Environment Ministry also closed down one agricultural and nine vocational facilities

By Hana Namrouqa – Jul 03,2017

AMMAN — The Ministry of Environment in June referred 13 facilities to the general prosecutor for breaches of environmental regulations, according to a government official.

The facilities are part of the industrial, vocational, service and agricultural sectors, ministry’s spokesperson Isa Shboul said, adding that the violations entailed causing air and noise pollution, operating without a licence and improper disposal of waste, among other infringements.

“During the same month, the ministry closed down one agricultural and nine vocational facilities. It received 26 complaints, referred thirteen facilities to the public prosecutor and issued tickets to another 20 facilities,” Shboul told The Jordan Times.

Almost half of the facilities referred for the general prosecutor were industries, according to Shboul, who said that the ministry has been monitoring industries closely in light of the new Environmental Protection Law.

“Stricter action and stronger penalties are being enforced since the new Environmental Protection Law went into force to protect the elements of nature,” Shboul highlighted.

During May, the ministry referred 19 violating facilities for legal action, according to the official, who noted that the new law granted the ministry stronger jurisdiction over industries.

Enforced since late April, the new law maximises governmental control over the Kingdom’s natural resources, with new articles added to the bill to keep up with the latest developments in the sector, given that the first environmental protection law was issued over a decade ago, according to the ministry.

The new law stipulates stricter penalties against polluters and abusers of the environment and links the amount of fines to the impact of the violation, according to the ministry.

The law contains articles on electronic, chemical, hazardous and prohibited waste; management of mineral oils; as well as ozone-depleting materials. It also encourages green investments, intensifies monitoring of industries and enhances the protection of natural resources, including water resources and forests.