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Lexis® Practical Guidance: Environmental Law

Why Lexis® Practical Guidance: Environmental Law ?

Users get direct access to critical, up-to-date information and guidance that they can rely on.

Lexis® Practical Guidance Environmental Law provides clarity and relevant resources surrounding the laws that regulate the impact of human activities on the environment.

Lexis® Practical Guidance Environmental Law discusses the latest South African environmental legislation and general obligations, precedent-setting case law, as well as international conventions and protocols. Users are provided with applicable and time-saving resources such as guidance notes, forms and precedents, checklists and other additional resources that help to clarify and comply with current legal requirements as well as understand any legal amendments that are made.

The content covers corporate governance and the environment (including the responsibilities of managers, employees and agents), environmental litigation (including private prosecution and ADR) and the enforcement of environmental law (including enforcement notices and directives, the role of environmental inspectors and sanctions for non-compliance). Lexis® Practical Guidance Environmental Law also covers the environmental aspects of commercial transactions, including the development of land and Environmental impact assessments in South Africa.

More than 200 Guidance Notes within 80 Topics

Convenient online access to:
  • More than 200 Guidance Notes within 80 Topics
  • Over 40 Forms, Precedents and Checklists – ensuring not a single step is missed
  • Legislation & Case Law – access to relevant cases at the click of a button
  • Practice Directives – know what the procedure is in different courts
  • Over 170 Other Useful Resources such as flowcharts, external websites and additional readings

Guidance on each step taken in Environmental Law

  • Nature, purpose and scope of environmental law
  • General environmental obligations
  • Starting points in a transaction
  • Environmental permits and authorisations
  • Application processes
  • Public participation
  • Access to information
  • Administrative justice, appeals and amendment applications
  • Enforcement of conditions in authorisation
  • Land pollution and degradation
  • Where to start when developing land
  • Institutional responsibilities
  • Environmental aspects of commercial transactions
  • Soil conservation and fertility
  • Mining and the environment
  • Environmental litigation
  • Land use planning
  • Heritage issues and sensitive areas
  • Stormwater and sewage
  • Air quality
  • Water – regulatory regimes, management, pollution and irrigation
  • Coastal and marine areas – regulatory regimes, management and pollution
  • Conservation planning
  • Protected areas and protected species
  • Weeds, alien invasive species and pest control
  • Bioprospecting
  • Waste management and the waste act
  • Genetically modified organisms
  • Wild Fires
  • Fisheries – rights, obligations and regulations
  • Corporate governance and the environment
  • Enforcement of environmental law

Guidance Notes

Useful reference material that offers direct access to relevant case law, legislation and commentary works, and practical know-how on specific areas within Environmental Law.

A few key guidance notes are outlined below. The full list can be viewed in the complete table of contents.


Application Processes

Offering clear guidance on how to apply for an environmental authorisation, including the specific requirements involved in the basic assessment processes, scoping and environmental impact processes

This guidance note further provides access to downloadable forms, such as:

  • The Application Form for Environmental Authorisation
    • Which must be submitted to the competent authority on the prescribed form.
  • The Basic Assessment Report
    • An application subject to a basic assessment process must be concluded within a certain timeframe and the report is standardised.
    • This BA report must include specialist reports, an Environmental Management Programme (EMPr) and, where applicable, a closure plan.

Building Plan Approval

Provides step-by-step guidance on:

  • When building plan approval is required
  • How to apply to a municipality for building plan approval
  • How municipalities must decide whether or not to grant those applications

This guidance note also contains a checklist that helps identify the types of activities that require building plan approval.


Air Quality Management Plans

This guidance note provides an overview of the institutional responsibilities and the regulatory authorities responsible for the administration of air quality in South Africa.

