Oil marketers brace for fines as NEMC tightens the noose – The Citizen

Dar es Salaam. Many more oil marketers could be in trouble as the national environmental watchdog ups its fight against filling stations that were constructed in contravention of the law.
The National Environmental Management Council (Nemc) director general, Dr Samuel Gwamaka, said yesterday that they would today announce fines for 10 more filling stations whose construction did not follow procedures as laid down under the Environmental Management Act, 2004.
This comes at a time when Nemc says it was slapping a Sh3.3 billion fine on Lake Oil Limited, accusing it of establishing a total of 66 filling stations across the country without following the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedures.
“We started a crackdown on Lake Oil because it had several filling stations which did not follow the due procedures during the construction,” said Dr Gwamaka.
Noting that the council was now turning to other industry players, he said Nemc’s goal is not to hurt industry players, but to make them operate as per law with a view to protecting the environment.
The Nemc boss said they had on Tuesday written to inform Lake Oil about the Sh3.3 billion fine. Efforts to get comments from the Lake Oil head of compliance, security and safety, Mr Stephen Mtemi, were in vain as his phone went unanswered. Nor did he respond to short message services (sms).
Asked on why they were taking longer before taking action against those who were not abiding by the Environmental Management Act, and instead waited until the facilities were built, Dr Gwamaka said Nemc has limited workforce to identify all law breakers across the country. “There are more than 100,000 facilities to inspect; it is not easy,” he told The Citizen.
“It is the duty of every citizen of Tanzania to abide by the law.” Otherwise, he added, it was no walk in the park for Nemc to identify all those who were constructing fuel stations without abiding by the Environmental Management Act, 2004.
“Any developer is duty-bound to abide by the laws of this country,” he stressed.
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