The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) vehemently denounces the Daylight's ongoing dissemination of false information and its deliberate attempts to defame the Agency and its dedicated officers. Despite providing comprehensive clarifications and factual information during a recent interview with Mr. Mark Newa, The DayLight has chosen to ignore the truth and persist in tarnishing the EPA's reputation. This behavior is unprofessional and confirms our suspicions of the DayLight’s malicious intent to baselessly attack our esteemed Agency.
During the interview, Mr. Newa had the opportunity to ask seven pertinent questions, which were adequately addressed to his satisfaction. In fact, he expressed appreciation for the Agency's commitment to transparency and the provision of accurate information. As responsible journalists, we expected The DayLight to utilize these facts to rectify the misleading narrative presented in their previous publication.
Regrettably, The DayLight has chosen to disregard the truth we presented and continues to willfully damage the EPA's reputation. Such actions are not only reprehensible but also indicative of The DayLight’s agenda to engage in yellow journalism and undermine the hard-earned reputation of our organization. The EPA categorically refuses to succumb to any form of blackmail or extortion from media outlets that seek to tarnish our purposeful reputation and established character. The DayLight has unmistakably demonstrated itself to be one such organization.
In response to the specific inquiries raised by the Daily, the EPA reiterates the following:
1. Test results confirmed spillage, what is the EPA official position on this?
The EPA stands by its previous report, which clearly stated that laboratory results from our investigation confirmed elevated cyanide levels due to a spill event from Bea Mountain Tailing Storage Facility (TSF). This position was extensively covered in the June 7, 2022 edition of FrontPage Africa under the title "EPA Maintains Findings on Cape Mount Water Pollution."
2. Villagers are fleeing because BMMC failed to implement recommendations from previous reports last year, what do you have to say about this?
Our February 20, 2023 investigative report acknowledges that some residents of Jekandor have chosen to leave the village due to concerns arising from the initial incident. The EPA has since submitted the reports to both parties involved, and Bea Mountain is actively working on implementing the recommendations, including the relocation of the village.
3. Any reason why the recent report is yet to be published?
All reports pertaining to investigations conducted at BMMC and other major concessionaires are readily available on the Agency's official website, www.epa.gov.lr.
4. Why has the report not been published?
The response to this question remains the same as the one provided in the previous inquiry (refer to Q3).
5. What is the EPA doing to stop spillage from taking place?
As Liberia's principal regulatory authority for the protection of natural resources, the EPA issues permits following a rigorous Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) process to project proponents whose undertakings may impact the environment and biological receptors. Each permit specifies measures and conditions aimed at safeguarding the environment and its receptors. In the case of BMMC, the EPA has worked closely with the company to enhance its tailings discharge program, including the reinforcement of tailings embankments, construction of additional sediment retention ponds, and the installation of additional gibbon baskets to prevent the recurrence of spillage.
6. What is the assurance of the capacity to protect the environment?
The EPA assures the public that it remains steadfast in its commitment to sustainably protect the environment for current and future generations. Our Agency possesses the necessary technical capacity to detect and mitigate environmental threats, including water pollution and other forms of contamination.
The Agency remains committed in ensuring environmental sustainability.
Signed: Danise Love Dennis-Dodoo
Head of Media & Corporate Communications