BEIRUT: Warning of the negative impact of quarries on Lebanon's mountains, Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk said Wednesday that a new ministerial committee would be drafting a plan to regulate the sector.
"When it comes to the issue of protecting mountains and scenery, the Environment Ministry put forward a proposal to draft the master plan, which will be accompanied by a strategic environmental evaluation," Machnouk said.
During a meeting with a delegation from the National Council for Quarries, Machnouk said the government formed the committee "to draft a new master plan for quarries and I hope to finalize it very soon."
The committee is comprised of members from the ministries of public works, health, finance, agriculture, justice and interior as well as the environment.
In April, the minister called for the immediate suspension of work in all illegal stone and sand quarries, saying that these quarries were causing significant damage to the environment and affecting groundwater and natural scenery.