By Hana Namrouqa – Feb 05,2017

AMMAN — Forty-four factories and vocational workshops were closed down and received warnings during January for breaching health and environment regulations, an official at the Environment Ministry said on Sunday.

In addition, the ministry has referred a scrap warehouse in Zarqa Governorate, around 22km northeast of Amman, to court for failing to abide by its regulations safeguarding the environment and public health.

“Despite prior warnings, the owner of the warehouse neglected the requirements of the environmental inspection committee of proper storing of scrap items and fencing off the property, among other instructions,” the ministry’s spokesperson, Isa Shboul, told The Jordan Times.

Also during the past month, the ministry closed down three facilities in Amman, and in the northern governorates of Jerash and Ajloun for failing to rectify their status within the grace period.

The closed down facilities are a quarry in Amman and two asphalt mixing plants in Jerash and Ajloun, Shboul noted.

Meanwhile, 41 industries and vocational and agricultural facilities have been issued warnings for either violating the Environment Protection Law or operating without a licence, according to the ministry.

Granting licences to vocational workshops, the ministry said, is a way to regulate their “random spread” and mitigate their impact on residential areas and agricultural lands.

The violations were registered for littering, disposal of debris and wastewater in undesignated areas, and raising poultry and cattle in residential areas, among other breaches.

Shboul highlighted that the environment inspection directorate at the ministry responded to 35 complaints it received during January, noting that the complaints came from different areas around the Kingdom over environment- and health-related issues.