Jul 27, 2021

Specialists Deployed To Assist Underway Pollution Tests After KZN Warehouse Torched

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The objective of this team will be to provide on-the-ground support and assistance to the KZN EDTEA and the eThekwini Municipality.

FILE PHOTO: The department of forestry, fisheries and the environment, under minister Barbara Creecy, has dispense a team of expert to assess the damaged caused by the unrest in KZN after. PICTURE: Gallo Images / Daily Sun / Jabu Kumalo

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DURBAN: Pillay has requested the deployment of specialists to assist with ongoing pollution impacts tests.

Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment has deployed a team of specialists to support and assist the ongoing efforts to address the pollution impacts in Kwazulu-Natal. 

This comes as the result of the burning of the UPL chemical warehouse in Cornubia, Durban on Monday, containing bulk supplies of herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides during the unrest. 

For over seven days, riots broke out in Gauteng and KZN when looters ransacked businesses and other structures. 

Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Ms Barbara Creecy was deeply concerned about the environmental impact. 

“We are deeply concerned about the environmental impact on air quality as well as on the aquatic and marine ecosystems resulting from the fire incident at the UPL facility in Cornubia that took place during the unrest in Kwazulu-Natal last week,” says Ms Creecy said. 

The team is expected to arrive in KwaZulu-Natal on the 22nd of July 2021. 

Ms Creecy said the team will consist of individuals with technical skills in the following areas of work: Aquatic systems, Epidemiology (health risk assessment), Enforcement – Waste and Pollution Compliance – Oceans and Coasts 

The objective of this team will be to provide on-the-ground support and assistance to the KZN EDTEA and the eThekwini Municipality.   

Furthermore, an authority’s joint operations team is already in place and working with the team of specialists appointed by UPL to understand the extent of the impacts and coordinate the implementation of containment and mitigation measure. 

“The priority at this stage is to ensure that impacts are mitigated and that the containment measures are effective,” Minister added. 

Ms=Creecy said MEC for Economic Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs, Mr Ravi Pillay has requested the deployment of specialists to assist with ongoing pollution impacts tests. 

Mr Pillay visited the area on Saturday and said the extent of damage was over 1 billion. 

He has also raised concerns about the impact of the smell on the marine life that has been affected by the toxic discharge. 

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