By: Mac Eric Freeman
Authorities of the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA) on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, fined Shanyou Wood Industry, a Chinese firm US$ 10,000 for violating the Environmental Protection Management Laws (EPML) of Liberia.
Shanyou Wood Industry is involved in the wrongful disposal of sawdust in the wetland ecosystem near Kakata, Margibi County according to EPA.
EPA Acting Executive Director, Randall M. Dobayou, told a news conference that the dumping of sawdust into the wetland is a breach of the integrated Environmental Management Plan (EMP) presented by the company.
Dobayou said the company’s action also violates the Project Brief and Environmental Permit (EPA/EP/PB/EMP/001/0818) issued by the EPA.
The Acting EPA boss also alleged that the company’s workers in violation of Section 95 of the EPML attacked and assaulted Environmental Inspector, Anthony Kollie.
Inspector Kollie, head of the Margibi Environmental Inspectorate Team had gone to company’s premises in accordance with EPA’s compliance monitoring and assessment obligation when he was allegedly attacked by the company’s staff Mr. Dobayou narrated.
The EPML provides for periodic audits and monitoring of all companies and industries operating in the country.
EPA Acting Executive Director Dobayou disclosed that the management of Shanyou Wood Industry was cited on July 9, 2020, to provide the reason why they shouldn’t be held liable for the violation.
“Based on the results from the conference held between the company’s management and EPA technical team, Shanyou Wood Industry is hereby fined the amount of US$ 10,000.00 as a non-compliance and violation fees as provided for in sections 24, 25, 26 and 95 of the EPML,” Mr. Dobayou said.
N mandated the company to immediately pay the amount into the Government of Liberia Revenue at the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) within 72 hours.
“After said payment is effected, the management of Shanyou Wood Industry should submit a copy of the flag receipt to the EPA as proof of payment,” Mr. Dobayou said.
In keeping with section 26 of the EPML, Mr. Dobayou requested the company to submit a quarterly environmental monitoring report to the EPA.
He warned proponents and companies around the country to stop abusing and disrespecting environmental inspectors saying “they represent the law and must be respected with no precondition.”
Mr. Dobayou assured that the agency will not relent to implement consistent mandate to collect, analyze and prepare basic scientific data and other information pertaining to pollution, degradation and the conservation of our environment.