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19 facilities referred to prosecutor for environmental violations — official

New law grants Environment Ministry stronger jurisdiction over industries

By Hana Namrouqa - Jun 01,2017 - Last updated at Jun 01,2017

The new law maximised governmental control over the Kingdom’s natural resources (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — Nineteen industrial, vocational and agricultural facilities were referred to the general prosecutor in May for breaching environmental regulations, according to government officials.

Minister of Environment Yaseen Khayyat referred the violating facilities for legal action, according to ministry spokesperson Issa Shboul, who said that the step came after the new Environment Protection Law, which grants the ministry stronger jurisdiction over industries, came into force.

The “unprecedented” number of industries referred to the general prosecutor for environmental violations comes as a result of the ministry’s implementation of the new Environmental Protection Law, Khayyat said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

“Enforcement of the law began in late April, after Parliament recently endorsed it. The law has given the ministry additional jurisdiction in the monitoring and enforcement of the law,” Khayyat said in the statement.

The new law maximised governmental control over the Kingdom’s natural resources, with the addition of new articles to the bill aiming to keep up with developments, given that the first environmental protection law was issued over a decade ago, according to the ministry.

The new law stipulates stricter penalties against polluters and abusers of the environment and links the amount of fines to the impact of the violation, according to the ministry.

The law contains articles on electronic, chemical, hazardous and prohibited waste; management of mineral oils; as well as ozone-depleting materials. It also encourages green investments, intensifies monitoring of industries and enhances the protection of natural resources, including water resources and forests.

During the past month, the ministry also shut down 98 quarries for operating without a licence, demanding that their owners obtain licences and rectify their situation within two weeks.

 

Shboul said that the ministry also addressed 41 environmental complaints in May, noting that the complaints pertained to industrial, agricultural, service and vocational institutions.

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