Environmental Protection Agency Act, 2022
Act 15 of 2022
- Published in Sierra Leone Gazette 65 on 15 September 2022
- Assented to on 6 September 2022
- Commenced on 15 September 2022
- [This is the version of this document from 15 September 2022.]
Part I – Preliminary
1. InterpretationIn this Act unless the context otherwise requires—"adaptation" means adjustment to natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities;"Agency" means the Environment Protection Agency in Sierra Leone referred to in section 2;"air" includes air within a building, vehicle, an enclosure, structure or the air space of Sierra Leone;"air pollution" means a condition of the ambient air arising wholly or partly from the presence of one or more pollutants in the air that endangers the health, safety or welfare of persons or interferes with the normal enjoyment of life or property;"airspace" means the airspace within the territorial limits of Sierra Leone;"ambient air" means the atmosphere within and outside a structure or within an underground space;"authorised officer" means a person authorised by the Agency to exercise, in accordance with the terms of such authorisation, a power specified in this Act;"Board" means the Board of Directors established by section 3;"chemicals" means any chemical elements, its compounds, products "or preparation, in the natural or manufactured states and these may include but not limited to agro-chemicals, public health chemicals, explosives, chemicals used for mining purposes, petrochemicals""chlorofluorocarbon" means a fully halogenated chlorofluorocarbon each molecule of which contains one, two or three carbonations in the categories set out in the Fourth Schedule;"climate change" means a change in the climate system which is caused by significant changes in the concentration of greenhouse gases as a consequence of human activities and which is in addition to natural climate change that has been observed during a considerable period;"controlled substance" includes chlorofluorocarbons, other fully halogenated chlorofluorocarbons, halon, tetrachloride, 1,1,1, trichloroethane, methyl bromide whether they are virgin recovered recycled or reclaimed, but do not include any controlled substance—(a)which is in a manufactured product other than a container used for the transportation or storage of that substance;(b)originating from inadvertent or coincidental production during a manufacturing process, or from use as a processing agent which is present in chemical substance as trace impurities, or which is emitted during product manufacture or handling;"controlled product" means a product that contains, is made with, is dependent on or designed to contain a controlled substance;"discharge" includes deposit of effluents such as waste water, sewage and air borne emissions;"disposal" includes both land-based disposal and dumping in waters and the airspace of Sierra Leone;"emissions" in relation to a greenhouse gas, means emissions of that gas into the atmosphere where the emissions are attributable to human activity;"environment" includes land, air, water and all plants, animals and human beings living therein and the inter-relationship which exists among these or any of them;"Executive Chairman" means the Executive Chairman appointed under section 14;"greenhouse gas" includes—(a)carbon dioxide;(b)methane;(c)nitrous oxide;(d)hydrofluorocarbons;(e)perfluorocarbons;(f)sulphur hexafluoride;(g)indirect greenhouse gases; and(h)nitrogen trifluoride."halon" means an abominated chemical related to a chlorofluorocarbon, used in firefighting and having a very high ozone depleting potential set out in column III of the Fourth Schedule including their isomers;"Leones (Le)" means leones in the old currency;"licence" means an environmental impact assessment licence issued under paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of section 29;"Minister" means the Minister charged with responsibility for the environment and Ministry shall be construed accordingly;"mitigation" means efforts that seek to prevent or slow down the increase of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations by limiting current or future emissions and enhancing potential sinks for greenhouse gases;"monitoring" includes the inspection, measurement, sampling or analysis of the discharge of a pollutant or of any environmental medium in any locality, whether periodically or continuously;"Multilateral Environmental Agreements Implementation Coordination Committee" means the Multilateral Environmental Agreements Implementation Coordination Committee established under section 66;"National Environment Compliance and Enforcement Coordination Committee" means the National Environment Compliance and Enforcement Coordination Committee established under section 67;"offshore facility" means any facility of any kind located over, in, on, or under any of the waters of Sierra Leone;"onshore facility" means any facility of any kind including motor vehicles and rolling stock, located over, in or under any land within Sierra Leone other than submerged land;"owner" includes—(a)in the case of a vessel the owner, operator or charterer of the vessel;(b)in the case of an onshore facility or an offshore facility, the owner or operator of such facility;(c)in the case of an abandoned offshore facility, the owner or operator of such facility immediately before its abandonment; and(d)in the case of a project, a person managing or controlling the project;"Paris Agreement" means the agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020;“Permit” means a permit granted by the Agency in accordance with this Act or the regulations made there under;"pollution" means natural, man-made or man-aided alteration of the chemical or biological quality oof the chemical, physical or biological quality of the environment to the extent that it is detrimental to the environment and human health or beyond acceptable limits;"project" means any activity which requires a licence under this Act;"Protocol" means the Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer adopted in Montreal, Canada in 1987."removal" means removal of hazardous substances from the air, land or water, including shorelines or the taking of such other action as may be necessary to minimize damage to public health or welfare, ecology and natural resources of Sierra Leone;"spill" means any discharge of a pollutant into the environment from or out of a structure, worksite, vehicle, vessel, craft, or other carrier or container, which—(a)is abnormal having regards to all the circumstances of the discharge;(b)poses serious threat to human lives and safety; and(c)poses a serious threat to the environment;"standards" includes criteria and specifications;"United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change" means the international environmental treaty addressing climate change, negotiated and signed by 154 states at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, informally known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June, 1992, entered into force on 21 March, 1994;"waters of Sierra Leone" means all water resources in any form, including atmospheric, surface and subsurface and underground water resources whether the water resources are in territorial waters, exclusive economic zone or any area under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Sierra Leone;"wet-lands" means areas where water covers the soil, or is present either at or near the surface of the soil all year or for varying periods of time during the year, including the growing season.