It also discusses the importance of integrating air quality management plans into environmental implementation plans (EIPs) as well as environmental management plans (EMPs)

The user can also make use of accompanying, additional research material that includes the Department's "Manual for Air Quality Management Planning":

  • Each national department or province is responsible for preparing an environmental implementation plan (EIP) and or environmental management plan (EMP) to include an AQMP (air quality management plans) as part of that plan.
  • This manual provides guidance on how to compile an AQMP to achieve the objectives of the AQA, as outlined in Chapters 3 and 4 of the Act.

Practical Aids

Precedents, checklists and forms that can be used to offer advice confidently and execute tasks accurately.

A few key resources are listed below. The full list can be viewed in the complete table of contents.

  • Water Use Application and Registration Form
    • Regulations require that water use be registered
    • Applications for registration can be submitted on a form obtainable from the Department of Water Affairs
    • Applications must be submitted to the competent authority either as required by a General Authorisation, or when requested to do so by the responsible authority.
  • Form 601 – National heritage site nomination form
  • Basic assessment report
    • An application subject to a basic assessment process must be concluded within a certain timeframe
    • The BA report is standardised
    • The BA report must include specialist reports, an Environmental Management Programme (EMPr) and, where applicable, a closure plan.
  • Land development applications under SPLUMA checklist
    • Land development management deals with how decisions are made and taken on administrative appeal
    • All land development applications must be submitted to a municipality as the authority of first instance
    • This checklist helps identify the relevant land use management system (the relevant municipal land use scheme).
  • Industry Waste Management Plan Guideline
    • Provides industry with assistance and guidance with respect to the development of their Industry WMPs
    • It includes the assessment checklist that will be used by the DEA & DP for evaluation of the submitted Industry WMPs, for self-assessment by industry.
  • Questions to consider when undertaking an activity in the coastal zone
    • A proposed development may not require an environmental authorisation under NEMA if it is behind a development setback line which is set in relation to the sea, an estuary or a watercourse.
    • Anyone who wishes to undertake an activity within the coastal zone should consider certain questions at an early stage in the planning process.
  • Notice of adoption of special resolution in terms of section 60 of the Companies Act 71 of 2008
    • A resolution that is required when a vote has been taken in writing instead of at a shareholders' meeting.
  • Industry Waste Management Plan Guideline
    • Provides industry with assistance and guidance with respect to the development of their Industry WMPs
    • It includes the assessment checklist that will be used by the DEA & DP for evaluation of the submitted Industry WMPs, for self-assessment by industry.
  • Examples of environmental warranty clauses for sale of shares agreements
  • Guidelines for Application Procedure in Respect of Permits and Rights to Petroleum Resources.
  • What to include in a waste management contract checklist
  • Environmental Risk Report
  • King III Annual Integrated Report Checklist
  • Examples of environmental warranties for transactions involving immovable property
  • Application for amendment of an environmental authorization
  • Minimum requirements for determination of EIA applicability
  • Permit application form
  • Safety data sheets

Authors










 Cullinan and Associates Inc


Cormac Cullinan



Lexis® Practical Guidance Environmental Law is written and updated by Cullinan and Associates Inc. The firm practises exclusively in the field of environmental and green business law and has been a leader in this field since 1997. The firm's ten specialist environmental lawyers regularly advise on most aspects of environmental law and have represented parties in a number of reported environmental law cases.


LLM (Environmental Law) (London) LLB (University of Natal) BA (Hons) cum laude (University of Natal) BA (University of Natal)

Cormac is a director of Cullinan and Associates Inc. and one of the most experienced environmental lawyers in Southern Africa, having specialised in environmental law for more than 20 years. Cormac has worked on environmental law and governance projects and has drafted legislation in more than 20 countries throughout the world. Cormac has previously written and contributed to many books on environmental law and has drafted environmental treaties in Africa and national, provincial and municipal legislation in South Africa.







Time is scarce and the law is ever changing. Keeping pace with the shifts is a job unto itself but, chances are, it is not your only job. 

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It saves you time and energy so you can focus on the expertise that only you have.


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