PROPOSED REMOVAL OF MORE THAN 300 SQUARE METRES OF INDIGENOUS VEGETATION FOR THE UPGRADING OF LOURENS RIVER OUTFALL (OUTFALL 1): PHASE 1A OF THE PAARDEVLEI INTEGRATED STORMWATER AND ECOLOGICAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM, SOMERSET WEST, CAPE TOWN

A draft Basic Assessment Report has been compiled and made available for a 30-day commenting period. The cp,,emnting period commences on 14 June 2019 and closes on 15 July 2019. Should you wish to provide comment on the draft report and/or register as an Interested and Affected Party (I&AP), you may do so by emailing: comments@enviropart.co.za, telephone: 021 422 0999, fax: 021 422 0998 or by post: PO Box 945, Cape Town, 8000. Please provide comment or register as an I&AP by 15 July 2019.

 

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

The Paardevlei Integrated Stormwater and Ecological Management System is a project that has received environmental authorisation from the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP) in 2015 for the construction of various infrastructure that includes, inter alia, weirs and stormwater outlet structures within proximity of watercourses and associated wetlands of the Paardevlei Site (DEA&DP Reference: 16/3/1/1/A3/54/2045/12). The site is located 44 kilometres (km) southeast of Cape Town and is bounded by the N2 to the north and Lourens River Estuary and Helderberg coast to the south. Rheinmetall Denel Munition is located northwest of the site while Somerset West Golf Club and Somerset Mall are located to the southeast and east respectively. Please see Appendix B: Locality Map.  

The proponent would like to commence with the construction of a portion of the approved Stormwater Masterplan. This portion is being named Phase 1A and is the upgrading of the existing Lourens River Stormwater Outfall which lies southeast in the larger Paardevlei site. An amendment to the existing authorisation is being applied for relating to engineering and ecological improvements made to the proposed cross section of the drain in the masterplan and the position of the outlet entering the Lourens River. In addition to the amendments being applied for to the existing authorisation, a listed activity that entails the clearing of indigenous vegetation within the approved stormwater and ecological corridor was not applied for or assessed. As the environmental legislation does not allow for a new listed activity to be included in an amendment application and assessment process, the legislated basic assessment process as per the environmental regulations has been commenced with. to vegetation.

This draft Basic Assessment Report (BAR) serves as documentation in support of an Environmental Impact Assessment being undertaken for the removal of indigenous vegetation for the Integrated Stormwater and Ecological Management System in Paardevlei, Somerset West.

LEGISLATIVE REQUIREMENTS

The application for environmental authorisation for the proposed Integrated Stormwater and Ecological Management System was made in terms of the 2010 and 2014 EIA Regulations. The following table provides a summary of all listed activities that were applied for and subsequently authorised:

Table 1: Summary of Listed Activities Authorised for the Proposed Stormwater and Ecological Management System in Paardevlei
Listing Notice 1: GNR 544 of 2010
Activity 11    “The construction of –
(i)    canals;
(ii)    channels;
(iii)    bridges;
(iv)    dams;
(v)    weirs;
(vi)    bulk stormwater outlet structures;
(vii)    marinas;
(viii)    jetties exceeding 50 square metres in size;
(ix)    slipways exceeding 50 square metres in size;
(x)    buildings exceeding 50 square metres in size; or
(xi)    infrastructure or structures covering 50 square metres or more

where such construction occurs within a watercourse or within 32 metres of a watercourse, measured from the edge of a watercourse, excluding where such construction will occur behind the development setback line”.

Activity 16    “Construction of earth moving activities in the sea an estuary, or within the littoral active zone or distance of 100 metres inland of the high-water mark of the sea or an estuary, whoever is the greater, in respect of-

(i)    Fixed or floating jetties and slipways;
(ii)    Tidal pools;
(iii)    Embankments;
(iv)    Rock revetments or stabilising structures including stabilising walls;
(v)    Buildings of 50 square metres or more; or
(vi)    Infrastructure covering 50 square metres or more-

But excluding
(a)    If such construction or earth moving activities will occur behind a development setback line; or
(b)    Where such construction or earth moving activities will occur within existing ports or harbours and the construction or earth moving activities will not increase the development footprint or throughput capacity of the port or harbour;
(c)    Where such construction or earth moving activities is undertaken for purposes of maintenance of the facilities mentioned in (i)-(vi) above; or
(d)    Where such construction or earth moving activities is related to the construction of a port or harbour, in which case activity 24 of Notice 545 of 2010 applies.”

