Epra eyes joint national-county LPG safety rules enforcement

Director General of Epra, Daniel Kiptoo speaks during a Media Roundtable meeting held by the regulator on May 23, 2024, at Sarova PanAfric Hotel in Nairobi. 

Photo credit: File | Billy Ogada | Nation Media Group

The energy regulator is pushing for a partnership between the national and County governments to enforce safety rules on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) facilities and curb accidents.

Daniel Kiptoo, the Director General of the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) said a unit would enhance safety checks.

“We ask county governments to collaborate with us in coming up with clear guidelines on exclusive zoning and reservation of land for setting up new petroleum and gas facilities away from densely populated areas,” he said.

Sh10 million fine

Epra in 2019 published stringent rules for the cooking gas sector in a bid to curb illegal refilling, selling gas without permits, or transporting the commodity in unauthorised vehicles.

Suspects caught with illegal gas refilling plants face a fine of up to Sh10 million, a similar penalty for those discharging bulk gas in a location that lacks Epra’s approval, and a Sh1 million fine for using an unlicensed tanker to transport cooking gas in bulk.

Poor enforcement of the rules has however seen a rise in accidents and LPG handling sites or during transportation.

Epra said the targeted joint unit would conduct regular inspections of licensed LPG facilities to ensure compliance with all safety requirements as set out in law.

The joint team from the two levels of government will help Epra enforce the Petroleum Act of 2019 and the Petroleum (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) Regulations of 2019.

Besides weak enforcement from the security agencies, Epra has also decried the lack of dedicated prosecution officers to only deal with offences in the LPG sector.

Mr Kiptoo says that suspects arrested for a raft of offences in the petroleum sector continue to have an easy way in courts due to lack of dedicated State prosecution officers to deal with the cases.

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