South Africa: Minister Barbara Creecy Pledges Clampdown On South Africa’s Hidden Toxic Chemical Storehouses After UPL Disaster

Environment Minister Barbara Creecy has announced plans for a major clampdown on under-the-radar toxic chemical manufacturers and storage warehouses across South Africa in the wake of the UPL toxic smoke inferno in Durban.

Seventy-three days after dense clouds of poisonous chemicals billowed from a newly opened – but “unlawful”- chemical warehouse operated by an India-based agrochemical multinational, the government has announced plans for Green Scorpions environmental inspectors to conduct compliance and enforcement raids nationwide on facilities that make or store toxic chemicals.

This would entail “a baseline compliance profile of the entire agrochemical manufacturing sector and the inclusion of this sector into the national environmental compliance and enforcement activities”.

Releasing the preliminary findings of an intergovernmental investigation into the aftermath of an arson attack on the 14,000m³ UPL farm poisons warehouse in Cornubia, northern Durban, senior officials also spoke about plans to start monitoring the potentially harmful long-term health impacts of the airborne pollution on thousands of people – by collecting blood, urine and other biological samples from those exposed to the shifting clouds of toxic fumes for nearly 12 days.

This would include testing for dioxins (a highly toxic family of chemical compounds that can be formed during the…


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Author : Daily Maverick

Publish date : 2021-10-04 13:57:19

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