Recent News

Factory EPL suspended

The Environmental Protection Licence (EPL) of the Horana rubber factory was temporarily suspended by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) yesterday.

CEA Director General Hemantha Jayasinghe said the decision was taken pending a full-scale inquiry into the incident on Thursday.

“After this inquiry, we will determine whether to cancel the EPL permanently or to restore it,” he told the Daily News.

He said the decision to temporarily suspend the EPL was after studying the investigation report prepared by the Kalutara District CEA Office, adding that the official letter informing the decision would be sent to the factory on Monday.

Five persons died after inhaling a toxic gas generated in a waste water treatment plant of the factory on Thursday and Police arrested the factory manager following the incident.

“The factory had been closed for five days, may be due to Avurudu holidays. When the worker opened the valve of the anaerobic digestion tank, the toxic gas trapped in the effluent treatment plant had leaked out. The toxic gas is mainly Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) according to our field officers as well as the NBRO.

The gas may also have contained methane, ammonia and carbon dioxide too,” he explained.

Jayasinghe said lapses in following safety precautions could be observed in this incident. He said the EPL for the factory had been issued by the CEA Kalutara District Office and that it had been renewed five months ago.

With the suspension of EPL, the operations and functions of the company come to a halt.