The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday signalled its readiness to sanction individuals and firms who flout environmental laws as well as those operating without permits.
The Agency has, therefore, put in place proactive, effective and efficient systems including the training of senior officers on prosecution to deal with offenders.
Mr Kingsley Ekow Guray-Sey, the EPA Chief Programme Officer, announced this at a two-day training the Agency organised for Environmental Journalists in Accra.
The participants would be schooled on the EPA’s Mandate, Regulations on Waste, Chemicals, Mining and Climate Change to enable them to understand and better educate the public on the need to protect the environment.
Mr Guray-Sey said as part of the systems to ensure compliance was a proactive monitoring of companies in the country, especially those in the big cities.
“In the past, we have sanctioned culprits in the districts… now we are in the process of prosecuting persons and companies,” he said.
Mr Guray-Sey recounted that prosecution in the past had not been as expected due to challenges including the lack of technical personnel.
The Agency, he said, was teaming up with the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies and the Ghana Police Service to form a tax force to deal with industrial effluent and noise pollution.
Mrs Angelina Ama Tutuah Mensah, the Head of Public Relations, EPA, said environmental protection was a shared responsibility and the public needed to support the Agency by volunteering information to the appropriate officers.
She noted that even though it was EPA’s statutory function to co-ordinate the activities of bodies concerned with the technical aspect of the environment, the public had a role to play in making this a success.
Mrs Mensah said the Agency would continue to initiate and pursue formal and non-formal education programmes for the creation of awareness on the environment and its importance to the economic and social life of the citizenry.