General News of Saturday, 5 November 2005
Prestea (W/R), Nov. 5, GNA - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has lifted the ban placed on the Southern End of the Plan North Project Area at Prestea.
This was contained in a letter signed by Mr Jonathan A. Allotey, Executive Director, EPA.
Nana Richard Hagan, Community, Safety and Environment Manager, EPA, announced this at a consultative meeting at Prestea. The meeting brought together, chiefs of Himan-Prestea, Assemblymen, representatives from concern citizens of Prestea and Wassa Association of opinion Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM) and leaders. The ban was lifted though, certain conditions were spelt out in the letter which should be met by BGL.
They were; BGL should strictly revise its blasting procedures by restricting the number of blast holes to between 50 and 100, while maintaining blast hole length of eight metres and subsequent charge per hole.
BGL would invite officials of Mines Department to supervise every initial blast for a period to be determined by the Agency and also invite EPA's Tarkwa District Officer to observe each blast. In addition, BGL has to construct the senior police officers' residence and complete the same before the end of the plant North Project.
BGL has to continue with the social commitments to the communities and provide a schedule of implementation to the Agency and find the necessary mechanism to repair the damage caused to buildings and other structures as a result of blast induced vibration and also pay for damaged household and other equipment of genuine claimants. Again BGL has to continue discussions and consultations with the communities and construction of the drains along the sides of the by-pass road.
EPA stopped BGL from all operational activities on September 13, 2005 for contravening the provisions made in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Plant North Project. The provisions per the EIS included construction of a by-pass road to divert traffic near Ghana Commercial Bank at Prestea.