Regional News of 2014-08-16

EPA urges quarry operators to adhere to regulations

Mr Daniel S. Amlalo, the Executive Director of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has urged quarry operators in the country to adhere to its regulations and ensure environmental safety.

He said compliance with EPA regulations created both public and private value for public health, and to ensures fairness while protecting the environment as well as goods and services.

Mr Amlalo said this on Thursday in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at a technical workshop with quarry companies in Accra.

The objective of the workshop is to create public awareness of the environment and its importance to the economic and social life of the country.

Mr Amlalo said the workshop was also to ensure compliance with laid down environmental impact assessment procedures in the planning and execution of development projects.

He said the forum discussed ways of developing a comprehensive database on the protection of the environment and for the information of the public since there are other illegal companies operating.

He said the Agency had received complaints about the impact of quarry operators and there was the need to protect the environment to ensure sustainable development.

Mr Amlalo said compliance with environmental standards included avoidance of all kinds of pollution such noise, dust, and hazards, along with the obligation to obtain authorisation permits or notices for specified activities.

He said many developers and business investors failed to factor their environmental responsibilities into their start-up costs and business plans adding that the costs for authorisations and permissions had long term benefits for businesses, their employees and host communities.

Mr Amlalo said the role of the regulating agency was to utilise both planned and responsive methods to detect non-compliance and prioritises enforcement activities according to its capacity to minimise the risks to the physical environment and the health of citizens.

Mr John Adjei Duodu, Director of Geological Survey Department, said the quarry industry had great impact both economically and socially, adding that revenue derived was more than the combined mineral royalty from gold and diamond.

Mr Duodu appealed to members to report issues of illegal quarrying to the Police Service and the Agency for the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators.

Source: GNA
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