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29.07.2004 Regional News

EPA to adopt performance ratings in its command system

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Tamso (W/R), July 29, GNA- The command and control system being used by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enforce environmental policy is to be replaced by performance ratings, which is more information-based.

This is because the public concern of the environmental performance of regulated entities had proven to be a powerful instrument for environmental and natural resource protection in both developed and developing world.

Mr. Daniel Amlalo, Director of Operations, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said this at a one-day workshop on "Environmental Performance and Public Disclosure (EPPD) in Ghana" held at Tarkwa on Tuesday.

The workshop, which was organised by the EPA and sponsored by the World Bank, brought together representatives from mining companies, mines department, traditional authorities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), media personnel and civil society.

Participants were taken through the concept of Environmental Performance and Public Disclosure (EPPD), discussions on indicators and ratings criteria and disclosure methodology.

Mr. Amlalo said the objective of the workshop included designing of applicable methodology, implementing the pilot programme and running a countrywide programme, in order to make the public understand the concept and appreciate the value of achieving the desired goal. He said with the assistance of two local consulting firms EPA is working within the mining and manufacturing industries to achieve the set objectives.

Mr. Amlalo appealed to the participants to come out with a criteria to be used as partners in development, adding that EPA and other regulatory bodies could not manage the environment alone.

He said in the previous approach, there was a set of regulations that people must go by but, "in this case we are working together to make sure that what we have agreed upon can be disclosed to the public."

Mr. Dyson T. Jumpah, Managing Consultant, Environ Engineering and Management Consult (EEMC) presenting the EPPD concept said new approach involves collection of historical record with information on environmental policy management, and reports sent to EPA among others would be gathered and looked at over a period of time.

Mr. Jumpah said this calls for regulatory bodies to update their data, do effective monitoring, and to agree on the indicators to rate one's performance.

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