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EPA Closes Down Facilities Without Environmental Permit   
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The Upper East Regional Directorate of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has closed down some facilities in the Region operating without Environmental Permit.

The EPA is mandated by law to ensure that facilities in the health, hospitality, energy, alcoholic beverages, and manufacturing industries and others operate in an environmentally friendly manner.

They are to close down those that do not comply with the law.

The Environmental Permit, issued by the Agency, is a tool that is used to ensure that the operations of all facilities do not negatively affect the environment so as to prevent pollution and other health hazards.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency during the exercise, the Regional Director of the EPA, Mr Asher Nkegbe, warned the management of those facilities without permit to obtain the appropriate permit at the Agency’s Office or risk closure.

He said it was an offence under the regulations one, two and 29 of the Environmental Assessment Regulations 1999 (LI 1562), to operate any facility that was likely to affect the environment without an Environmental Permit or with an expired permit.

“The EPA has issued enforcement notices to some of the management of the facilities who do not have permit,” Mr Nkegbe warned.

“Undertaking operations without an Environmental Permit cannot be allowed and any facility found in that act shall be closed down pending full compliance and it will be made to pay all the accumulated fees to the Government under the fees and charges (Amendment Instrument 2014 LI 2216), “ he said.

“The EPA will not sit down to allow any disaster to occur before it acts”.

The Regional Director said series of sensitisation programmes had been carried out in the Region to let the facilities know how important it was to obtain a permit.

He said most of the environmental hazards such as water and air pollution and occupational hazards, among others, could have been prevented if the management of facilities adhered strictly to the conditions stipulated in the Environmental Permit.

He said the Regional Directorate would continue to monitor by visiting the facilities unannounced to ensure that management and workers of such facilities complied by the permit.

“You, as managers of the facilities, must ensure that you do not only obtain the permit, but let your operations conform to the conditions of the permit to avoid trouble,” he said. “No customer will like to visit facilities that are substandard and disaster prone”.

The Regional Director, therefore, commended the Management of those facilities that obtained permits and were operating strictly according to the law, saying they should keep it up.

Mr Amidu Abdullai, the Regional Programme Officer, said although some of the organisations were making frantic efforts to obey the regulations, there were many others without the permits and entreated the defaulters to obtain or renew their permits to avoid embarrassment.
Source: GNA

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