Section 11 (g) of the Energy Act, 2019 mandates the Authority to formulate, set, enforce and review environmental, health, safety and quality standards for the energy sector in coordination with other statutory authorities.
To achieve this, the department works in collaboration/consultation with statutory authorities such as National Environmental Management Authority(NEMA), Directorate of Occupational Safety and Health Services (DOSHS) and the Kenya Maritime Authority.
Role of EPRA in EHS
- Formulate, enforce and review environmental, health and safety and quality standards for the energy sector
- Monitor energy sector EHS compliance
- Enforce environmental, health, safety and quality standards for the energy sector
- Investigate accidents and incidents
- Check EHS compliance for license or permit application
- Requesting and analyzing Licensee EHS performance records
EHS Audit and Environmental Impact Assessment review
The Authority executes Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) assessment of proposed projects; and carries out audits of existing energy facilities.
Objectives of the EHS assessments:
- Prevent accidents such as rupture of pipelines, truck accidents, LPG cylinder explosion, electrocution, LPG fires.
- Protect human health and ensure safety – check pollution levels at power plants (e.g. thermal/geothermal etc), petroleum depots, petrol stations, LPG plants and compare against recommended standards and guidelines.
- Protect the environment – protect water resources from pollution by hydrocarbons and other contaminants, protect the air from harmful emissions.
- Conserve resources for existing and future generations.
EHS audits are carried out at utilities within the energy sector using a comprehensive audit protocol designed on the basis of National EHS requirements and international EHS best practices to check the following:
- Compliance with regulatory requirements and licensing conditions
- Leadership, Commitment and Accountability – Determines success of an EHS management system. Checks establishment of EHS policies and procedures
- Crisis Management – ability and preparedness to deal with emergencies and accidents; assessment of the hazards and risks of such unplanned events
EHS audits are carried out for utilities within the energy sector using a comprehensive audit protocol designed on the basis of National EHS requirements and international EHS best practices to check the following:
Accidents and Incidents investigations
Accident and incident investigation is one of the core functions of EPRA. Under Section 214 (1) of the Energy Act, 2019 “ a person engaged in any undertaking or activity pursuant to a licence under this Act shall notify the respective licensing authority and the Authority within forty eight hours in writing, in the form and manner prescribed by the Authority, of any accident or incident causing loss of life, personal injury, explosion, oil spill, fire or any other accident or incident causing harm or damage to the environment or property which has arisen in Kenya or within Kenya’s Exclusive Economic Zone or Outer Continental Shelf.”
As a licensing Authority, EPRA is mandated under Section 214 (2) to direct an investigation to be carried out into any accident or incident under and take such action as it deems necessary.