Egypt’s Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad has stressed the importance of regular inspection of all facilities and industrial bodies that produce ammonium nitrate, to ensure they are adhering to Article 4 of the 1994 Law on the environment.
On Tuesday, Fouad reviewed a report on her ministry’s efforts and procedures in the safe handling of hazardous materials and waste during manufacture, transport, storage, and safe disposal. The steps ensure that no harm to health and the environment occurs.
Fouad noted that her ministry has, since its establishment, developed a clear definition of hazardous materials and wastes. The Ministry of Environment has also ratified regional and international conventions related to hazardous materials and wastes, in addition to issuing guidelines for safe handling of these materials and waste.
The ministry also conducts on-site inspections at manufacturing, storage and safe disposal facilities, to ensure that proper procedures are followed.
Fouad pointed out that the Ministry of Environment has many success stories in the safe management of hazardous materials and waste. These have occurred through a project overseeing, in cooperation with the concerned authorities, the sustainable management of persistent organic pollutants.
She also touched on the measures taken by her ministry for the safe management of ammonium nitrate as an important component in the manufacture of agricultural fertilisers.
Ammonium nitrate, which contains high nitrogen content and is considered extremely flammable, requires necessary precautions in its handling and storage.
Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, has witnessed a huge explosion on 4 August reportedly caused by a large quantity of poorly stored ammonium nitrate in the city’s port.