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Air Pollution ‘Dirty fuel’ meets emission standard – NPA boss

In West Africa especially, the report said “Vitol, Trafigura and Addax & Oryx ruthlessly exploit weak regulatory standards and make the local urban populations pay with their health. Public Eye researchers drew fuel at local pumps in eight countries.

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play Ghana has been named among several countries in a report by Public Eye where these companies ship sub-standard fuel to.

The boss of the National Petroleum Authority says diesel with toxin level illegal in Europe meets emission control levels prescribed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

His reaction follows a report by Public Eye in which it criticised Swiss firms for their links to the trade of diesel in Africa that contain high Sulphur considered illegal in Europe.

In West Africa especially, the report said “Vitol, Trafigura and Addax & Oryx ruthlessly exploit weak regulatory standards and make the local urban populations pay with their health. Public Eye researchers drew fuel at local pumps in eight countries.

“The result was shocking: as our analysis revealed, the diesel samples contained up to 378 times more sulphur than is permitted in Europe. Furthermore, other toxic substances, such as benzene and polycyclical aromatic hydrocarbons, were also found in concentrations that are also banned in Europe.”

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The report points to weak regulatory standards in Africa which allow diesel to have a sulphur content of more than 2,000 parts per million (ppm). Media reports suggest some allow more than 5,000ppm. In Europe, the standard is less than 10ppm.

However, Moses Asaga said “Ghana is on the middle level around 3,000 ppm”  in a media interview.

He further noted that emission tests carried on the imported diesel show they are within allowable standard.

He also allayed the fears of consumers over the use of the ‘dirty fuel,’ saying they meet emission control levels.

“I need to allay the fears of the public and the consuming public that the ppm levels for Sulphur in Ghana meet the emission control levels in Ghana as prescribed by the EPA,” he told Joy FM Friday.

“We have done the emission test, bringing along all our alternative vehicles, pilot vehicles, using the diesel that we have procured into the country and when we did the emission test, it meets the environmental allowable standard," he added.

According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), policy makers in Africa are unaware of the significance of the sulphur content.

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