Part II – Continuation of Environment Protection Agency
2. Continuation of Environment Protection Agency
3. Board of Agency
4. Tenure of members
5. Meetings of Board
6. Disclosure of interest
7. Immunity of Board members and authorized officers
8. Committees of Board
9. Powers and functions of Board
10. Remuneration of membersThe Executive Chairman and the other members of the Board and any person co-opted by the Board under subsection (8) of section 5 shall be paid such remuneration, fees and allowances approved by the Minister and shall be reimbursed by the Agency for expenses incurred in connection with the discharge of their functions as the Board may, with the approval of the Minister, determine.
11. Filling of vacancies
Part III – Functions of the Agency
12. Functions of Agency
13. Powers of AgencyThe Agency shall have, for the performance of its functions under this Act, the power to—
Part IV – Administrative provisions
14. Executive Chairman
15. Chief Director
16. Other staff of Agency
17. Directorates of Agency
18. Consultants and expertsThe Board may engage the services of such consultants or experts as it may consider necessary for the proper and efficient performance of the functions of the Agency.
19. Regional and district offices
Part V – Financial provisions
20. Funds of Agency
21. Accounts and audit of Agency
22. Financial year of AgencyThe financial year of the Agency shall be the same as the financial year of the Government.
23. Annual report
Part VI – Environmental impact assessment
24. Environmental impact assessment required for certain activities
25. Application for licence
26. Agency to decide on need for licence
27. Applicant to prepare environmental impact assessment
28. Public comments
29. Executive Chairman to submit environmental impact and comment to Board
30. Effect of licenceA licence issued under this Act shall—
31. Appeal against decision of AgencyA person aggrieved by a decision of the Agency to renew his licence may appeal to the High Court within 30 days from the date of notice.
32. Cancellation, suspension or modification of licence
33. Effect of application on change of ownership, control or management
34. Agency to monitor projects
35. Duties of owners of projects
Part VII – Chemicals, toxic and hazardous substances
36. Toxic and hazardous substances prohibited
37. Importation of refrigerators, air conditioners, etc. with chlorofluorocarbons prohibited
38. The use of Chlorofluoro-carbon 11 and 12 as blowing agent or refrigerant prohibitedFrom the date to be appointed by the Minister by statutory instrument, a person shall not use chlorofluorocarbon 11 as blowing agent or chlorofluorocarbon 12 as refrigerant in the manufacture of refrigeration equipment.
39. Venting of controlled substance or product, into atmosphere prohibited
40. Import and export of controlled substance of product restricted
41. Forfeiture of imported or exported controlled substances or productsA person who is convicted under subsection (4) of section 41 shall, in addition to the penalty provided therein, forfeit to the Government the controlled substance or product imported or being exported.
42. Application for permit
43. Agency to issue permit, etc.
44. Customs verification of goodsA person who imports or exports goods shall, on request by a customs officer or an authorised officer, tender the goods for verification as to whether they contain or are made with controlled substances or controlled products.
45. Agency to maintain register of importers and exportersThe Agency shall maintain a register of importers and exporters of controlled substances and controlled products.
46. Importers and exporters to keep records of suppliesA person who imports or exports a controlled substance or controlled product shall—
47. Storage of controlled substances or controlled products
Part VIII – Authorised officer, analysis and records
48. Powers of authorised officer
49. Designation of analytical and reference laboratories
50. Designation of analyst and reference analyst
51. Procedure for taking samples for analysis
52. Certificate of analysis and its effect
53. Records to be kept
Part IX – Information, education and public awareness
54. Freedom of access to information
55. Gathering analysis and management of information
56. Environment education in learning institutions
Part X – Judicial proceedings
57. Institution of criminal proceedingsSubject to subsection (3) of section 64 of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, 1991 (Act No. 6 of 1991) the Agency may institute criminal proceedings for the contravention of this Act.
58. Institution of civil proceedingsNotwithstanding any other law, the Agency may institute civil proceedings for—
59. Powers of the Agency relating to enforcement notice
60. Liability of bodies corporate, etc.
61. Forfeiture, cancellation, etc.
62. Effect of convictionWhere the holder of a licence or permit issued under this Act or regulations made under it, is convicted of an offence under this Act, the conviction shall, unless the Court otherwise directs for reasons to be recorded in writing have the effect of cancelling the licence or permit with effect from the date of conviction.
63. Financial security
64. Duty to mitigate impact of discharge
65. Notification to Agency
Part XI – Environment Coordination Committees
66. Establishment of Multilateral Environmental Coordination Agreements Committee
67. Establishment of National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Coordination Committee
68. Ward Environment and Chiefdom Environment Committee
Part XII – Miscellaneous provisions
69. Incentives for good environmental behaviour
70. Emergency measures
71. Interventions of Executive Chairman
72. Identification and demarcation of land on which trees may be cut or forest burned
73. Management, protection and development of marine and coastal environment
74. Emissions testing
75. Internal audit
76. General offences
78. Repeal and savings
History of this document
15 September 2022 this version
06 September 2022