Liberia’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has with immediate effect fined Bea Mountain Mining Corporation the amount of US$99,999.99 to be paid into the Government of Liberia Revenue through the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA).
The EPA mandated dated 13 July says Bea Mountain Mining Corporation should pay the fine with an official receipt presented to EPA within 72 hours as of the receipt of the notice of fine.
The EPA through Executive Director Nathaniel Blama mandates the mining company to remediate the illegal effluence discharge within 15 days and provide drinking water for the affected communities in the meantime.
EPA further mandates that the company to commission a Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) by an Independent Environmental Evaluator to determine compensation for the affected community.
The EPA communication informs Bea Mountain that failure to comply with the notice of violation within the stipulated period may lead to drastic penalties.
It says such penalties may include but not limited to additional fines, closure, imprisonment and or criminal prosecution where applicable.
The EPA has invoked Part V Section 61 Sub-section 1 of the Environmental Protection and Management Law of Liberia regarding “Water Pollution Prohibited.”
It states that any person who discharges or applies, or permits any person to dump or discharge, any poison, toxic, noxious, or obstructing matter, radioactive waste or other pollutant into any waters of Liberia, which is likely to cause harm to human health or aquatic environment in contravention of the water pollution control standards established under this Law shall be guilty of an offence.
Also has EPA cited Part VI Section 75 subsection 2 of the Environmental Protection and Management Law of Liberia which speaks of “Protection of Rivers, Lakes and Wetlands.”
The provision says no person shall deposit any substance in a river, lake, or wetland or in or under its bed, which is likely to have adverse environmental effects on the river, lake or wetland.
It cites Part V Section 56 sub-section 1 of the Environmental Protection and Management Law of Liberia concerning “Prohibition of Discharge of Hazardous Substances, Chemicals and Materials or Oil into the Environment and Spillers Liability.”
The provision notes that no person shall discharge any hazardous substance, chemical, oil or mixture containing oil in any waters or any other segment of the environment except in accordance with guidelines prescribed by the Agency in consultation with the relevant Line Ministry.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Edited by Winston W. Parley