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Mandates and Activities of the Environmental Protection Agency

epaThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a statutory agency established in 1994 by Act 490 of Parliament to deal with environmental protection, pesticides control and regulation of environmental issues and its related purposes. The role of the EPA is perhaps more critical than ever, particularly because of the production of oil and gas in Ghana. The EPA has nineteen (19) clearly spelt out functions which are meant to ensure safe environment and are as follow:

  • to advise the appropriate ministry on the formulation of policies on the environment and in particular, to make recommendations for the protection of the environment;
  • to co-ordinate the activities of bodies concerned with the technical or practical aspects of the environment and serve as a channel of communication between those bodies and the Ministry of Environment, science and technology;
  • to co-ordinate the activities of the relevant bodies for the purposes of controlling the generation, treatment, storage, transportation and disposal of industrial waste;
  • to secure by itself or in collaboration with any other person or body the control and prevention of discharge of waste into the environment and the protection and improvement of the quality of the environment

(e) to collaborate or co-ordinate with foreign and international agencies for the purposes of this Act;

(f) to issue environmental permits and pollution abatement notices for controlling the volume, types, constituents and effects of waste discharges, emissions, deposits or any other source of pollutants and of substances which are hazardous or potentially dangerous to the quality of the environment or a segment of the environment;

(g) to issue notice in the form of directives, procedures or warnings to any other person or body for the purpose of controlling the volume, intensity and quality of noise in the environment;

(h) to prescribe standards and guidelines relating to the pollution of air, water, land and any other forms of environmental pollution including the discharge of waste and the control of toxic substances;

(I) To ensure compliance with the laid down environmental impact assessment procedures in the planning and execution of development projects, including compliance in respect of existing projects;

(j) To act in liaison and co-operation with government agencies, District Assemblies and any other bodies and institutions to control pollution and generally protect the environment;

(k) To conduct investigations into environmental issues and advise the Minister on these issues;

(I)  to promote studies, research, surveys and analysis for the improvement and protection of the environment and the maintenance of sound ecological systems in the Republic;

(m) To initiate and pursue formal and non-formal education programmes for the creation of public awareness of the environment and its importance to the economic and social life of the country;

(n) To promote effective planning in the management of the environment;

(0) to develop a comprehensive database on the environment and environ mental protection for the information of the public;

(P) To conduct seminars and training programmes and gather and publish reports and information relating to the environment;

(q) To impose and collect environmental protection levies in accordance with this Act and the Regulations;

(r) To regulate the import, export, manufacture, distribution, sale and use of pesticides; and

(s) To perform any other functions conferred on it under this Act or any other enactment.

 

In conclusion, the Environmental Protection Agency which has the mandate to regulate environmental issues in Ghana must enforce its laws in order to safeguard the environment which supports lives of citizens by providing agricultural lands and even used as place of abode by people.

By: David Aduhene Tanoh- www.reportingoilandgas.com

 

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Reporting Oil and Gas project was launched on 4th June 2009atTakoradi, Western Region, Ghana by Penplusbytes (PPB – www.penplusbytes.org) with the vision of providing a one stop online information and knowledge about Ghana’s oil and gas sector
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