EPA halts UCC’s filling station project

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has halted the construction of a GOIL fuel station belonging to the University of Cape Coast (UCC), for failing to acquire a permit.

Work on the project started four months ago, and is about 40 per cent complete. but efforts by the EPA to get the university authorities  to acquire the required permit yielded no result, hence the decision to stop it.

Mr. William Hayfron-Acquah, Chief Programmes Officer, EPA, gave the directive when the Deputy Minister of the Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Bernice Heloo, visited the Central Region.

The tour was to assess safety at gas and fuel stations across the country, following an explosion at the GOIL filling station in Accra on June 3 that claimed many lives.

Mr. Hayfron-Acquah said it was illegal to construct filling stations without the requisite permit, and asked the UCC authorities not to continue with the project until they procured a permit from the EPA.

In a related development, a Shell filling station at Elmina has also been temporarily closed down for failing to renew its permit for two years.

Mr. Hayfron-Acquah said the failure to renew its permit which expired on April 3, 2013 was tantamount to non-compliance with the necessary safety measures, and stated. “I do not see the reason for their continual operation.”

Mr. James Owusu, the supervisor on duty at the time of the visit, explained that their permit was at the head office in Accra.

The GOIL and Total filling stations in the Cape Coast metropolis  were not able to show their permits and were given up to today to present their permits or face  temporal closure.

The Goil filling station at Pedu was, however, given a two-week ultimatum to de-congest its premises.

Mr. Hayfron-Acquah was unhappy that the Town and Country Planning had endorsed construction works on the many building projects spring up close to some fuel stations.

He asked fuel station attendants not to serve drivers who did not turn off their engines, and urged the managers not to allow drivers to park their cars on their premises.

Dr. Heloo, Deputy Minister of the Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, indicated that fuel and gas stations which did not meet the requirements of the EPA would be closed down.

She pointed out that the action was not a punitive measure, but was to compel people to comply with simple rules and regulations.

The deputy minister said the June 3 incident in Accra must be an eye opener for all to make sanitation a major concern to stem disasters.

She also tasked the public to contract the services of waste management companies to handle their refuse, and urged them to desist from the habit of throwing refuse into gutters and drains.

Dr. Heloo and her team from the EPA also inspected Glory Filling Station at Cape Coast, and Superior Oil at Elmina, where she commended them for the safety measures put in place.

-GNA

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