12 July 2017

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

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

MOPP violated the terms and conditions of the environmental permit issued to it by the EPA.

According to an EPA release, Maryland Oil Palm Plantation 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 Liberia without acquiring the requisite approval from the EPA.

"MOPP deviation from the permit conditions resulted into the encroachment and destruction of some predetermined buffers areas," the release quoted EPA Executive Director and CEO, Anyaa Vohiri.

Madam Vohiri disclosed that the encroachment and destruction of some predetermined buffers areas also breached the Roundtable on Sustainable Oil Palm (RSPO)'s 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 in order to produce certified sustainable palm oil.

MOPP has been mandated to pay the US$ 10, 000 fine into government revenue through the Liberian Revenue Authority (LRA), with an official receipt represented to the EPA.

Failure to comply will result in the cancellation of MOPP's operational permit. MOPP has also been instructed to submit a plan that will restore the damaged buffers within a period of one month.

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


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