Ajman – MENA Herald: The Ministry of Environment and Water has shut down two quarries in Fujairah and Ajman for violating regulatory requirements governing stone quarries and crusher units. The move falls in line with the Ministry’s efforts to ensure the strict compliance of these facilities with existing laws and regulations. The Ministry also aims to find a balance between protecting public health and the environment and sustaining economic activities in line with UAE Vision 2021.     

H.E. Engineer Saif Mohammed Al-Shara, Assistant Undersecretary for External Audit sector, Ministry of Environment and Water, said periodic inspections conducted by its teams showed several irregularities, including the heavy spread of dust, which is one of the main irregularities that affects public health and the safety of nearby residents and lack of commitment to cover the main feeder. In addition, the belts carrying materials were not covered and not equipped with rubber curtains at its end to prevent the spread of dust and there were many emissions from handling operations.

H.E. Al-Shara said the Ministry conducted a series of scheduled and random field visits to quarry sites throughout the year to evaluate their compliance with federal environmental laws and regulations. H.E. reminded operators to strictly adhere to applicable legislations to avoid closure of their facilities. The Ministry is holding several workshops to ensure continuous business operations and that the facilities operate according to existing laws. The workshops also aim to promote environmental sustainability and protect public health and safety.    

This development came after last month’s closure of another quarrying facility in Fujairah.  The Ministry of Environment and Water is working on launching periodic field audit programs in cooperation and coordination with local authorities. The programs fall within the capacity building initiative organized by the Ministry to train local authorities on proper inspections and implementation of control measures in quarries and cement factories.