Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced plans to sanction mining companies that flout the country?s environmental laws on water.

It therefore issued a December 15, 2014 deadline for all mining companies to comply with environmental laws and regulations on the treatment of water to prevent excessive pollution of water bodies.

The EPA said most mining companies do not treat water that comes from their operational machines, which is leading to the pollution of water bodies.

The ultimatum was issued at a meeting held by the Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Akwasi Oppong-Fosu with officials of the EPA in Accra last week following numerous concerns raised by communities in mining areas.

Mr. Oppong ?Fosu, who has expertise in local governance, said the NDC government has a ?strong? policy on reclamation of degraded lands by miners and decontamination of water bodies.

He said major rivers, including Ankobra, Offin, Densu and Pra, are the worst polluted water bodies in the country.

The Minister directed the EPA to furnish him with a report after the December 15 deadline.

?Companies that will not comply with the directive will be sanctioned,? he warned.

Degradation of land and pollution of water bodies, especially by illegal miners, have been a concern to government and communities in mining areas.

Some mining companies have operated in the country for years without treating water from their operational activities.

Such companies in no small way have polluted water thereby endangering the lives of people that use the polluted water, as well as destroy their livelihood.

By William Yaw Owusu

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