May 5, 2023.
The National Environmental Standard Regulatory and Enforcement Agency, (NESREA) has sealed up the Pure Bio-Tech Company Limited situated along Gboko Road, Makurdi, the Benue State Capital, over failure to uphold relevant guidelines in its disposal of factory waste.
The Director General of NESREA, Prof. Aliyu Jauro, maintained that facilities’ compliance with laid down environmental laws was a must, for any company operating in the country.
He said as the Agency is fully determined to ensure that non-compliant facilities are made to face the full wrath of the law, players in the environmental sector should emulate the compliance level of the 16 companies awarded last year and enjoined more companies to keep the environment friendly habits for safety of flora and fauna in the Nigeria space.
The Agency in a statement said the Pure Bio-Tech Company Limited situated along Gboko Road flaunted Regulations 2009 S.I No.36 and National Environmental (Sanitation and Waste Control) Regulations 2009 S.I No.28.
Tribune Online can report that section 36 of the National Environmental and Waste Control Regulation 2009 states that: “No person shall carry out an act or acts which directly or indirectly causes, or may cause immediate or subsequent water pollution.
It continues, “No person shall throw or cause to How into or near a water body any liquid, solid or gaseous substance or deposit any such substance in or near waterbody, as to cause pollution.”
NESREA in a statement signed by an Assistant Director, Press Amaka Ejiofor, said the Pure Bio-Tech Company Limited in Makurdi flaunted these provisions and empowered the Agency to invoke the relevant sanction.
The statement reads: “For discharging untreated effluent into water bodies thereby endangering human lives and the environment, and also flouting extant environmental laws and standards, NESREA could not help but protect the environment by halting further dangers.
“The company, an ethanol production plant, which belongs to the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sector, uses cassava as its raw material.
“This production of Ethanol using cassava is a wet process that requires the installation of a functional Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) which would ensure that waste from these processes is well treated before being discharged into the environment.
The statement noted that in March, “In March 2023 the Facility Consultant (NESREA Accredited) carried out an Environmental Compliance Monitoring (ECM), and the Report of the Effluent analyzed by the Consultant was submitted to the NESREA Field Office Makurdi on the 16th April, 2023.
The Report revealed that most of the parameters analyzed from the Effluent were above NESREA Permissible level as provided under the National Environmental (Sanitation and Waste Control) Regulations 2009 S.I N0.28. The facility had earlier been issued notices of compliance concerns to halt production until a functional ETP is fully installed but it failed to comply.
“The non-availability of the ETP is in clear violations of the provisions of the National Environmental (Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Soap and Detergent Manufacturing Industries) Regulations 2009 S.I No.36 and National Environmental (Sanitation and Waste Control) Regulations 2009 S.I No.28.
“NESREA moved in to avoid further endangering of lives of residents who use water from the river for their basic household needs.
This is in conformity with the provisions of the NESREA Act 2007 (as Amended), which allows the Agency to carry out such enforcement activity in situations where it becomes expedient and necessary to halt an action posing imminent danger to human life, animal the environment.
In addition to not having an ETP, the facility was also found to be operating without an Environmental Impact Statement, and did not complete the process of conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) before commencement of its operation which contravenes the EIA Act CAP. E12 of LFN, 2004.
“Also, the Facility operates without relevant Environmental Permits contrary to the National Environmental (Permitting and Licensing System) Regulations 2009 S.I N0.29.
“The facility therefore remains sealed while investigations continue. At the conclusion of investigations, the appropriate sanctions will be meted out on the company.”(www.naija247news.com).