LPG Dealers Object EPRA Order for Mandatory Camera Installation

April 3, 2024

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) dealers have initiated legal action to challenge the government’s newly established regulations following the Embakasi fire explosion.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) issued the directives on February 26, 2024, mandating all companies involved in liquefied petroleum gas to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.

EPRA directed dealers to hold operational licenses and allow the Authority access to the CCTV cameras to ensure compliance.

However, the gas dealers, represented by the Independent Gas Dealers Association of Kenya, argue that the regulator issued the directive without a legal or policy foundation and without subjecting it to public participation. The distributors claim that they were not consulted before the directive to install CCTV cameras was issued.

“The directive came as a surprise to the petitioner and its members because it seems to target only specific liquefied petroleum gas dealers without clear criteria for selection,” said Ahmed Mohamed, the association’s treasurer.

Data Collection

They express concerns that EPRA’s directive would require members to provide all their dealership information and operations to the agency without assurance of how the collected data would be used.

“It is unreasonable for the first respondent to tie the implementation of the directive to the interested parties operational licenses when the respondent is aware or ought to be aware that it is not possible to implement the directive within 21 days considering the logistics of implementation,” Mohamed submitted to the court.

The dealers also pointed out to the court that more than 100 gas dealers were unhappy with the mandate to install CCTVs on their premises.

They also opposed the requirement to obtain approval from the Data Protection Commissioner for data collection and storage.

The dealers argued that EPRA’s directive would harm their businesses, jeopardize thousands of jobs, and violate their privacy by monitoring their operations.

They requested the court to declare the directive to install CCTVs illegal and unconstitutional and sought an order to overturn it.

The dealers urged the court to prevent EPRA from accessing data or information beyond legal limits in gas-filling areas and to compel the regulator to pay damages for breaching rights and failing to involve the public in the decision-making process.

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