The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will conduct a nationwide compliance monitoring programme from September 1, 2013, to enforce compliance with Legislative Instrument (LI) 1652.
The LI relates to Environmental Assessment (EA) and Regulation.
The LI 1652 requires all undertakings such as the establishment of petroleum product retail outlets that could have significant negative effects on the environment to be registered and obtain permit before commencement of work.
Consequently, the EPA said all Oil Marketing and Liquefied Petroleum Gas companies (OMCs/LPGCs) found to be non-compliant or operating without environmental permit and with an expired permit, would be closed down and appropriate legal sanctions including penalties applied.
The Deputy Executive Director of the EPA, Mr Samuel E. K. Anku, announced this at a sensitisation workshop in Accra on EA regulations, compliance and enforcement for OMCs/LPGCs.
He said although the level of compliance was commendable, there were still a number of companies that were not complying and operating their facilities without recourse to the law.
It is the agency’s expectation that industry would be fully aware of their regulatory responsibilities and show more commitment towards sustainability,’ Mr Anku said.
The Executive Director of the EPA, Mr Daniel Amlalo, said the consumption of petroleum products, especially petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPG, had been on a steady rise.
The increased demand, he noted, had attracted huge investments into the downstream sector, resulting in the proliferation of retail outlets for both fuel service/filling stations and LPG refilling plants, particularly in urban centres.
The situation, Amlalo said, had also resulted in challenges such as land-use conflict, leakages of underground storage tanks, and pollution of groundwater, among others.
He said those concerns had come up due to non-compliance with permitting conditions and inadequate technical knowledge and skills on the part of persons employed to operate such facilities.
‘To ensure continuous monitoring and involvement of all stakeholders, the agency intends to extend its flagship ‘AKOBEN’ Environmental Performance Rating and Public Disclosure programme to cover the OM/LPG industry,’ he said.
By Ama Amankwa Baafi/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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