The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reportedly shut down a water producing company on 17th Street Sinkor, Monrovia for allegedly operating illegally.
Acting Executive Director Randall Dobayou told this paper in an interview the company was reportedly drilling water from underground without registration, particularly during night hours when residents and local authorities have gone to bed.
Mr. Dobayou said an EPA investigation established that the company was operating in total violation of the Environmental Protection Agency regulations, policies and laws.
He said the Agency was left with no alternative but to close the company and invite its chief executive officer, a Lebanese national, for investigation and onward prosecution.
As a commitment to the environment, the Government of Liberia established the EPA in 2003 by an Act of the Legislature. It became fully functioning in 2006 with a board of directors and policy council.
“Over the years, if you do not understand the groundwater matrix, and you are over exploiting a specific area wherein you are not guided by any form of study, and if such disaster comes about you will not be able to control it,” Mr. Dobayou said.
He notes that Sinkor being a residential settlement, it is not suitable enough for said operation by the company, saying, “Moreover, this area is a residential area and over 20 trucks coming here at the same time pumping water results to an unbearable noise level, which in itself is a violation of the EPA regulation. As you may be awareness, noise is pollution so that is one of the violations.”
At the same time, the acting EPA boss disclosed that under his leadership, the agency has investigated and conducted testing of water samples from 15 companies to establish whether they are in compliance with environmental laws and regulations.He said the Environment Protection Agency is poised to institute stringent measures against producers of substandard drinking water on the Liberian market.
Mr. Dobayou warns that water companies putting lives of Liberians at risk will no longer have the free will and space to operate. “We must comply with the standards set by the government or you will be shut down. We will no longer allow our people to be shortchanged, especially with their lives in such a way,” he said Monday.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne