From James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
The Ogun state government has sealed up two steel mills, Monarch Steel Mills, Ogijo as well as Sun & Sand Steel Limited, Ota, for non-compliance with the state’s environmental laws.
Monarch Steel Mills was sealed up for failure to comply with emission control law, while Sun and Sand Steel Limited was locked-up for the refusal of its management to submit an environmental management plan and report in the last two years.
Speaking with newsmen on the development, Special Assistant to the state governor on Environment, Mr. Yele Akinyeye disclosed that the hazardous gaseous emission emanating uncontrollably from Monarch Steel Mills constituted danger to the health of the people and safety of environment.
Akinyeye said government was left with no choice but to seal up the firm following its failure to heed earlier warnings, affirming that uncontrolled gas emission contravenes set standards of specific parameters for industrial operation in the state.
The Special Assistant said, regardless of its stance on attracting investments into the state, government would not condone acts that could put the health of residents in jeopardy.
On the other hand, the Director of Inspectorate and Compliance Department of the State Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. Abiodun Durojaiye, who carried out the closure order of Sun and Sand Steel Limited disclosed that the firm had failed to submit both its monthly and quarterly environmental management report and plans for over two years.
“We have discovered that Sun and Sand had failed to submit the Quarterly Air Quality Monitoring Report since the first quarter of 2011, Monthly Effluent Report, Air Dispersion Modeling and as well as Environmental Management Plan of this company, requested for this company for the past two years. Consequent upon this, this industrial facility is sealed up” he disclosed.
In their respective reactions, the Acting General Manager of Monarch Steel Mills, Mr. Ravi Garg and Mr. Choudhary, Manager of Sun and Sand Steel Limited regretted the developments, assuring that they would take immediate steps to comply.
On his part, Choudhary said “I can’t explain what happened because I am not aware that our environmental consultant has not submitted all the necessary reports for the last two years to OGEPA. We will however take steps to put everything needed in place without further delay”.