By Alva M. Wolokolie
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with statutory mandate to monitor, coordinate, and supervise the sustainable management of the environment in partnership with other line ministries and agencies has appeared before the House Committee on Ways, Means and Finance appealing for more money to keep the entity perform effectively.
Speaking before the committee yesterday to justify the entity’s budget support, the Acting Executive Director of EPA, Mr. Stephen Y. Neufville, has developed a five-year strategic plan designed which is 16.4 million United States dollars to guide its activities and identify areas of intervention for improved quality results.
Commenting on the economic benefits to Liberia from EPA, Mr. Neufville told the committee that EPA has provided both direct and indirect support to government’s budget. He said EPA has had more than 12 million dollars infused into the economy for developmental projects, including the coastal defense project and the agriculture adaptation project.
The Acting EPA boss said his entity does not have the capacity to administer effective Environmental Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) because the process is weak due to inadequate trained man power, logistics, scientific equipment and facilities. He added that the projected 2013/2014 core budget will not allow the EPA to perform effectively.
Mr. Neufville named the establishment of three regional monitoring laboratories, recruitment and training of 30 professionals, the development of 50 legal instruments among others as some of the seven prioritized activities in the 2013/2014 budget which would support the agency’s budget policy note which are essential to effective environmental management for the country.