RAK crushers shut for breaking green rules

Companies allowed to resume operations only after full compliance

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By  Eudore Chand Published  October 2, 2004

Two stone crushers in Ras Al Khaimah have been ordered shut for flouting environmental regulations, emirate officials confirmed. Ras Al Khaimah Environment Protection and Industrial Development Commission (EPIDC) ordered the shutdown. Officials declined to name the companies operating the crushers. They said that one was located in Khor Khwair in the extreme north close to Hormuz, and the other was close to the emirate’s border with Sharjah. “Ras Al Khaimah is the capital of cement and building materials with the biggest crusher in the Middle East and four giant cement factories. We have regulations and norms that should be met,” Dr. Omar Ibrahim Yagi, EPIDC consultant for environment and in charge of technical works, told Construction Week. He pointed out that the companies operating the crushers have been asked to put their house in order and comply with all the required rules. Once this is done, they will be allowed to resume operations. “We want to be a model for environment protection. Ras Al Khaimah is now getting stringent in these measures. Most of the crushers in Ras Al Khaimah are complying with regulations, but some are still lagging. The two that were ordered shut were the worst in compliance. We do understand that they have clients in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and I am sure that they will fulfill all requirements and get back into production,” Dr. Yagi said. There are 13 crushers operating in the northern emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. The non-compliant crushers were given an ultimatum to implement the new environment-friendly procedures laid down by EPIDC in late August. The crushers were flouting the dust and particles emission regulations. When no action was taken, they were ordered closed. Because of the concentration of crushers and cement factories in the emirate, the authorities, environmentalists and the public, have been concerned about the impact of pollution and have consequently laid down operating rules for these units. EPIDC officials claim that the new regulations are more stringent than international standards, and that the strict implementation of these standards have helped to noticeably improve the air quality and the environment in the emirate. The EPIDC has also ordered the construction materials industries to have purpose-built warehouses for storing their raw materials.

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