News Alert: EPA fines Bea Mountain Mining Corporation US$99,999.99 for breaking environmental laws…

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The Environmental Protection Agency of the Republic of Liberia (EPA) has fined the Bea Mountain Mining Corporation (BMMC) an amount of US$99,999.99 for violating the Environmental Protection Laws of Liberia. The amount, according to the EPA, is to be paid into government coffers within 72 hours.

Addressing a news conference at the EPA head office in Sinkor, EPA Deputy Executive Director, Randall Dobayou disclosed that the Agency on June 26, 2017, approved and authorized the BMMC to discharge wastewater from the tailing storage facilities at the New Liberty Gold Mine in compliance with the Liberia water quality standard guide of 1987 and the IFC Effluent guideline. Dobayou pointed out that the permit provides discharge limits at different points across the mixing zone to effectively increase retention time and promote cyanide degradation to support the sustainable management of the ecosystem.

Dobayou disclosed that the EPA technicians made an impromptu visit at the New Liberty Gold Mines in Gola Konneh District; Grand Cape Mount County after alleged water pollution was reported by some residents of downstream communities. The team, according to the EPA official, collected surface and groundwater samples at strategic locations within the company’s concession areas and discovered through its laboratory results that the level of free cyanide is nearly four times the maximum discharge limits, noting that it was against this backdrop that the BMMC was fined. He added that the Bea Mounting Mining Corporation is to remedy the illegal effluent discharge within 15 days and provide drinking water to the affected communities in the meantime.

Dobayou also added that the EPA has mandated the corporation to commission a resettlement action plan by an independent Environment Evaluator to determine compensation to the affected community. He said any failure on the part of the Bea Mountain company to comply with the notice from the EPA within the stipulated period may lead to drastic penalties, including imprisonment or criminal prosecution where applicable.
According to Dobayou, this is the second time the Bea Mounting Mining Corporation has been fined for violation of the Environmental Protection Laws, as the company was first fined in 2017