UAE suspends 14 crusher and quarry operators

Ministry of Environment takes dramatic action after annual evaluation finds industry lacking

The dozen plus companies have primarily fallen foul of the authorities for excessive waste emissions.
The dozen plus companies have primarily fallen foul of the authorities for excessive waste emissions.

The UAE Ministry of Environment and Water on Saturday has indefinitely suspended the operating permits of 14 crusher and quarry operators across the emirates for violating federal regulations.

“The plants in violation will cease operations from one to three months and cannot resume work at the end of the period unless they meet the necessary standards,” detailed Saif Mohammed Al Shara, assistant undersecretary for the ‘External Audit Sector’, according to the state news agency WAM.

“The plants will also be closed permanently if they are found to be in violation for a third time.”

He said the decision follows an evaluation of all crushers and quarries in the country for their compliance with installation, management and operation regulations, in line with the UAE Vision 2021 and directives to ‘create a sustainable environment for future generations’.

The regulation places the facilities in four categories from A to D, where facilities placed in the lowest, Category D, will cease activities until their classification.

For facilities classified as Category C, Al Shara added that the ministry will be submitting detailed reports to the relevant local authorities throughout the emirates and notify the facilities that if – after further inspection – they are again classified in Category C, they will also be at risk of closure.

Al Shara said that the decision had been prompted by the non-compliance of these facilities with Ministerial Resolution No. 567 of 2014, which seeks to ensure the UAE’s quarrying and crusher sites follow environmentally-responsible standards that mitigate negative effects and protect the public.

Most violations were due to the non-compliance by the companies in the maintenance of their equipment and dust collectors, in addition to the recorded dispersal of industrial waste, dust and fumes.

Recently, the External Audit Sector also deployed drones to monitor quarry and crusher operators to ensure that regulations are being observed and that the best practices are being followed.

The Ministry conducts this evaluation of the activities of crusher and quarry operators, including both scheduled and unannounced field visits to check facilities’ compliance, on an annual basis.

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