by Hana Namrouqa | Apr 11,2012 | 23:17

AMMAN — Three labs in the country will be internationally accredited for testing the quality of industrial wastewater by mid-2014, officials said on Wednesday.

The labs will be located in the northern, central and eastern regions of the country under three memoranda of understanding (MoU) signed on Wednesday between the Ministry of Environment, three universities and USAID.

The MoUs detail the universities’ commitment and USAID’s support for capacity building and accreditation of the three laboratories at the University of Jordan, Mutah University and Al al Bayt University with the aim of improving industrial wastewater testing.

During the signing ceremony, which was held at the Jordan Institute for Standards and Metrology, Environment Minister Yaseen Khayyat said the training will ensure that effluent from industrial wastewater treatment plants meets local standards and has no negative impact on public health.

Khayyat noted that the goal is to expand the ministry’s access to accredited laboratories that can perform industrial wastewater testing and thereby support its industrial pollution enforcement and compliance activities.

The USAID-funded Water Reuse and Environmental Conservation Project will implement the training and capacity-building programme in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and the universities, according to officials.

Thomas Rhodes, director of USAID’s water resources and environment office, said signing the MoUs is an important step in protecting the environment in Jordan.

Rhodes told The Jordan Times that the ministry and factories will be responsible for collecting samples of industrial wastewater and providing them to the labs.

He noted that the three labs have already been established, but USAID will be providing employees with training and accreditation to improve the monitoring of industrial wastewater.

The five-year USAID Water Reuse and Environmental Conservation Project works with regulators and industries throughout the Kingdom to provide training in pollution prevention and environmental management systems.