Mr Ebenezer Ampah-Sampong, Deputy Executive Director Technical Service Environmental Protection Agency, says the agency plans to establish 34 new District offices to improve environmental services in the country.
He said the EPA, as part of management service responsibility, was ready to extend their coverage from the Regional offices to the district offices.
Mr Ampah-Sampong stated during a working visit to the EPA Greater Accra East Regional Office at Tema.
The building, which has partially been completed, has four floors, with the first and ground floor partially completed and occupied by the EPA Regional Officials.
Mr Ampah-Sampong said the 34 District Offices would be built, especially in areas with serious environmental difficulties.
Mr Ampah-Sampong said the EPA had made arrangements for heavy machines to manage the towns and communities within Greater Accra East Regional office.
“Is the vision of the Executive Director to complete this building and bring it to a certain state, where there would be a state of the Art Laboratory for pesticides and related testing,” he stated
He said the EPA would also provide general laboratory testing to be able to regulate the Environment and also generate revenue to sustain the activities of EPA.
Mr Ampah-Sampong disclosed in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Tema that the EPA was currently undergoing major reforms, which are intended to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations during the performance of its key mandate of protecting and improving Ghana’s environment.
He mentioned some of the reforms as automation, infrastructural acquisition and capacity building to enable the agency to serve Ghanaians efficiently and effectively.
He said the EPA had embarked on full automation, where people do not need to visit the EPA’s offices to transact business.
“From the comfort of one’s home, he or she can review environmental management plans and environmental impact assessment online”.
Mr Ampah-Sampong added that turn around time for the provision of environmental permits was drastically reduced from about 25 days to 5 days.
There is also an appeal system for companies, which are refused permits.