The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has threatened to close down Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Stations in the Upper East Region that fail to meet the safety standards.
Among the key safety standards spelled out in the EPA permit issued to the LPG and fuel stations, are that, Managers and owners of the stations should ensure that they install Water Sprinklers at the stations, Safety Relief Valve Emergency shut -off –valve, Sight Glass, Temperature Gauge, Bottomed Drained Valve, Stairway and Platform, Grounding and Flame Fire Arrestors among others.
Mr Asher Nkegbe, Regional EPA announced this when a regional monitoring team visited some of the stations in the region.
He said those that would be closed would include; those that had faulty Water Sprinklers and those with old broken down fire hydrants
The Monitoring Team was made up of the EPA, the Ghana National Fire Service, Town and Country Planning, Public Works Department, Lands Commission of the Municipal Assembly and some Media Practitioners.
The team also discovered that some of the fuel and the LPG station attendants were using mobile phones while attending to customers and other stations had no smoke detectors.
While some of the stations allowed vehicles to be parked on their underground fuel storage tanks, others also allowed vehicle owners to use their fuel and LPG stations as their parking lot, posing danger should there be any fire outbreak.
Mr Nkegbe said the monitoring team would work continuously to ensure that all the LPG and fuel stations abide by the safety standards and entreated the Managers of the stations to ensure that their staff were trained periodically on safety measures and to also operate according to the EPA Permit.
“The permit given to you is not for decoration, but for you to constantly go through it to remind yourselves about how to implement the safety measures to avoid catastrophes”, the Regional Director said.
He said that as part of efforts to help prevent any disaster associated with LPG and fuel in the region, the Regional Directorate of the EPA had constituted a Regional Monitoring team made up of some Journalists who would undertake periodic monitoring to ensure that the safety measures were observed.
Mr Nkegbe commended the monitoring team particularly the Media Practitioners who formed part of the team and noted that as a result of the role they played, the Regional Directorate of the EPA in collaboration with the Ghana National Fire Service had been organising periodic training g for Managers and workers of LPG and the fuel stations.
Mr John Abu, the Safety Officer of the Ghana Fire Service, used the occasion to educate the LPG and fuel station Managers and their attendants on how to ensure safety.
He called on them to stop putting inflammable materials such as plastic containers and empty paper boxes in their stations adding that it was dangerous for attendants and customers to use mobile phones whilst either serving or patronising services at the stations, warning that it could ignite fire.
Mr Abu appealed to them to ensure that the sand they store at the stations meant for quenching fire was dry river sand and not gravel.