Don’t blame us entirely for Atomic junction explosion – EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has said it cannot be fully blamed for Saturday’s gas explosion at Atomic junction in Accra.

It said although it admits that its mandate included ensuring that the gas station where the explosion occurred was complying with environmental safety regulations, other agencies also had various roles to play in ensuring that the operations of the station did not negatively affect the environment.

The Executive Director of the EPA, Peter Sarkodie, in an interview on Eyewitness News said other regulatory agencies and the operators of the gas station must all be blamed for the incident.

“Safety measures do not come under the jurisdiction of the EPA…a lot of institutions are responsible for ensuring sound environmental procedures in the country, so partly, I can accept some blame but not all… The Bulk of what happened can’t be directed at the doorsteps of the EPA,” he said.

“We were involved in giving the operator the permit to do so… and at a point were mandated to go for inspection and monitoring which we did, so if we left the site and we went back to our office and somebody was to discharge and there is a leakage of gas resulting in a fire outbreak., I think the blame should be laid squarely at the doorstep of the person who was involved in the discharge,” he added.
7 people were killed, with 132 others injured, as two gas explosions occurred at Atomic junction in Accra on Saturday.

The explosions left many structures destroyed with some vehicles totally burnt. The incident has revived discussions over the safety compliance levels of fuel stations in the country.

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are two agencies whose level of proactivity and integrity in ensuring due diligence have been questioned.