EPA permits not for development – Assemblies told  


By Edward Acquah

Accra, Oct. 13, GNA – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has asked local Assemblies to disapprove the siting of projects that do not meet their development criteria irrespective of the developer procuring environment permits from the Agency. 

The EPA said it was solely responsible for environmental issues, and thus did not have the capacity to determine the structural integrity of a facility. 

At a meeting with Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Chief Executives in Accra on Thursday to discuss challenges with land use, Mr Kwabena Badu-Yeboah, Director in charge of Environmental Assessment and Management at EPA, told the Assemblies to, “raise questions” about permits issued by the Agency and disapprove it if they found it problematic.  

“The EPA permit is not for development. We are in charge of development issues, but you (Assemblies) are responsible for the development of the land, and you have your criteria. If your criteria conflict with the EPA permit, you can disapprove it,” he said.  

At the meeting, some planning officers raised issues with some permits issued by the EPA, which they said conflicted with their development plans. 

They said the Assemblies were challenged in such situations as some developers held the position that so long as they had obtained EPA permits, they could not be stopped by the Assemblies in executing a particular project. 

The planning officers appealed to the EPA to seek the consent of the Assemblies before they issued permits to aid compliance and conformity with their land development regulations. 

Among the issues discussed at the meeting were lack of land use plans and development control, re-zoning issues, noise pollution, development within wetlands, mangroves, and sensitive areas, and citing of heavy industries close to residential areas. 

The Assemblies mentioned the lack of land use plans as a major challenge to effective land development in their jurisdictions, especially in new settlements. 

They said in the absence of land use plans, some developers went ahead with their projects and that had its own consequences on the development, control, and effective management of lands.  

Mr Daniel Alexander Nii-Noi Adumuah, the Municipal Chief Executive of Adentan Municipal Assembly, called for the involvement of the Assemblies in the issuance of land titles to avoid unauthorised development of areas earmarked for specific purposes. 

He said there had been instances where some individuals got land titles for areas designated as buffers or earmarked for roads, adding that the Assembly had a tough time preventing development of such areas. 

Ms Anna Adukwei Addo, MCE for Tema West, called for the development of a national policy on natural resources and wetlands to determine how those areas would be protected to prevent encroachment. 

“Let your conscience speak. When you’re issuing building permits; make sure you are doing the right thing,” she urged the Assemblies. 

Mr Henry Kwabena Kokofu, Executive Director, EPA, said the Agency would not hesitate to apply the relevant laws against any District Assembly whose action and inactions would result in the damage to the environment and human health. 



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