The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered the United Steel Company (USC) in the Tema Free Zone enclave to install a filtration system in its smoke stack to eliminate pollution from the factory operations.
The directive follows investigations by the regulatory body which showed that the company’s stack emitted particulate and gaseous (pollutants) with negative implications for the environment and public health.
A petition dated November 8, 2019 from the V & A Legal Consult, Citadel Chambers signed by Andrew K. Vortia, a barrister and solicitor, to the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), sighted by the Ghanaian Times stated that the fumes from the USC’s operations posed an environmental hazard with possible respiratory related diseases for the employees of the company and residents.
It, therefore, urged the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation to compel the management of the factory to take immediate action to resolve the anomaly.
The move by the EPA was, therefore, seen as a permanent solution to the pollution issue.
A visit by the Ghanaian Times to the factory on Monday revealed that dark smoke was still being spewed out of the company’s stack, but the Import and Export Manager of USC, Fadi El Chami, said management was fabricating a filtration system to reverse the situation.
He explained that the EPA closed down the factory in November last year due to the pollution but opened it on December 4, 2019, to “enable them to complete the fabrication and installation of the filters.”
Mr Chami said they were required to submit report of the progress of work to the regulatory body from time to time adding that the latest report was submitted on January 6, 2020.
He said they were determined to resolve the pollution problem and chart a new course to enhance productivity.
Smoke from the factory stack
The filtration system under fabrication
FROM GODFRED BLAY GIBBAH, TEMA