— for violation of environmental protection law
The Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA) has fined Monrovia Breweries, the country’s only beer producer, the amount of US$5,000 for breaching the Environmental Protection and Management Law of Liberia (EPML).
According to EPA authorities, Monrovia Breweries was fined after the company denied their inspectors access the company’s facilities on grounds that the company was not notified.
EPA’s visit to the company was intended to conduct a routine environmental inspection and follow up on the company’s implementation of recommendations proffered by the agency during its last year’s audit verification visit.
In a statement, EPA said its recent visit to the company was predicted upon the need to assess the company’s implementation of recommendations made by the previous technical team as well as to assess the company’ compliance status as per its operation permit.
The statement, quoting the EPA’s Acting Executive Director, Randall M. Dobayou, explained that the EPA was conducting a routine inspection to assess whether the management of Monrovia Breweries has followed it last year’s recommendations, which include “obtaining an effluent discharge permit and chemical registration and importation license for chemicals imported.”
According to Dobayou, “EPA takes serious exception to this non-compliance posture and has decided to send a strong warning to other would-be offenders that the agency is serious about its mandate of safeguarding the environment.”
“Please be reminded that denying environmental inspectors access to your facility is a violation of Part IX Section 95 of the Environmental Protection and Management law of Liberia (EPML) and an affront to Section 8.0 of your operating permit, which gives inspectors the right to unhindered access to your facility, at any given time, for the purpose of monitoring your adherence to the terms and conditions of the permit and compliance to the provisions of the Law. Subsection 3 of section 95 of the EMPL states that anyone who interferes with the Inspector’s duties commits an offense and is liable on a conviction of a fine not exceeding US$5,000 or imprisonment for one year or both,” Dobayou’s letter to the company said.
The EPA boss further informed the company that if it fails to comply with the notice of violation, the company’s operating permit will be cancelled.
Monrovia Breweries has also been instructed to deposit the amount in Government of Liberia Revenue at the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) within 72 hours.
“On this basis and after careful review of the situation in keeping with the spirit to ensure sustainable environmental protection, the management of Monrovia Breweries Incorporated is hereby fined the amount of US$5,000 to be paid, within 72 hours of receipt of this communication, in Government revenue through the Liberian Revenue Authority (LRA) with an official receipt presented to EPA,” he said.