EPA set to be elevated to authority status, says executive director

Kokofu says when the law becomes operational, the EPA will not rely on the police service to cause arrests

Henry Kwabena Kokofu, the executive director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has unveiled plans to transform the agency into an authority.

This move was discussed during a webinar hosted by the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC) on Tuesday (27 February).

Kokofu, speaking at the webinar themed “Navigating Environmental Regulations: Ensuring Compliance with EPA Guidelines in Ghana,” outlined the impending transition of the EPA into an authority.

He revealed that amendments to the Environmental Protection Law are underway to effect this change, signalling a shift in the agency’s operational framework.

“By courtesy of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Cabinet has approved, and it is with Parliament as we speak; it has gone through the first and second readings; it is at the third reading for consideration,” Kokofu stated.

“So within a month or so, Parliament will approve, and the president will assent to it.”

Highlighting the key provisions of the amended law, Kokofu emphasised the enhanced mandate and capabilities the EPA would possess as an authority.

“That law will give more impetus to the EPA by way of authorization; the EPA will have the powers to cause arrests,” he explained. “When the law becomes operational, the EPA will not rely on the police service to cause arrests—the EPA itself will be deemed as a quasi-national security institution.”

Moreover, Kokofu underscored the EPA’s forthcoming prosecutorial powers, signalling a pivotal shift towards robust enforcement of environmental regulations.

“The EPA will become a force to be reckoned with, and it will be placed and positioned to deal with global environmental issues alongside national environmental issues,” he asserted.

The impending elevation of Ghana’s Environmental Protection Agency to authority status marks a significant milestone in the country’s environmental governance framework. Under the proposed amendments to the Environmental Protection Law, the EPA is poised to assume enhanced regulatory and enforcement powers, positioning it as a pivotal player in safeguarding Ghana’s environmental interests on both national and international fronts.

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