The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last Friday ordered the Shell fuel station and the Anasset gas station in Aflao to cease operations because of serious safety violations.
EPA closes down fuel stations at Aflao
Link Energy (Quantum) was also ordered to immediately cease the sale of fuel but with a dispensation to continue selling its present stock of gas up until Wednesday September 16.
The Shell fuel station and Link Energy were each fined 10,000 Ghana cedis, and Anasset Gas station 5,000 Ghana cedis, and were given two weeks to rectify their anomalies or consider decommissioning.
Notices for “Immediate cessation of operations” were placed on their premises by a team from the EPA led by Mr William Hayfron-Acquah, Chief Programme Officer.
He warned managers of those stations that they risked a spot fine of GH¢ 3,000 each, if they ignored the order to stop operating or be handed over to the police in default.
The Shell Filling Station, hemmed in by a bank and other business entities was not concrete paved, had several vehicles parked on its premises, while its generator shed was crammed with cartons and rubber containers soaked in fuel.
Its tank farm and fittings were not secured as prescribed.
At the time the EPA team got to the station, an articulated truck which was leaving the station had broken down and blocked the main road to the Aflao-Lome border.
Anasset gas station on the other hand shares its unenclosed premises with a welding station and looked deserted. The surroundings were weedy and its compound was not concreted.
Its gas tank looked rusty and unmaintained.
Across a lane close to the Link Energy filling station was a welding station, its surroundings were weedy, safety gauges on some of its gas tanks looked dysfunctional, with part of the premises being used as an improvised washing bay.
The EPA team was however pleased with the high safety standards at the Kings Energy Limited also at Aflao.
Its premises were well kept and concrete paved, and the gas tanks were far removed from the main fuel station and gated.
All vehicles which filled their gas tanks at the Kings Energy Limited were fitted with flame arresters and pushed well away from the sale point before the ignition was put on.
Fuel spilt after serving each vehicle was cleaned with sand before the next vehicle was served.
Mr Hayfron-Acquah reminded owners of fuel stations that prescribed safety standards for their operations were meant to secure their investments and ensure public safety.
He said fuel filling stations were potential “bombs” hence the highest standard of safety must be enforced by those managing them.
Those premises are not thoroughfares and only those who have some business to transact there must be admitted in.
Mr Hayfron-Acquah warned that the EPA would not relent in ensuring that the highest safety standards were adhered to irrespective of who owned those stations.
He said the EPA and other regulatory bodies would soon organise periodic training sessions for managers and personnel operating fuel stations.
Evidence of participation in those training sessions would be required to qualify one to perform functions at those fuel stations, he said.
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