In this article, we are going to have a look at the Environmental Protection Agency and the functions they perform in Ghana.
We will start by looking at what the Environmental Protection Agency is and then we would look at the functions of the Environmental Protection Agency in Ghana.
The Ghana Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is committed to continuously improving and maintaining Ghana’s environment.
Its aim is to jointly manage, conserve, and improve the country’s environment, as well as to identify common ground.
This is accomplished through a comprehensive environmental planning and management system based on broad public participation, efficient implementation of appropriate programs and technical services, sound environmental advice, and effective and consistent enforcement of environmental laws and regulations.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an implementing agency, a regulating body, and a catalyst for change in the direction of sustainable environmental stewardship.
Ghana’s Environmental Protection Agency is the primary government agency charged with safeguarding and improving the country’s environment.
It is their responsibility to ensure that everyone in today’s society takes care of the air, land, and water so that future generations inherit a better, healthier environment.
The Environmental Protection Agency has rich history dating back over 40 years.
The Environmental Protection Agency has offices all around Ghana, where they work on and implement government policy, inspect and regulate enterprises, and respond to emergencies like pollution incidents.
Its operations are overseen by a 13-member board of directors selected by Ghana’s president.
Its day-to-day activities, on the other hand, are overseen by an Executive Director and three divisional heads (Deputy Executive Directors).
Brief History of the Environmental Protection Agency
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formally founded on December 30, 1994 (Act 490), with the mission of regulating the environment and ensuring that government policies on the environment are implemented.
The former Environmental Protection Council (EPC) was created by the Environmental Protection Council Decree of 1974 (NRCD 239), which was later changed by the EPC (Amendment) Decree of 1976. (SMCD 58).
The EPC served primarily as an advisory body to the government on environmental problems. However, since the introduction of a Ministry responsible for the environment (Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology), it has become increasingly vital to reinterpret the EPC’s mission, especially because its policy-making responsibility has been transferred to the Ministry.
The Environmental Protection Agency Act of 1994 (Act 490) changed the Environmental Protection Council into an agency with regulatory and enforcement responsibilities, among other things (s).
Functions of The Envirinmental Protection Agency in Ghana
Section 2 of the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1994 (Act 490), states the functions of the Environmental Protection Agency . The functions of theAgency are:
a. To advise the Minister on the formulation of policies on all aspects of the environmental and in particular make recommendations for the protection of the environment;
b. To co-ordinate the activities of bodies concerned with the technical or practical aspects of the environment and serve as a channel of communication between such bodies and the Ministry;
c. To co-ordinate the activities of such bodies as it considers appropriate for the purposes of controlling the generation, treatment, storage, transportation and disposal of industrial waste.
d. To ensure in collaboration with such persons as it may determine the control and prevention of discharge of waste into the environment and the protection and improvement of the quality of the environment;
e. To collaborate with such foreign and international agencies as the Agency considers necessary for the purposes of this Act:
f. To issue environmental permits and pollution abatement notices for controlling the volume, types, constituents and effects of waste discourages, emissions, deposits or other source of pollutants and of substances which are hazardous or potentially dangerous to the quality of the environment or any segment of the environment;
g. To issue notice in the form of directives, procedures or warning to such bodies as it may determine for the purpose of controlling the volume, intensity and quality of noise in e environment;
h. To prescribe standards and guidelines relating to the pollution of air, water, land other forms of environmental pollution including the discharge of wastes and the control of toxic substances;
i. To ensure compliance with any laid down environmental impact assessment procedures in the planning and execution of development projects, including compliance in the respect of existing projects;
j. To act in liaison and co-operation with government agencies , District Assemblies and other bodies and institutions to control pollution and generally protect the environment;
k. To conduct investigations into environmental issues and advise appropriate stakeholders (complainants, policy and law makers) there on:
l. To promote studies, research, surveys and analyses for the improvement and Protection of the environment and the maintenance of sound ecological systems in Ghana.
m. To initiate and pursue formal and nonformal education programmes for the creation of public awareness of the environment and its importance to the economic and social life of the country;
n. To promote effective planning in the management of the environment;
o. To develop a comprehensive database on the environment and environmental protection for the information of the public;
p. To conduct seminars and training programmes and gather and publish reports and information relating to the environment;
q. To impose and collect environmental protection levies in accordance with this Act or regulations made under this Act;
r. To co-ordinate with such international agencies as the Agency considers necessary for the purposes of this Act; and to perform any other functions conferred on it under this Act
To find out more information about the Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana, kindly visit : http://www.epa.gov.gh/epa/