Ema shuts down seven fuel stations

GWERU - Environmental Management Agency (Ema) has shut down seven filling stations here for discharging toxic effluent into drinking water sources.

Ema shut down the filling stations on December 5, accusing them of failing to meet the November 31 deadline for setting up oil separators and treatment plants.

Among those affected are two Redan and Engen service stations. Offenders are liable to a level 14 fine of $5 000.

Onesimo Bhasera, Ema provincial manager, said the filling stations were supposed to set up the required facilities by November 31, but they had failed.

“Government had taken a mature stance to give them time, but the polluters did not comply, hence the closure,” Bhasera said.

The current crackdown was not only peculiar to Gweru, but to other parts of the country where such entities are not complying with Ema requirements.

“Pollution has become a cancerous disease in the country because people and companies do not have a culture of managing effluent,” Bhasera said. “Due to liberalisation of business, effluent is discharged with no regard of the environmental impact.”

Since May, a total of 11 filling stations, 23 garages and three food outlets were served with Ema orders.

“Bus garages were adamant to effect changes at their plants, hence the recent blitz on them,” he said. “They do not have facilities to trap oil which could mix with council water.”

According to Ema, the leading polluters are sewerage treatment plants, funeral parlours, service stations and garages.

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