A new Marine Pollution Bill, which incorporates the Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response, Co-operation and Dumping of Wastes to address the challenges of the oil industry, has been drafted to respond to the challenges of the oil industry.
The Bill is jointly prepared by the Ghana Maritime Authority and the Environmental Protection Agency, Ms Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology told Parliament on Tuesday when the House reconvened.
The Minister, who was responding to a question on the floor of the House on measures being put in
place to formulate laws and regulations on environmental pollutions, said the Ghana Marine Pollution law formulated in 1964, had not seen any review to address emerging challenges particularly in the oil industry.
Madam Ayittey, touching on various types of pollution including noise, land and air, said “Ghana ratified the MARPOI Convention, which is concerned with oil pollution.”
“ The convention aims at achieving complete elimination of international pollution of marine environment by oil and other harmful substances from ships and to minimize the accidental discharge of such substance.”
On air pollution, she said the ministry has secured cabinet approval on Air Quality and Emission policy, which seeks to initiate strategies to reduce emissions with “attractive co-benefits of reducing future generation’s health locally. It would also have additional positive impacts on climate change nationally and globally,” the Minister added.
She explained that a buffer zone policy for managing fresh water bodies in the country is being prepared for cabinet to approve.
Buffer zones provide natural services such as improving water quality by trapping sediment and chemicals from runoff before reaching water bodies.