Factories polluting Litani given September deadline. River to be cleaned - Lebanon

Factories polluting Litani
given September deadline
River to be cleaned
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The Ministry of Industry (MoI) has announced the final deadlines for licensed and unlicensed factories located around the Litani River and basin to rectify their environmental violations.

“If factories do not abide by the deadlines, they will be shut down,” said Wael Abu Faour, Minister of Industry.

First and second category factories have six months to correct their environmental violations. Third category factories were given four months to rectify their violations. Fourth and fifth category factories were given three months. The first category consists of the largest and most polluting facilities, such as cement manufacturing plants. The fifth category is made up of the smallest and least polluting factories. Deadlines will not be extended, Abu Faour said.

The MoI and Litani River Authority (LRA) screened all 350 small, medium-sized, and large factories that are suspected of polluting the river. Around 150 factories were inspected by a joint team from the MoI and LRA.

“The inspection focused on three elements: The amount of wastewater leaking to the river, the presence of an industrial license, and the availability of water treatment,” Abu Faour said.

The minister said he hopes that factory owners do not take the matter lightly. “Our month-long inspection gave us a clear idea about how much time each category will need to fix its violations,” he said.

Abu Faour advised small factories, particularly those that manufacture dairy products, to cooperate with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which is providing technical assistance regarding water and wastewater treatment. USAID has been helping SMEs to abate pollution.

This is the latest move in a series of procedures that the MoI, LRA, and Ministry of Environment have undertaken to clamp down on perpetrators polluting the Litani River. A number of lawsuits have been filed against dozens of factories, and several refugee camps located near the river bed were removed.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
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Date Posted: Mar 27, 2019