May 20, 2010

National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network reconstituted (Ghana)

Filed under: Africa, Compliance Inspections — inece @ 3:41 pm

From the Ghanaian Journal

GNA – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday reconstituted the National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network to reinforce environmental laws in Ghana.

The network made up of several enforcement agencies like the Ghana Police Service, Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and various inspectorate agencies would in addition, be responsible for creating awareness about existing environmental laws.

Mr Jonathan Allotey, Executive Director of EPA, inaugurating the network said it was being reconstituted to strengthen collaboration between enforcement agencies and ensure the public complied with environmental laws.

“For instance there is a law banning the use of refrigerators with CFCs but some people are still importing such fridges to the market and we need CEPS to help check the effect of CFCs on the environment,” he said.

Mr Allotey expressed concern about the difficulty EPA faced in ensuring compliance with environmental laws and advised Ghanaians to build a culture of compliance.

He announced that to speed up the processes of acquiring environmental permit for projects, the EPA had started piloting an online registration project.

Mr Larsey Mensah, Director of Environmental Compliance and Enforcement at EPA said it had the mandate to require government agencies, MMDAs and other institutions to control pollution and protect the environment. He said reconstituting the network had become critical in view of the open violations of the various laws designed to ensure sustainability of the environment.

“The network would pay periodic visits to facilities that require various permits and licences from institutions to operate and verify whether or not there has been compliance in respect of the required operating permits and institute appropriate sanctions where necessary,” Mr Mensah added.

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