The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has grounded a vessel MV SSI DAUNTLESS reportedly carrying about 200 metric tons of potentially hazardous waste called Gypsum at the Port of Buchanan.
The material can be used in producing cement but can also be radioactive and if the activity (concentration) of the radionuclide is high can pose a very high health risk to the population near the disposal site.
The vessel which docked at the port on September 9, 2021, to lift Arcelor Mittal iron ores from the port had arrived from Lome, Togo, and had written through its agent-Atlantic Marine Agency to dispose of the hazardous waste in Grand Bassa.
EPA in collaboration with its international counterparts had been tracking the vessel before its arrival in Buchanan.
Letter requesting disposal of hazardous waste
In their letter requesting to dispose of the hazardous waste here, Atlantic Marine Agency wrote confirming that the cargo is on board the said vessel and that the vessel had scheduled to call Buchanan Port on or about 5th September 2021 to load Iron Ore at Arcelor Mittal.
According to the Atlantic, during the MV SSI Dauntless the last operation at the Lome Port, the vessel’s crane No.4 got damaged beyond repair thus preventing said cargo stowed to Hold No.5 from being discharged; and that this cargo needed to be cleared from the Hold No.5 to allow Iron Ore to be loaded.
“We have arranged formalities using a mobile crane to discharge the cargo when the vessel berth at Buchanan Port and would require EPA designate a location preferably in Grand Bassa County for the said cargo to be disposed of in keeping with the regulation of EPA.
We are willing to work along with EPA for the successful execution of this process,” the Atlantic letter requesting to dump the hazardous waste here said.
However, this paper learned that without a given approval from the EPA, the waste was dumped in Grand Bassa.
Sources from the EPA informed this paper the agent of the ship, BOLLORE claim no knowledge of the hazardous waste but promised to investigate the matter.
This paper further gather that an employee of the Grand Bassa Health Team allegedly gave the ship the PERMIT to dispose of the waste.
According to the environmental protection laws here, only the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is authorized to grant such permits.
Sources told this paper Wednesday evening that the vessel denied dumping the waste here, but EPA officials believe this is far from the truth.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/breaking-news-2/