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Polluting industries to pay the price under new clean air rules

A petrol products refinery emits toxic smoke. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A petrol products refinery emits toxic smoke. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

Cost of production is set to rise after the government imposed new licensing requirements on emissions for large factories.

According to the just released schedule, application for an emission licence will cost Sh5,000 and a further Sh3,000 for anyone applying for variation or transfer of the permit.

Once approved, large companies will pay Sh50,000 for their annual licence while iron, plastic and aluminium recycling plants will pay Sh30,000.
Other factories not in the schedule will pay Sh20,000 for the annual licence.

A notice published in the dailies by the regulator National Environment Management Authority (Nema) said the factories with manufacturing units that emit smoke will be subjected to air quality inspection and regular monitoring by any of the eight Nema-designated laboratories, which will issue a compliance certificate.

Any errant factory will carry out necessary measures to reverse pollution to acceptable levels before applying for a licence.

“This is to notify all operators of air pollutants that Nema intends to process emission licences under the Environmental Management and Co-ordination (Air Quality) regulations, Legal Notice No.34 of 2014,” it said.

Pollutants to be checked include sulphur-oxides, nitrogen-oxides, nitrogen-dioxides, suspended particulate matter, lead, respirable particulate matter, carbon-monoxide, carbon-dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, ammonia and non-methane hydrocarbons.

It added that any operation within residential areas, hospitals, wildlife sanctuaries and the central business districts that emits the pollutants will be closely monitored and appropriate mitigation mechanisms installed to reduce pollution.

Nema said factories eligible to apply for licencing must do so immediately because the regulations have taken effect.