ECZ acts against Chilanga pollution

ECZ acts against Chilanga pollution
Published: 16 March 2009

The Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) has reduced the air emission licence validity period for Lafarge Cement  from 12 months to six for failing to comply with the law.

Acting ECZ senior communications officer, Chama Nyendwa, said the company had also been asked to submit stack air emission reports every two weeks for the next six months to enable ECZ to increase the frequency of monitoring the facility.

Ms Nyendwa said in a statement in Lusaka yesterday that ECZ was responding to public complaints about increased emissions from the cement plant in Chilanga.

She said a team of officers which had been sent to the plant to conduct a verification inspection had discovered that on March 8, 2009, the plant had emitted an abnormal amount of dust into the open environment as evidenced on surrounding buildings, motor vehicles and plants for a distance of up to 1.6km.

“Consequent to the foregoing, we have directed Lafarge Cement Zambia to develop and submit to ECZ, Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Mines Safety Department a detailed and practical Environmental Emergency Response and Preparedness Plan (EERPP) within 21 days for approval.

“Further, the company should submit a detailed environmental management plan (EMP) for the new cement plant within 21 days for approval,” she said.

Ms Nyendwa said the company had also been ordered to clean up and clean up the areas affected by the pollution arising from the incident in the surrounding community up to 1.8km north-west of the plant.