Liberia: Environmental Protection Agency Shuts Down CICO’s Operation
MONROVIA – The Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA) has shut down the operation of China Chongqoing International Construction Company (CICO) in Caldwell, Montserrado County for refusing to adhere to a ‘notice of violation’ issued by the EPA on March 4, 2019.
The shutdown was executed on Friday, March 29, 2018 by a team from EPA’s Compliance and Enforcement Department headed by John K. Jallah.
Reading a ‘Notice of Shut down for Non-compliance’ prior to shutting down the company, Jallah told management that their operation is in complete violation of the Environmental Protection and Management Law of Liberia.
The notice was signed by EPA Executive Director, Dr. Nathaniel T. Blama, Sr.
Flanked by some EPA Inspectors, Mr. Jallah informed the company’s manager that its operation has negatively affected the integrity of the environment and people within the Cassava Hill Community.
He said CICO’s operation is leading to serious environmental and public health threat to nearby environmental receptors (local communities, air and water quality issues) old and sickened elders, plants, animals and children.
Mr. Jallah explained that CICO’s un-notified conduct of rocks blasting without organized timing contravenes provision of the Noise Regulation of Liberia and condition 5.3 of the Environmental Permit issued by the EPA
He disclosed that the uncontrolled blasting of rocks is damaging homes near CICO’s operational site and indicated that the company’s action is a blatant violation of conditions provided in a previous permit issued CICO.
The permit among many others provides for the utilization of appropriate blasting technology, building consensus on blasting schedules, installation of bell alarm system, dust suppression amongst others.
Mr. Jallah further noted that CICO is operating under an expired environmental permit in violation to the law of Liberia and said the Chinese firm is liable to punitive actions consistent with the Environmental Protection and Management Law of Liberia.