Ms Irene Opoku, the Acting Director, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Greater Accra East, has urged companies and institutions to comply with the permit conditions to ensure environmental safety.
The Environmental Permit, issued by the Agency, is a tool to ensure the operations of industries did not negatively affect the environment, she told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview in Tema.
She identified facilities that operated with environmental permits such as oil and gas, and steelworks mandated to comply with the tenets of the permit to ensure their own safety and that of the catchments areas.
Every company needed to undertake quarterly monitoring to assess the quality of air, affluence, and noise to prevent any unforeseen occurrence that would affect lives.
Ms Opoku explained that the Agency reviewed assessment reports of the various companies and where the parameters did not meet the Ghana Standard requirement and international best practices, the company would be tasked to correct the anomaly within a specific period.
“Even if they have to reduce the operational capacity or change certain malfunction equipment, there’s always something that can be done to mitigate the impact,” she said.
Ms Opoku said the Agency periodically undertook both unannounced and scheduled facility visits to check that the permits and licenses for the institutions to operate were up to date.
“We verify whether or not there has been compliance or breach in respect of the required operating permits and institute appropriate sanctions where necessary.”
The Agency had undertaken a series of sensitisation programmes for facilities in the region on the importance to comply with permit conditions.
Ms Opoku said environmental hazards such as water and air pollution could have been prevented if the management of those facilities adhered strictly to the conditions stipulated in the Environmental Permit.