The Ghana Rubber Estate Limited (GREL) is to install an anti-odour system by the end of August this year to neutralize the odour generated from the rubber processing plant at Apimanim in the Western region.
The Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Mr. Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, told Parliament that effluent discharges from GREL operations are subjected to biological treatment prior to discharge.
The Minister was responding to a question from Mr. Kojo Armah, (CPP-Evalue-Gwira) on whether the Ministry was aware of the hazardous fumes and industrial emissions being generated from the rubber processing plant at Apimanim and what was being done to protect residents of the town.
Mr Asamoah-Boateng said GREL was the operator of the rubber processing plant and releases, including waste-water and odour have the potential of causing environmental and public health nuisance if not properly handled.
"The most serious of these releases is odour nuisance. The processing of natural rubber is characteristically odourous and the situation at GREL is no different. The odour is generated as a result of serum fermentation and thermal treatment of latex," he said.
"I wish to respectfully inform the Hon. Member that I am aware of these releases and the Environmental Protection Agency has been monitoring the plant operations of GREL," the Minister said.
He said the floor of the storage at the processing plant has been "concreted and adequate slopes provided to prevent the accumulation and subsequent stagnation of serum from the cup lump."
"Two 25m-pressurised water hoses have been permanently fixed at the storage to wash and direct the serum through the drains to avoid its stagnation and subsequent fermentation to generate odour,' he added.
"I wish to assure the Hon. Member that the EPA would continue to monitor the operation of GREL to ensure that all commitments made in the company's environmental management plan and its obligations under the permit conditions are adequately addressed," Mr Asamoah-Boateng said.