Akufo-Addo must probe alleged dubious EPA certification on Sentuo Refinery - Moshake
The Secretary to the Tema Sakumor shrine, Mr. Stephen Ashitey Adjei, has called for a probe into the certification that paved way for a private investor to put up a refinery in Tema Manhean near Valco.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Mr. Ashitey Adjei, who is popularly called Moshake, dangled question marks over a supposed environment impact certificate that the owners of Sentuo oil refinery got issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.
“We have heard that originally, the Tema branch of the EPA refused to grant Sentuo Clearance to put up the refinery at Tema Manhean because the community is densely populated.
Consequently, the EPA in Tema refused to issue Sentuo a certificate showing that the refinery would be safe at where they are currently siting it,” Moshake wrote.
In spite of EPA’s alleged denial of the certification, the owners of Sentuo Oil refinery have gone ahead to construct the refinery and are currently laying pipes to finish it off.
“Our information is that, after Tema EPA had refused to grant them certification, they contacted some government high-up in Accra and through that government high-up, they managed to circumvent proper procedure,” the Tema Sakumor shrine secretary wrote.
“On behalf of the people of Tema Manhean, I call on President Akufo-Addo to immediately commission a probe into the state of certification of Sentuo in as far as the refinery that they are putting up is concerned, with particular dig into how they procured environmental impact assessment certification when Tema EPA originally refused to give them that certificate.”
The call comes as tension builds in Tema Manhean over the siting of the refinery in that densely populated suburb of the harbour city.
The cause of the tension is concern that refineries are dangerous misfits for residential areas since in case of an accident, the consequences would be catastrophic.
Already, Tema Manhean land hosts the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) which experts say has been mis-sited because in the event that the TOR refinery explodes, Manhean and all of its catchment areas can be wiped off.Because the people already face this danger, there is extra apprehension that adding another refinery to TOR will only increase the danger that already saddles the place.
“Even with proper certification, Sentuo would still be a danger to the people of Tema Manhean who are already saddled with TOR which is like an accident waiting to happen.
Therefore, if it is true that Sentuo did not get proper environmental impact certification and clearance from the EPA, and yet are going on with the project, then that is criminality. We want the president to commission a probe into the allegation and do the needful where people are found culpable,” Moshake wrote.