Two rock crushers closed in Ajman

Inspectors turn up environmental violations for failure to control dust emissions at the sites.

AJMAN // Two rock crushers have been closed in the Masfoot area for breaking environmental regulations, the Environment and Water Minister has said. Several snap inspections, which were co-ordinated with the Ajman Municipality and Planning Department, uncovered the offences, said Dr Rashid Ahmad bin Fahad. "One of the crushers was running with excessive dust emissions by not maintaining the dust control system," the minister said. "The other was running without proper covering of the main crushing plant and the screening plant inside the quarry."

The ministry asked all quarries and crushers to create sound buffers of up to 4.5 metres high in residential areas and keep at least 2km away from residential areas. It also urged operators to install filters for all diesel engines. The ministry's external auditing department is conducting regular inspections of all the quarries and crushers in the Northern Emirates to strictly implement the regulatory guidelines, Dr bin Fahad said. Quarry operators who do not comply are shut down until maintenance and repairs to the dust control systems are carried out.

Local environmental authorities of Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah and Ajman are co-operating with the ministry in implementing the environmental regulations. However, residents also want action to be taken on the vehicles that transport the quarry waste, with some complaining about the amount of dust the vehicles throw into the air. Khalifa al Kaab said that he left his home in Masfoot and moved to Ajman City because of the heavy dust stirred up by the vehicles.

"I have asthma and all my family has asthma. We couldn't live in such dust," he said. There are 103 quarries and crunches in the UAE, with 68 in Fujairah, 30 in Ras al Khaimah and five in Ajman.