environmental assessments are implemented to maintain human and environmental health by examining the implications a proposed project may have on the biophysical, social and economic components (Alberta Government, 2013). Certain regulations pertaining to environmental affairs are in place to regulate activities and to promote informed decision making (National Environmental Management Act, 1998).
The National Environmental Management Act (1998) refers to the environment as being the “surroundings within which humans exist and that are made
i. the land, water and atmosphere of the earth;
ii. microorganisms, plant and animal life;
iii. any part or combination of (i) and (ii) and the interrelationships among and
between them; and
iv. the physical, chemical, aesthetic and cultural properties and conditions of the
foregoing that influence human health and wellbeing.”
The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT, 2004) on the other hand defines the environment as the “biophysical, social and economic components, as well as the connections within and between these components”.
The Oxford Dictionary (n.d.) refers to an impact as “a marked effect or influence”.
The Oxford Dictionary (n.d.) refers to assessment as “the action of assessing someone or something”.
Carroll and Turpin (2009) defines environmental impact assessment as “a procedure which serves to provide information to local authority planners, other regulators and authorising bodies, other interested parties and t...
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National Air Quality Act, 2004. . Government Gazette, South Africa.
National Environmental Management Act, 1998. . Government Gazette, South Africa.
National Environmental Management Waste Act, 2008. . Government Gazette, South Africa.
Oxford Dictionary, n.d. No Title [WWW Document]. URL http://www.oxforddictionaries.com (accessed 5.8.14).
South African Cole Mine Holdings Limited (Pty) Ltd, 2013. Plan of Study for the construction a new coal processing plant and tailings storage facility on portions 5 and 10 of the Farm Voorslag 274 IS, at the existing Umlabu mine, in the Breyten area of the Mpumalanga Province.
Walmsley, B. and Tshipala, K.E., 2007. Handbook on Environmental Assessment Legislation in the SADC Region. the Development Bank of Southern Africa in collaboration with the Southern African Institute for Environmental Assessment, Midrand, South Africa.
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