LIBERIA – The African Youth Peer Review Committee has strongly disagreed with the recently published Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Report in which the institution cleared the management of Bea Mountain Mining Company of polluting the Mafar River and Mavoc Creek in Grand Cape Mount County.
The international youth group in its release noted that EPA has been impartial in its report, despite the huge damage caused to communities that suffered the chemical pollution created as a result of Bea Mountain operations in the area.
AYPRC which has filed a 10 million United States Dollars lawsuit against the management of Bea Mountain for reportedly violating the rights of people living in the company’s operational area, said the EPA report is only meant to undermine the ongoing legal battle between it and the company.
The group release quotes its Executive Director Jeddlee Kinnii as saying that residents of the affected communities, particularly Jehkandor have expressed sadness about the EPA’s release, stressing that they are still not using the Marvoc Creek for water source due to the chemical pollution created by Bea Mountain Company.
In the recent release issued by the EPA, the government environmental regulatory agency informs the public that based on its technical team’s completion of the final round of environmental assessment and water quality testing of the Marvoc Creek – a downstream of the New Liberty Gold Mine in Grand Cape Mount County, it has concluded that all parameters tested area have met an “appreciable level” below the permissible limits set by the EPA.
With this statement, the EPA somersaulted on its June 3, 2022, initial report on the matter, in which it warned the public, especially residents of affected communities to avoid using the water streams for any purpose until a final detailed assessment was conducted.
EPA in the report also accused the BEA mountain mining company of being responsible for the spillage of chemicals on both the Mafar River and Mavoc Creek.
The initial report of the EPA was heavily resisted by the Management of Bea Mountain Mining Company, which claimed that the EPA did not have the sophistication to carry out such an assessment of the situation, thus was in error to come up with such a report against the company.
After less than four months of the rigmarole between the two institutions, the EPA appears to give in to the management of Bea Mountain, by dropping all of the allegations and declaring both Mavoc Creek and Mafar River free of chemical pollution.
However, AYPRC said it will continue its legal process against the management of BEA Mountain mining Company, following cries from affected community residents, particularly women, and children who have been denied access to the only source of water supply due to the chemical situation.
The group Executive Director said they are currently in talks with international lawyers to help pursue the matter, in that, the action of the company comes in conflict with the right of indigenous people under international Indigenous law.