The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Frimpong Boateng, has given a one week ultimatum to some steel manufacturing companies within the Tema Free Zones enclave to come out with a road-map on how they intend to deal with environmental pollution in their areas of operation.
The Minister’s warning comes in the wake of several complaints from some adjoining companies operating within the Free Zones enclave as well as residents living nearby regarding pollution from the steel companies in the area.
Among the steel manufacturing companies visited were United Steel, Rider steel, MND Metal and Success Aluminum Company.
The unexpected visit was to check the measures being put in place by these companies to prevent environmental pollution. But most of them were found to have flouted the guidelines by the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA.
“Coming here, you would agree with me that there are a lot of short-comings. First of all the extractor system around all the heating chambers are not working; meaning they’re only extracting about 40 % of the fumes that come out. Also your filtration system is not working properly and the dust from the filters is also not collected well. I feel like closing this factory, but I won’t do it now because I see you are trying to improve things” Professor Frimpong Boateng said.
The Minister also warned the companies to act responsibly, and gave them a one-week ultimatum to come out with a report on how they intend to deal with the problems.
“We are not happy with what is happening here which has been going on for a very long time. I therefore think you should take our visit very seriously and make sure you do the necessary things to clean this place.”
Some officials of the companies who spoke to Citi Business News, promised to rectify the irregularities as soon as possible. The General Manager of Rider Steel, P.P Patnir, explained they were close to resolving all their issues.
“You can see we’ve already manufactured most of the items needed to solve our issues right here. We are just waiting for the engineers to come and install them. We hope to be free of the issues identified after everything is installed.”