The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is rebranding itself to strengthen supervision and compliance of environmental laws and regulations in the country.

The Agency is also intensifying public education campaigns on its mandate and sanctions associated with noncompliance of its directives, while at the same time, conducting environmental auditing to create public awareness on safe environment.

Dr Henry Kwabena Kokofu, Executive Director of EPA, who stated this, said the new EPA was committed to assist businesses and companies to improve on their activities without posing health hazards and threat to the environment.

Addressing a forum of businesses and companies as part of a public education programme in Kumasi, he said environmental safety was crucial to national development and it was important for companies, businesses and individuals to conduct their activities in a manner that would not pose serious environmental hazards.

The forum created the platform for the EPA and its stakeholders in Kumasi to deliberate on various issues involving their operations and the environment and the need to find ways to address some of the environmental concerns posed by the activities of businesses and companies.

The participants were drawn from businesses in the petroleum and petrochemical, beverages and water manufacturing, hospitality, health and drug as well as the agro-chemical sectors.

The forum was aimed at creating the necessary awareness among these companies on the need to safeguard the air to ensure a better climate for healthy living and to protect the next generation.

Dr Kokofu pointed out that EPA would not compromise on its duty to work hard to bring the needed environmental sanitation and integrity, which were key to national development.

He said the EPA had no mandate to prevent any company from operating unless that company flouted the existing environmental laws and regulations in the country.

Dr Kokofu said the Agency was refurbishing its laboratories so as to be able to conduct appropriate tests and analysis.

He stressed the need for the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to ensure the proper management of waste generated in their areas by encouraging recycling.

Dr Kokofu appealed to agro-chemical dealers to come together to establish manufacturing companies using indigenous technology and local materials to produce bio-degradable and environmentally friendly agro-chemicals for farmers in the country.

Mr Bernard Kwasi Dwomoh, Ashanti Regional President of agro-chemical dealers, spoke of how foreigners had taken over the retail market which was gradually collapsing the businesses of Ghanaian agro-chemical dealers.

In a related development, the Executive Director of EPA had toured some organisations and companies in the Region to ascertain their environmental compliance.

They were the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Number One Plastics at Ohwimase, Sadumak Prime Company Limited, the Kumasi International AirPort, which is currently under construction and the New Kejetia Market.

Dr Kokofu advised the management of these companies and organizations to ensure total compliance of EPA regulations and directives to help reduce environmental pollution and protect the environment.

Mr Alan Frazeto, Project Manager of the Kumasi Airport Redevelopment Project, said stringent measures had been instituted to control noise and other nuisance created at the project site.

Mr Ebenezer Safo Adu, Manager of Sadumak Prime Limited, said the prime objective of the company was to ensure that vehicles were properly checked to prevent emission which polluted the environment.