EPA warns multi-nationals to stay clear agro-chemical retailing

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given dealers of counterfeit and substandard agro-chemicals or pesticides a two-week ultimatum to clear those products off the market or face prosecution.

The Authority has also cautioned multi-national companies engaged in retail trading of agro-chemicals to stop abruptly as it was against the law.

Mr Henry Kokofu, Executive Director of the EPA, said persons found culpable would be brought to book and dealt with accordingly.

He stated these when the Authority briefed the media on complaints and resolution procedures of some environmental protection challenges in Accra yesterday.

Mr Kokofu hinted that the EPA was collaborating with the security agencies particularly the police to see to it that the law took its course.

He called for a stop to indiscriminate land rezoning which was a huge contributor to noise pollution, adding that the Metropolitan, Municipal District Assemblies (MMDAs) should strengthen their oversight responsibilities to deal with all sorts of pollutions.

Mr Kokofu also indicated that the area of waste water discharges and management was another key area with lots of misgivings and complaints.

“The EPA knows these are matters that bring discomfort to the people of Ghana. We want to tell them that we are working on them and will continue to do so,” he added.

The Acting Director, Chemicals Control and Management Centre, EPA, Mr Joseph C. Edmund, speaking on the agro-chemical industry said the EPA had its inspectors on the grounds seeing to it that the right thing was done.

He warned dealers without licence to operate to quickly do so to avoid the wrath of the law.

“Anybody without a licence is warned because you need a licence. Even if you are an end user, you have to ensure that the product is registered before you purchase,” he added.

Mr Edmund added that the authority was also undertaking some trainings and awareness raising for key stakeholders, including the police and lawyers to strengthening its points of entry at the Takoradi and Tema to ensure that only the right products were brought into the country.

He further disclosed that the EPA was establishing its laboratory at Tema for quality control purposes.

Mr Ebenezer Appah-Sampong, Deputy Executive Director, Technical Services, EPA who spoke on fuel stations said the EPA was formulating a law to regulate their activities.

He added that the authority had also worked with stakeholders to develop an integrated guideline for operations of these stations, but that had been faced with challenges.

“So we have drafted a guideline which will be completed soon. Siting is a key issue in this draft. There has to be an approved site assessment,” he added.

Mr Appah-Sampong said that the guideline would also ensure the monitoring of BOCs from these stations and institute training programmes for operators and managers of these stations.

“Hopefully, before the end of the year, these guidelines will be completed,” he added.

BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR

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