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Words Tamara Batshon

Industrial waste is a leading contaminator in Lebanon, along with solid waste and wastewater.  To help reduce the pollutants from industries, the Lebanon Environmental Pollution Abatement Project (LEPAP) was established. Its mission is to reduce pollution in targeted industrial enterprises and to strengthen the monitoring and enforcement capabilities of the Ministry of the Environment.

LEPAP is a joint initiative by the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Finance, the Banque du Liban (BDL), the World Bank, and the Italian Cooperation to set up a mechanism for financing the reduction of industrial pollution.  LEPAP supports the financing of industrial interventions by offering concessional loans supported by the BDL through commercial banks to industries. LEPAP loans are at near zero interest rate and are provided for a period of seven years (including a grace period of two years).  Industries have already benefited from this loan for wastewater plants, air emissions monitoring /treatment devices, and various other measures to reduce the generation of all types of waste. Launched in 2014, LEPAP is set to continue for an additional three years, and there is a strong probability that this project will be extended beyond its deadline.

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The project’s benefits

LEPAP aims to reduce industrial pollution and its impacts on the natural resources and on the health of the Lebanese people. It engages the private sector and the public sector in a partnership for the protection of the fragile environmental resources of Lebanon. It also abides by international agreements that have been ratified by Lebanon, such as the Barcelona Convention. As such, Lebanon is committed to avoiding the discharge of any source of pollution into the Mediterranean Sea.

Beneficiaries not only benefit from near zero percent interest loans, but also receive free-of-charge technical support in the development of environmental studies, such as Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Initial Environmental Examination (IEE), or Environmental Audits. LEPAP also provides free technical support for the preparation of detailed technical specifications, bidding documents, and financial studies for the selected sub-projects.

Eligibility through LEPAP means that industries comply with environmental regulations, specifically Decree 8471/2012, which is mandatory as of 2016 and operates in accordance with the international Environmental Compliance Certificate. As a result, industries will benefit from the facilitation of exporting their goods to countries with strict environmental conditions.

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LEPAP aims to reduce industrial pollution and its impacts on the natural resources and on the health of the Lebanese people. It engages the private sector and the public sector in a partnership for the protection of the fragile environmental resources of Lebanon. It also abides by international agreements that have been ratified by Lebanon, such as the Barcelona Convention. As such, Lebanon is committed to avoiding the discharge of any source of pollution into the Mediterranean Sea.