Auto sprayers must acquire environmental permit, EPA

By Laudia Sawer, GNA

Tema, Oct 9,
GNA – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of its customer
service week, has engaged auto sprayers in Tema to sensitize them on the need
to acquire an environmental permit to ply their trade.

The
Environmental Assessment Regulations 1999, LI 1652 stipulates that it is an
offence for any person to commence a project, development, investment without
an Environmental Permit.

Mr William K.
Hayfron-Acquah, Chief Programme Officer at the EPA, said as part of acquiring
an Environmental Permit, the sprayers must take measures to control the various
pollutions associated with their job in line with international best practices.

Mr
Hayfron-Acquah mentioning some of the effects of auto-spraying, said their
activities could lead to the contamination of ground water and the  soil explaining that waste chemicals from
storage containers improperly disposed off could drained into the soil.

He added that
improper transfer of defiled clothes utilized for cleaning works, and the use
of oil containing hazardous materials were all sources of environmental
pollution as soil contamination added to air pollution by discharging unstable
mixes into the air.

“So the more
poisonous mixes soil contains, the greater the air pollution it creates and can
lead to water pollution if toxic chemicals leach into groundwater, ” he
indicated.

He noted that
solid waste from spraying yards included, metal extra parts comprising of leaf
springs and coils, gaskets, engine blocks, and clutch plates adding that tires,
battery cases, timing belts, bulbs, light fittings, seats, pads and electrical
cables among others all contributed to environmental pollution when not
disposed properly.

Air
contamination was another effect he mentioned indicating that the emission of
gases into the atmosphere could cause global warming and acid rain.

Noise pollution
was also rampant in spraying areas due to the tinkering sound of metal works,
motor testing at higher cycles when pounding metal, running of compressors for
spray painting among others, according to him.

Mr
Hayfron-Acquah therefore encouraged the artisans to comply with the pollution
control measures which included spraying in an enclosed area, regular servicing
of compressors, no breaks in rubber hose, spraying gun must be in good
condition and desisting from pointing muffler of generator set towards a
neighbour’s window.

Other
conditions were that residual paint should not be poured or discharged into
drains or the ground but rather stored in a drum for collection by accredited
persons, while “panel beating shall be carried out between the hours of 0700 –
1700 hours in a mixed-use area”.

Mrs Audrey
Quarcoo, Head of Client Relations Department at the EPA and Mrs Irene Opoku,
Director of the EPA, Tema Regional Office, recounted how officials from their
outfit visited the spray yard at the Tema light industrial area for compliance
and enforcement monitoring during which they discovered that the sprayers were
aware of the provisions of the law stating that they must acquire the
environmental permit.

They stated
that they found it prudent to use the customer service week to engage and
sensitize the artisans on the need to observe good environmental practices and
comply with the laws governing their operations.

Mr Kofi Brako,
Member of Parliament for Tema Central, on his part, thanked the EPA for the
engagement and reiterated the need for compliance  saying, government had resolved to put in
measures to protect the environment therefore the need for citizens to also do
their part in their vicinities.

The workers
asked questions on their operations, burning of tyres, and the need for the
provision of toilet facilities in the area among other issues.

GNA

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