NEMC hits Lake Oil with Sh3.3billion fine – The Citizen

Lake Oil Petro station. Photo |File
Dar es Salaam. The National Environmental Management Council (NEMC) said yesterday that it was slapping a Sh3.3 billion fine on Lake Oil Limited, saying the fuel marketer had built several fuelling stations in a manner that contravenes with the law.
The NEMC director general, Dr Samuel Gwamaka, told journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday that Lake Oil has built 66 fueling stations across the country without conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as required under the Environmental Management Act, 2004.
But, the firm’s head of compliance, security and safety, Mr Stephen Mtemi, said the company has not been furnished with any form of communication by NEMC.
“We have not received any information,” he told The Citizen’s sister paper, Mwananchi.
But, Dr Gwamaka said that, in its routine investigations, the environmental watchdog established that Lake Oil had built 66 fueling stations – ten of them in Dar es Salaam – without following the procedures as laid down in the Environmental Management Act as amended from time to time.
“We have audited all the filling stations and we know where they are located.
“This creates an uneven playing field because other marketers have been undergoing the process before they set up fueling stations,” he said.
Section 81(1), (2), (3) and (4) require someone who seeks to develop a project to undertake an EIA before developing it.
Similarly, Section 196 of the law empowers the council to penalise a person who develops a structure in contravention of the law.
“I, therefore, declare that Lake Oil Limited should pay a fine of Sh3.3 billion for the repeated offences – and that money must be paid within 14 days from tomorrow (today).
“Should the company fail to comply with the order, NEMC will have no option but to close all the 66 fueling stations that were constructed in contravention of the Environmental Management Act, 2004,” he said.
He said NEMC will continue with auditing of filling stations operated by all the other marketers, insisting that no company will escape the penalty wrath should it be established that the Environmental Management Act, 2004 was not adhered to.
He said since 2004, NEMC has been conducting sensitisation campaigns for developers of various projects, including manufacturing facilities, to undertake EIA before developing their projects.
He said people around the project have the right to be engaged in the EIA, as well as on the impact of the project being developed to the nation.
He also said that, while there could be more than 3,000 fueling stations across Tanzania, NEMC has only registered about 600.
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