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Article

So.Africa: Environmental groups oppose Eskom's application for "permission to keep polluting"

"Eskom wants permission to keep on polluting", 19 March 2018

Environmental groups are fuming after Eskom applied for another postponement to regulations that would reduce pollution from one of their power plants. The Highveld Environmental Justice Network and the Life After Coal Campaign‚ which includes the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER)‚ Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and groundWork‚ objected to Eskom applying for a postponement for their Tutuka power station - near Standerton in Mpumalanga - to comply with the minimum emission standards (MES). MES is the maximum amount of air pollution allowed...Naledzi Environmental Consultants‚ on behalf of Eskom‚ said in a document that sets out the background to Eskom’s application that Tutuka will not be able to comply due to “various constraints”. Eskom was granted an extension to meet MES deadlines in 2015. They want to retain their levels for Tutuka until 2024. Environmental groups said‚ however‚ this means that Tutuka’s emissions will be seven times the required minimum emissions standards come 2020...CER estimated pollution from Tutuka to be responsible for 192 “equivalent attributable deaths”‚ over 1000 cases of bronchitis‚ 204 hospital admissions‚ 340‚963 restricted activity days and 85‚533 lost working days. The economic loss is estimated to be R2.4-billion annually. Equivalent attributable deaths is used because pollution and other risk factors such as diet‚ disease and smoking indirectly kill people.