The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it is making enormous strides when it comes to ensuring compliance. In fact, about 90 percent of the permit holders who were non-compliant have since been regularised.
The agency during an internal audit in January 2019, unearthed 481 environmental permit holders who were non-compliant.
According to the EPA, in its recent report for the period June to July 2019, under Executive Director, Dr. Vincent Adams, it came up with a strategy to arrest this issue and reduce the threat to human health and the environment, as a result of such practices.
The agency commenced its investigation into the 481 non-compliant permits.
The actions included publishing a public notice in the newspapers, as well as its website and social media platforms. Site visits and telephone calls were also made.
“This rigorous and strategic drive was a massive success, bringing 90% of defaulting permit holders into compliance in a mere five months,” the report said.
The agency made it clear that it remains committed to sound environmental management, and reminded of the importance to secure an environmental permit in the initial stages of the operations.
Meanwhile, EPA says that smell, smoke and noise top the number of complaints it has been receiving.
For the period June to July 2019, the agency received 118 complaints – 47.5% were related to smoke/odour/fumes, while 32% was related to noise.
EPA said it will continue to provide regulatory oversight to safeguard human health and the environment.
The EPA is a regulatory body with authority to grant or not grant permits for developmental projects that will impact on the environment.
As a regulator, the agency is also required to monitor activities of development and to enforce the provisions of the Act.
The agency also promotes and public participation in relation to scoping of environmental impact assessments and encourages a better understanding and appreciation of the natural environment and its role in economic development.
The agency’s work is organised into programme areas, each with a specific focus, including air quality and noise; freshwater; waste; biological resources, land resources, research and development, ecological and human health risk, and education, communication and awareness.
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