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28.10.2005 Regional News

Need for safe handling and transportation of chemicals - Director

By GNA
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Sekondi, Oct.28, GNA - Miss Irene Heathcote, Western Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on Thursday stressed the need for procedures and legislature to ensure safe handling and transportation of chemicals.

She said such measures would minimise and prevent accidents involving chemicals, because there had been accidents with the transportation of chemicals by road, which could have endangered human health and the environment.

Miss Heathcote was speaking at a meeting with transporters and handlers of chemicals convened by the Agency at Sekondi. Officials of Custom, Excise and Preventive Service, National Road Safety Commission, transporters and handlers of chemicals attended the meeting.

She noted that some chemicals were potential threat to the environment therefore; there should be guidelines on their handling, storage and transportation.

The Director said Ghana was a signatory to some protocols that obliged her to put in place a system to ensure benefits of chemicals was not done at a cost to the environment.

Miss Heathcote said the guidelines should be owed and used by transporters of chemicals and regulatory bodies. She said, "There is therefore, the need to develop institutional procedures, a legislature and regulatory framework within which enforcement procedures can be implemented."

Mr Joel Asiedu, Programme Officer of EPA, said workers, the public and the environment should be protected from chemical accidents. He said although recorded accidents involving chemicals were rare in the country, this could change as the quantities involved in storage and handling increased or as the volume of traffic increased on the roads. Mr Asiedu said it was necessary that precautions should be taken to prevent and reduce the impact when accidents occur. Officials of Custom, Excise and Preventive Service, National Road Safety Commission, transporters and handlers of chemicals attended the meeting.

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