Activity 18    “The infilling or depositing of any material of more than 10 cubic metres into, or the dredging, excavation, removal or moving of soil, sand, shells, shell grit, pebbles or rock of more than 10 cubic metres from:
(i)    A watercourse;
(ii)    The sea
(iii)    The seashore
(iv)    The littoral active zone, an estuary or a distance of 100 metres inland of the high-water mark of the sea or an estuary, whichever distance is greater-

But excluding where such infilling, depositing, dredging, exaction, removal or moving;
(a)    Is for maintenance purposes undertaken in accordance with a management plan agreed to by the relevant environmental authority; or
(b)    Occurs behind the development setback line”.
Activity 37     “The expansion of facilities or infrastructure for the bulk transportation of water, sewage or stormwater where:

(a)    The facility or infrastructure is expanded by more than 1000 metres in length; or
(b)    Where the throughput capacity of the facility or infrastructure will be increased by 10% or more-

Excluding where such expansion:
(i)    Relates to transportation of water, sewage or stormwater within a road reserve; or
(ii)    Where such expansion will occur within urban areas but further than 32 metres from a watercourse, measured from the edge of the watercourse.”

Listing Notice 3: GN 546 of 2010
Activity 16    ”The construction of-
(i)    jetties exceeding 10 square metres in size;
(ii)    slipways exceeding 10 square metres in size;
(iii)    buildings with a footprint exceeding 10 square metres in size; or
(iv)    infrastructure covering 10 square metres or more

where such construction occurs within a watercourse or with 32 metres of a watercourse measured from the edge of a watercourse, excluding where such construction will occur behind the development setback line”.

Listing Notice 1: GN R. 983 of 2014
Activity 19    “The infilling or depositing of any material of more than 5 cubic metres into, or the dredging, excavation, removal or moving of soil, sand, shells, shell grit, pebbles or rock of more than 5 cubic metres from-
(i)    a watercourse;
(ii)    the seashore; or
(iii)    the littoral active zone, an estuary or a distance of 100 metres inland of the high-water mark of the sea or an estuary, whoever distance is the greater-

but excluding where such infilling, depositing, dredging, excavation, removal r moving-
(a)    will occur behind a development setback;
(b)    is for maintenance purposes undertaken in accordance with a maintenance management plan; or
(c)    falls within the ambit of activity 21 in this Notice, in which case that activity applies.”

Activity 45    “The expansion of infrastructure for the bulk transportation of water or stormwater where the existing infrastructure-
(i)    has an internal diameter of 0.36 metres or more; or
(ii)    has a peak throughput of 120 litres per second or more; and

(a)    where the facility or infrastructure is expanded by more than 1000 metres in length; or
(b)    where the throughput capacity of the facility or infrastructure will be decreased by 10% or more;

excluding where such expansion-
(aa) relates to transportation of water or stormwater within a road reserve; or
(bb) will occur within an urban area”.

Activity 48    “The expansion of-
(i)    canals where the canal is expanded by 100 square metres or more in size;
(ii)    channels where the channels are expanded by 100 square metres or more in size;
(iii)    bridges where the bridge is expanded by 100 square metres or more in size;
(iv)    dams, where the dam, including infrastructure and water surface area, is expanded by 100 square metres or more in size;
(v)    bulk stormwater outlet structures where the bulk stormwater outlet structure is expanded by 100 square metres or more in size; or
(vi)    marinas where the marina is expanded by 100 square metres or more in size;

where such expansion and related operation occurs
(a)    within a watercourse;
(b)    in front of a development setback; or
(c)    if no development setback exists, within 32 metres of a watercourse, measured from the edge of a watercourse;

excluding-
(aa) the expansion of infrastructure or structures within existing ports or harbours that will not increase the development footprint of the port or harbour;
(bb) where such expansion activities are related to the development of a port or harbour, in which case activity 26 in Listing Notice 2 of 2014 applies;
(cc) activities listed in activity 14 in Listing Notice 2 of 2014 or activity 14 in Listing Notice 3 of 2014, in which case that activity applies;
(dd) where such expansion occurs within an urban area; or
(ee) where such expansion occurs within existing roads or road reserves”.

Activity 54    “The expansion of facilities-
(i)    in the sea;
(ii)    in an estuary;
(iii)    within the littoral active zone;
(iv)    in front of a development setback; or
(v)    if no development setback exists, within a distance of 100 metres inland of the high-water mark of the sea or an estuary, whichever is the greater;

in respect of-
(a)    fixed or floating jetties and slipways;
(b)    tidal pools;
(c)    embankments
(d)    rock revetments or stabilising structures including stabilising walls;
(e)    buildings where the building is expanded by 50 square metres or more; or
(f)    infrastructure where the development footprint is expanded by 50 square metres or more;

but excluding-
(aa) the expansion of infrastructure or structures within existing ports or harbours that will not increase the development footprint of the port or harbour; or
(bb) where such expansion occurs within an urban area”.


