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National Environment Department Probes Source Of Strong Stench

National Environment Department Probes Source Of Strong Stench…  The national department of forestry, fisheries and environment is probing the source of the stench over parts of Gauteng for the past two days.

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National Environment Department Probes Source Of Strong Stench

 

Department spokesperson Albi Modise said they have noted concerns about the strong smell and are working with environmental and air quality officials in Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Limpopo and the North West.

He said the investigation is to determine the cause of the stench and whether prevailing wind and weather conditions have contributed to the smell travelling over a long distance from another province. “As was the case when a similar incident was reported in 2021,” he said.

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On Wednesday, City of Johannesburg MMC for environment and infrastructure services (EISD) Michael Sun urged residents not to panic after complaints of a pungent smell being experienced in central and northern parts of the city.

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He said he had instructed the city’s air quality management unit to urgently investigate the origin of the stench. It had established that the smell was widespread across the city and excluded the possibility of a localised source.

“At this stage, I urge the people of Johannesburg not to panic. It was concluded by EISD investigators that the city is potentially dealing with a cross-boundary pollution source. They believe that this is likely a fleeting event based on prevailing weather conditions and that the quality of air in Johannesburg remains at acceptable levels,” he said.

The current weather system is conducive to the transportation of pollution from the highveld priority area and the industrial complex of Mpumalanga which run more power generation and petrochemical industrial operations.

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He said the “rotten egg” smell observed by residents on Wednesday morning is commonly associated with hydrogen sulphide and could be likely associated with those types of operations.

“The city commands a network of six operational ambient air quality stations that are monitoring particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and ozone. The expertise controlling these stations will work with other spheres of government to track and identify the source of this smell,” said Sun.

He said the situation will be observed over the coming days as the weather system improves.

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