The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it would soon begin piloting Risk Assessment and Auditing of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Fuel Service stations from the Greater Accra Region.
Mrs Angelina Ama Tuffour Mensah, the Public Relations Officer of the EPA, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview that, it had recalled its entire technical staff, who were on the field in the Western Region to begin the exercise.
She said the Risk and Auditing of the LPG and Fuel stations would take about 10 days to complete and would be replicated in the other nine regions.
“Our technical team was already on the field monitoring the operations of LPG and fuel stations before the Atomic Junction gas explosion incident occurred and so we decided to recall them and re-assign them,” she said.
Mrs Mensah said the EPA subscribed to the Cabinet directives issued on Thursday, October 12, 2017, and gave the assurance that, it would intensify its operations in collaboration with other regulatory bodies to curb the frequent gas explosions in the country.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) had called for policy intervention to guide the sale of gas cylinders to ensure standardisation in the country.
Dr Kofi Amponsah-Bediako, the Head of the Public Relations of the GSA, told the GNA that the regulatory bodies, before implementing the Cabinet’s directives on safety standards, should agree to flush out all old and dysfunctional gas cylinders in the system.
This, he said, would give assurance to customers who present new cylinders in exchange for refilled ones that, the one given to them was of high quality.
“There should be a central point for refilling and distribution of gas cylinders to homes and the agents who would do the distribution must be trained adequately to perform their mandate efficiently without breaching safety regulations,” he said.
Dr Amponsah-Bediako said: “When we talk about standards in Ghana, it lies in the bosom of the Ghana Standards Authority and, therefore, all stakeholders who are suppose to implement the Cabinet directives on safety standards at the LPG and fuel stations should collaborate with us to ensure successful implementation of the Cabinet directives”.
He noted that the Cabinet directives required that the National Petroleum Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency, the GSA, district assemblies and all bodies that had a role to play directly or indirectly should work together to ensure the required standards were met by all LPG and fuel operators.
“The NPA cannot say for example, it is responsible for issuing licences and, therefore, it will do it alone, because issuing licences has something to do with standards, and so all the regulatory bodies supposed to collaborate for the right thing to be done at the right time,” he noted.
Ghana has recorded eight gas explosions in the past three years, which has claimed many lives and left many others injured.
The Atomic Junction gas explosion in Accra on Saturday, October 7, the most recent one, claimed seven lives and left 132 injured.