Paarl fertiliser plant dismisses air pollution claims by community lobby group, Newsline

Cape Town – Claims by a Paarl community lobby group about air pollution from the Yara fertilizer blending plant in the town have been rejected by management as “misleading”.

The Charleston Hill Action Group (Chag) has written a letter to the municipality’s mayoral committee demanding that it discuss moving the plant from its current situation near a school and residential community.

Regional director for Yara in southern Africa Ig Ferreira said: “We assure all the people of Paarl that our facility does not pose a health risk to anybody, and will not have a harmful impact on the environment.

“The facts are that three independent air quality assessments have been conducted and the results were well within international standards.”

Chag spokesperson Herschel Arendse said: “… the community’s right to a healthy life does not need to come at the expense of livelihoods. The Yara plant needs to move to a location where it does not impact the… well-being of the citizens and communities.”

He said Chag would present a petition to the mayoral committee today.

Municipal director of planning and development Lauren Waring said Arendse was mistaken in thinking that there was a mayco meeting scheduled.

“As for whether there will be more air quality tests, the possibilities of further studies cannot be confirmed at this stage.”

Cape Argus