For the purposes of this Basic Assessment Report, only Listed Activity 12 of Listing Notice 3 will be assessed for Phase 1A. An Amendment Environmental Assessment Report is available, which addresses any other new impacts, relating to the already approved listed activities.

Listed Activity 12 of Listing Notice 3 of GN324 of 2017:

The clearance of an area of 300 square metres or more of indigenous vegetation except where such clearance of indigenous vegetation is required for maintenance purposes
undertaken in accordance with a maintenance management plan
In Western Cape
i. Within any critically endangered or endangered ecosystem listed in terms of section 52 of the NEMBA or prior to the publication of such a list, within an area that has been identified
as critically endangered in the National Spatial Biodiversity Assessment 2004
ii. Within critical biodiversity areas identified in bioregional plans;
iii. Within the littoral active zone or 100 metres inland from high water mark of the sea or an estuarine functional zone, whichever distance is the greater, excluding where such removal will occur behind the development setback line on erven in urban areas;
iv. On land, where, at the time of the coming into effect of this notice or thereafter such land was zoned open space, conservation or had an equivalent zoning; or
v. On land designated for protection or conservation purposes in an Environmental Management Framework adopted in the prescribed manner, or a Spatial Development Framework adopted by the MEC or Minister

SITE DESCRIPTION

The Paardevlei site is located in Somerset West approximately 44 kms southeast of Cape Town. The site is largely vacant land, previously transformed by agricultural practises and industrial development. The site is bound by the N2 highway to the north, Old Paardevlei Road to the northeast which separates the site from Somerset Mall. South and southwest of the site is False Bay. To the west / northwest of the site is Rheinmetall Denel Ammunition. Please see Appendix B: Locality Map.

The site receives mean annual rainfall between 420mm and 570mm. The area occurs in the Cape winter rainfall region experiencing cool wet winters and hot dry summers. Soils on the site are described as Plinthic catena and undifferentiated, upland duplex and margalitic soils. The site is also underlain by quarternary quartz sand and calcareous dune sand of the Springfontein and Witsand Formations including surficial cover formed on Malmesbury rocks. It is also important to note that a shallow perched groundwater table is strongly associated with the clayey alluvial gravel which fluctuates in levels as it is influenced by rainfall.

Much of the vegetation on the site is considered to be transformed and modified as a result of past industrial and agricultural practices on the site. The remaining natural vegetation, Cape Flats Dune Strandveld, is on the southern coastal belt, an indigenous vegetation considered endangered in terms of the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act (NEMBA). The Cape Flats Dune Strandveld will be affected by the proposed implementation of Phase 1A.

Several freshwater features including wetlands and drainage channels are found on the larger Paardevlei site. The watercourses that are of relevance to Phase 1A of the Integrated Stormwater and Ecological management System are:

•    The Wagenveldt wetland (a watercourse)
•    The Main Drain (an artificial channel)
•    The Precinct 1 Channel (an artificial channel)
•    The Lourens River Estuary

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROCESS

Public participation is a key component of the environmental assessment process as it introduces the proposed activity to the public and provides an opportunity for comments and concerns to be raised. Public participation will be undertaken in terms of Section 41 of the 2014, NEMA: EIA Regulations, as amended. Below is an outline of what will be undertaken:

The draft Basic Assessment Report will be made available to the broader public, identified interested and affected parties, registered Interested and Affected Parties from the previous Basic Assessment Process, and Organs of State for their perusal and comment by the following means:

•    Distribution of an Information Sheet (summary of the BAR) to all directly adjacent landowners to the sites where the listed activity is undertaken and Interested and Affected Parties (I&APs).
•    Distribution of copies of the draft BAR to relevant Organs of State for comment
•    Placement of a media notice in one local newspaper, The District Mail, on 13 June 2019
•    Placement of site notices on the boundary of the sites where the listed activity is to be undertaken on 14 June 2019
•    Placement of copies of the draft report on The Environmental Partnership’s website, www.enviropart.co.za and at the Somerset West Public Library for the duration of the 30-day commenting period.
•    The 30-day commenting period will commence on 14 June 2019 and close on 15 July 2019.

Proof of the Public Participation Process will be appended to a final report which will be submitted for decision to the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.

IMPACTS IDENTIFIED

The following is a summary of the impacts identified:

Loss of Cape Flats Dune Strandveld
Loss of Cape Flats Dune Strandveldv as a Result of Haul Roads

  • Status: Amendment Report
  • Start date: Friday, 14 June 2019
  • End date: Monday, 15 July 2019
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