11 July 2017

Liberia: EPA Fines Maryland Oil Palm U.S.$10 K

Authorities of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have fined Maryland Oil Palm Plantation (MOPP) in Sodoken, Maryland County US$10,000 for violating the environmental laws of Liberia.

According to a release issued yesterday, MOPP violated the terms and conditions of the environmental permit issued to it by the EPA.

MOPP did not only fail to comply with condition 6.0 count 5 of its environmental permit, but in contravention of the Environmental Protection and Management Law of Liberia, imported several chemicals into the country without acquiring the requisite approval from the EPA, the release said.

MOPP has been mandated to pay the fine into government revenue through the Liberian Revenue Authority with an official receipt presented to the EPA or lose its permit to operate in the country.

"MOPP's deviation from the permit conditions resulted into the encroachment and destruction of some predetermined buffer areas," the release quoted EPA executive director Anyaa Vohiri.

Madam Vohiri said that the encroachment and destruction of the buffer areas also breached the Roundtable on Sustainable Oil Palm (RSPO) principles.

The RSPO is an association of oil palm producers, oil palm processors, traders and consumer goods manufacturers. It has developed a set of environmental and social criteria, which companies must comply with to produce certified sustainable palm oil.

EPA is the government's agency responsible to protect the environment and conserve biodiversity by implementing policies that ensure the long-term economic prosperity of Liberia through sustainable, social and economic development.

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