Companies dealing in explosive chemicals were on Monday cautioned to respect the country’s rules and regulations on the environment to protect it from destruction or cause disaster.
Mr Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (ESTI ), who gave the warning, urged such companies to operate in conformity with the International Standards of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
The Environmental Act 494 of 1994 was passed to set standards and regulate environmental issues of the county.
Mr Oppong-Fosu, who is the Member of Parliament for Amanfi East, said this at a media briefing in Sekondi on poor handling of chemicals by some companies dealing in chemicals in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis.
The Minister, who was accompanied by officials from the Ministry including Mr Daniel Amlalo, Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Mr Yaw Sarfo, Regional Director, had inspected how the companies discharge, store and transport chemicals to their end users, mainly the mining companies.
His working visit took him to some warehouses at Pretsea, New Amanful, Funkoh and Kejebil in the Ahanta West District where volumes of chemicals-Ammonium Laterite and Fertilizers had been stored.
He expressed dissatisfaction with how the Stella Logistics Company, based in Takoradi, had stored its chemicals on the ground and in open air covered with tarpaulin as it was in violation of environmental rules and regulations instead of the proper procedure of installing the required infrastructural facilities for storage.
According to the Minister improper storage of the ammonia laterite could generate heat and cause disaster.
“I do not know what happened before the work was done ahead of permit,” Mr Oppong-Fosu said; adding “we expect that such facilities will not be handled in residential areas.”
He, therefore, called for intensive public education on the environment to ensure responsible behaviour towards it.
Mr oppong-Fosu said he would meet with the related stakeholders to deliberate on the issue and take the next line of action.
He, however, entreated the public to show concern about issues bordering on violation of environmental laws and report to the appropriate quarters.
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