x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Factories that dump waste in storm drains face hefty fines, officials say

Factories could be fined up to Dh100,000 for illegally dumping waste into storm drains.

DUBAI // Factories could be fined up to Dh100,000 (US$27,000) for illegally dumping waste into storm drains, the municipality warned yesterday. A senior environmental official said small companies operating in industrial areas such as Al Quoz were guilty of the practice. "We want to assert that companies violating rules and carelessly disposing of waste would be fined up to Dh100,000," said Salem bin Mesmar, assistant director general of health and safety and environment control at the municipality.

Urging companies with waste disposal problems to contact the municipality, he blamed the ignorance of staff for illegal dumping. Mr bin Mesmar said:"We are not talking about the medium or heavy companies here. The trouble is with the smaller factories." Earlier this month, the municipality closed a section of the Dubai beach because of fresh discharges from a nearby drain. The section near the Offshore Sailing Club continues to be closed as officials check for the presence of industrial waste.

More than 200 tanker drivers were caught and their companies fined as much as Dh100,000 each last year for illegally dumping waste that found its way into the sea. pmenon@thenational.ae