EPA reviews LI to regulate Ghana’s offshore environment

tullow-oil-377540-590x330The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has drafted a proposed Offshore Environmental Regulation which will  regulate the activities of oil and gas companies offshore Ghana.

The over 150-page document will among other things deal with  discharges and emissions into the environment, mechanisms to enhance community relations and security during exploration and production of petroleum products.

The draft, currently at the consultative stage is seeking input from other relevant stakeholders such as Civil Society Organizations and fishing unions at the regional levels.Dr. Steve Manteaw, Executive Director at the Integrated Social Development Center (ISODEC) who is also the lead facilitator for CSOs said at a Civil Society Organization forum in Takoradi that “we missed a great deal of opportunity during the inception phase of Jubilee, in ensuring sound environmental management in the context of hydrocarbon extraction, and so a call on us as CSOs by the EPA to contribute to regulations is an opportunity for us to ensure that proper rules and international best practices are firmed up in a law that addresses our previous and current concerns.”

“It will also ensure that oil companies will behave in an environmentally friendly manner and ensure that they use the correct technology in their operations”. Kwame Mensa, coordinator for KASA platform Ghana told Citi News.

Director of fisheries at Friends of the Nation Kyei Nyamoah revealed that “there are duplication of authority and powers in the proposed marine pollution bill, the Maritime Authority’s laws, Fisheries Commissions Regulation and the Exploration and Production Law. For instance a careful consideration of the regulations above show that, they will all be charging different penalty fees for the same offense committed by an oil company and so there must be a careful harmonization of all the powers and authorities.”

The final draft of the proposed LI is schedule for final reviewing after which it will be submitted to the Attorney General’s Department for legal consideration before onward submission to the sector minister for parliamentary consideration.

source: citifmonline.com