EPA Boss Anyaa Vohiri and Sylvester M. Massaquoi, Director of Alternative Energy at the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy
The Policy Council of the Environmental Protection Agency has completed the validation of an Amended Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) Regulations, and accordingly approved the document.
Under the Act creating the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Policy Council is charged with the responsibility to approve regulations and guidelines, taking into consideration the safety of the environment, citizenry and state.
The Ozone depleting Substances, including the Hydro-clorofluoro-carbon (HCFC) are substances used in refrigeration and air-conditioning services, which if not properly handled, escape into the upper Atmosphere and cause harm to the Ozone Layer that reduces the harmful ultraviolet radiation reaching the surface of the Earth.
The effect from such radiation exposure, results to cataract of the eye, skin cancer, and adversely affect plants and animals.
Speaking at the start of the exercise, Mr. Sylvester M. Massaquoi, Director of Alternative Energy at the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, who deputized for the chairman of the Policy Council, called on members of the council to give their best in the validation process and subsequently approve the document.
Mr. Massaquoi said the approval of the regulation will give the EPA, especially the National Ozone Unit (NOU) in collaboration with the relevant line ministries and agencies the authority to closely monitor, stop, and seize those banned chemicals from entering and being used in Liberia.
The Focal Person of the National Ozone Unit (NOU) in Liberia, Mr. Earl Neblett, said chemicals which were produced in the seventies ( 70s), are seriously having an indisputable negative impact on the environment and called on the international community to take some steps to ban those chemicals harmful to the environment.
Liberia, in 1996, became a signatory to the Vienna and Montreal Protocols set up to restraint, ban or eliminate those harmful substances from the surface of the earth. The policy Council of the Environmental Protection Agency, is the highest decision making body of the Agency in Liberia.