EPA ready to deal with oil spillage at Jubilee oil fields

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday gave the assurance that it is working in close collaboration with stakeholders to deal with oil spillage from the Jubilee oil fields.

Referring to the largest oil spillage that hit the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, Mr Daniel S. Amlalo, Acting Executive Director of EPA said they were working with the Ghana Maritime Authority, and the Ghana Navy to prevent such tragedy from occurring.

He was speaking to journalists in Accra at the end of a day’s sensitisation workshop organised by EPA for oil marketing companies.

It aimed at creating awareness on environmental association regulations, compliance and enforcement.

Mr Amlalo said Ghana had learnt from the experience of the sinking of the deepwater horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, which had been rated as the worst of its kind in the history of oil and gas exploration and production, adding it was in partnership with government and donor partners to equip the EPA with capacity and logistics such as aircrafts to embark on offshore monitoring.

He said the agency had also identified the oil spill-prone areas and carried out series of sensitisation workshops for people in the communities along the coastline.

Responding to recent reports of spillages in small quantities around the jubilee field, Mr Amlalo said the Agency was aware of the incidents and gave the assurance that those had been controlled, citing the recent KOSMOS energy company’s case as an example.

KOSMOS, the company exploring oil in the Jubilee field, reportedly spilled 690 barrels of mud which contained poisonous heavy metals off the Cape Three Points, last year.

Earlier, Mr Amlalo in a speech charged operators of Oil Marketing Companies to comply with Regulation 1999 (LI 1652), sections One and Two of the regulation that required them to comply with best practices for sustainable development, environmentally and socially sound managements.

He decried the existence of some old underground petroleum storage facilities that leaked stressing that they polluted water tables making the water unwholesome for human and animal consumption.

Mr Amlalo disclosed that the EPA was conducting frequent checks on oil and gas retail outlets to prosecute those who did not comply with the regulations.

He said 40 officers from the agency, drawn from the regions, districts and specific departments, had successfully completed an intensive course on public prosecution.

Mr Amlalo added that the training was organised by the Attorney General’s Department in line with the Executive Instrument Appointment of the Public Prosecution Instrument, 1999.

Mr Kweku Agyeman Duah, Industrial Coordinator of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies, expressed their commitment towards cooperating with the EPA.

Source: GNA

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