Senior Environmental Officer Mrs. Sonia Gumbs-Luke delivering a presentation to attendees.
During March 15-16, 2021, the Agency conducted a two-day workshop at its Whim Office in Region 6 which targeted developers/owners from gas stations located in Region 5 and 6. The objectives were to raise awareness on the EPA’s Environmental Authorisation Process and applicable regulations for gas stations/ bunkering operations, and ensure gas station operators are equipped with the relevant knowledge to become authorised and remain compliant. Additionally, emphasis was placed on the requirements and importance of submitting annual reports and the need for all their fire equipment to be serviced periodically. This was one of a series of capacity-building planned throughout this year to avoid and reduce incidences of spillage and manifestation of potential hazards.
A gas station is a facility where gasoline or other fuels are sold, and where maintenance and minor automobile repair services may be conducted. Additionally, gas stations may consist of a gas bar with gasoline outlets and other associated facilities such as car washes, convenience stores, and food services are located. Gas stations often operate as a 24 hours service, with a number of gas pumps to accommodate several vehicles being attended to at once. In such an area, where highly flammable fluid is distributed, the risk of spillages and accidents is eminent. These mishaps can result in the loss of millions of dollars in investment and even loss of lives. As such, the Agency will be conducting a series of activities to assess developers’ implementation and enhancement of safety measures.
Gas station/ bunkering operators need to become more sustainable in their practice by thinking about the environment and human health in their day-to-day operations. Under the Environmental Protection Act, certain categories of activities must first seek approval from the Environmental Protection Agency. This Environmental Authorization is a legally binding document to guide businesses on best environmental practices.