Expert Recommends Study Into Alleged Air Pollution In Tombia

PollutionAn environment expert, Mr Morris Alagoa, has called for the conduct of studies to measure the adverse impact of a gas plant located in Gbarantoru.

The environmentalist made the call on Thursday at Tombia town, shortly after an assessment tour of the area in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, south-south Nigeria.

Residents of the area have been complaining of air pollution, allegedly emanating from the oil and gas facilities located near the community.

Mr Alagoa, who was reacting to the claim which was said to have resulted into breathing discomforts by residents, called for scientific studies to trace the source of the pollution.

He urged the oil and gas industry regulators to monitor and ensure that the provisions of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) were carried out and complied with.

According to Morris, the EIA Act required periodic studies to determine the adverse environmental implications of the project and ascertain when the indices were out of tolerable limits.

“Who monitors compliance with the EIA compliance to ensure that the steps prescribed to mitigate the negative environmental impacts of the operations of the plant were ameliorated?

“We have got reports of air pollution, very high temperature caused by gas flare (and) poor fish catch from the Nun River amongst others. There is a need for studies by scientific experts to compare results with the baseline studies in the EIA report.

“The results of these studies will then form the basis to request for measures to ameliorate the impact of the operations (while) the local and state governments should step up action in the interest of the health of residents in the area.

“But the questions is, do they even have the EIA report which is supposed to be a pubic document? The communities are losing on all fronts as they only bear the adverse effects of oil and gas operations while the benefits in form of social amenities elude them,” Alagoa said.

The expert further noted that gas flare in the area and resultant acid rain make rain water unsafe for drinking, regretting that communities surrounding the plant lack access to potable water.

The spokesman for Shell, Mr Precious Okolobo, had earlier denied that the air pollution was from the company’s gas processing and gathering facility.

Mr Okolobo said “there is no air pollution from our Gbarantoru plant; the plant is running efficiently”.

Pollution: Agency Indicts Two Steel Companies In Osun At House Briefing

Climate-Change-polutionThe National Environmental Standard and Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA) says two iron and steel companies operating in Osun State have failed to comply substantially with environmental rules and regulations.

The Zonal Director of the Agency, Mr Adeleke Ajani, indicted the two companies on Tuesday, while addressing the Osun State House of Assembly, following complaints of environmental pollution levelled against the company by some residents of Ife North and Ifelodun Local Government Areas of the state.

Mr Adeleke, who revealed that his Agency had on several occasions written letters of concern to the companies over the harmful effects their operation is having on the environment and the people, said the steel companies had also failed in fulfilling their corporate social responsibilities.

“We are not satisfied with the operations of the two iron and steel companies at Ikirun and Ife. We have written not less than 15 letter of concern to both companies, stating our displeasure with their operations,” he told the lawmakers.

He said no Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was carried out before the establishment of the factories, an action which according to him violates the law.

“The companies were established at their present locations without any Environmental Impact Assessment, which is why they were not issued Environmental Impact Statement.

“NESREA as a regulatory body, is an anti-graft agency and everything we do, we have to take cognisance of the fact that every enforcement action will end in court and so we make sure that we give enough concern letters to the affected establishment,” he explained.

While reacting to the claims of the NESREA’s boss and the complaints of the host communities, the personnel managers of the Ife Steel and Iron Company, Oluwanisola Adeleke, maintained that the emissions coming out of the factory was within the permissible limit.

“We have the best emission control technology in Nigeria. So, I was surprised to see Channels TV crew three weeks ago, about the complaints of the people of the area.

“The technology we have in our facility today is capturing above 85% emission and the world standard is just around 70 to 75%”

They explained that they were mindful of the welfare of the people living in the areas and the environment, claims, which members of the House described as complete lies moulded to mislead the public.

At the end of the plenary, the Speaker of the House, Honourable Najeem Salaam, stated that the state might truly be looking for investors to boost its Internally Generated Revenue, but not at the expense of its citizens.

“In as much as we want industrialists to come to Osun and build industries, we value the lives and well-being of people and under no circumstances will we trade the lives of our people for industrial gains.

“We will deliberate on it and pass our resolution soon,” ‎Honourable Salaam added.