Chag contacted the centre to help write a petition in response to the municipality’s call for comments from people and institutions interested in, and affected by the Yara facility.
The petition has focused its sights on what it claims is the impact on the community’s health by the Yara facility, which seeks to significantly expand its Paarl operations. The facility in Paarl is situated in an industrial area which was established during the 1970s, and a fertiliser plant has been operating there since 2003.
According to the petition, Yara’s expansion is not compliant with national ambient air quality standards for several health damaging air pollutants, including PM10 and PM2.5. It claims there is robust evidence in the public domain that exposure to elevated levels of PM2.5 in ambient air causes premature mortality and cardiovascular effects (predominantly ischemic heart disease, which are heart problems caused by narrowed heart arteries and congestive heart failure).
The petition said: “This is a significant concern for our clients and they wish to bring it pertinently to your attention in this submission.”