“Cape Mount Caucus, EPA: Take Action.. Or Else” -GCMC Senatorial Aspirant Cautions Against BMMC Chemical Spillages

The Cape Mount Action Movement for Sando Wayne (CMAM4SW) has alarmed over news that Bea Mountain Mining Company (BMMC) has discharged ammonia and cyanide-laden wastewater into the Marvoh and Mafa Rivers in Grand Cape Mounty, leading to the death of fishes, a dog and the displacement of residents in the affected communities.

CMAM4SW is therefore calling on the Cape Mount Legislative caucus and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to immediately introduce a “Clean Water Bill” and other laws to hold concessionaires in the gold mining sector accountable for the unlawful discharge of harmful substances in the rivers, thereby threatening aquatic and other species.

According to the Kinjor-based Movement that is pushing for the election of Senatorial Aspirant Sando Wayne, “In recent days, discharge from the operations of the Bea Mountain Mining Corporation, a subsidiary of Avasoro Inc., led to fish kills and the death of a dog in the rivers, also causing nearby community residents to flee their homes. The Movement believes that a Clean Water Law will cause Avosoro and all mining concessions in Liberia to undertake substantial measures to improve their wastewater system at their facilities.

 Making the pronouncement in a May 26, 2022 press release, the Movement alleged that Avosoro has for the second time, the first in July 2016, exceeded its discharge pollution limits for cyanide and ammonia-nitrogen; failed to properly report those cyanide and ammonia releases or accord communities the right to know or hold liable BMMC for a comprehensive environmental response, compensation and liability.

The release, quoting Senatorial Wayne, called on the Cape Mount Caucus and the EPA to develop a comprehensive solution that will not only support the continued enjoyment of the Marvoh and Mafa Rivers, the Lake Piso and the Atlantic Ocean, but also implement necessary measures at the Camp Liberty project site to permanently prevent future spills like this again, noting that the EPA and the Cape Mount caucus must demonstrate that they are committed to protecting the county’s natural resources from harmful pollution.

“In the wake of the environment and health problems related to precious metal mining operations in Grand Cape Mount County, Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Grand Cape Mount County senatorial aspirant Sando Wayne has issued a strong call today for the rapid adoption of a clean water law and direct compensation to the affected communities. Aspirant Wayne said he will mobilize his people to support the creation of the legal climate in Cape Mount that both promotes thriving concessionaires to become a force for public good and ensuring effective protection of water resources used as sources of drinking water, and their related water ecosystems, from pollution and other causes, including agriculture, additional protections for the local community, and the Marvoh and Mafa Rivers that flow into the Lake Piso. Senatorial aspirant Wayne said while all eyes are on the headlines are about cyanide, we already know that high concentrations of heavy metals, including copper and lead, will in the long run be detected, and this may have additional impact on human health in our communities,” the release said.

The Movement furthered that in July 2016, BMMC wastewater treatment or TSF resulted in discharges containing high levels of untreated cyanide and ammonia-nitrogen. Following the discharge of the untreated water, there was a fish kill in the Marvoh and Mafa Rivers similar to what the Cape Mount community is witnessing again!

 “BMMC failed to provide timely notification and emergency response to the local communities after the release. The EPA investigation revealed violations and BMMC’s liability for cyanide pollutions in and around the areas of the discharges and fined the BMMC.  The fines were paid to the Government and Grand Cape Mount County communities affected by the harm were left to pick themselves out of the chemical devastation to livelihood in their communities,” the Movement disclosed.

The senatorial aspirant has vow to never again allow this to happen to Cape mount. Mr. Wayne said that he will promote actions to require BMMC to construct and operate a new TSF system at Camp Liberty for managing and treating once-through water during emergency situations, and follow enhanced preventive maintenance, operation and sampling requirements for its processing plant facility. According to Aspirant Wayne, these measures are designed to fix conditions at the Camp Liberty processing plant that gave rise to the July 2016 and May 2022 spillage and furthering compliance with the anticipated Clean Water Act.

“This consistent act of desecration is further proof that our people are servile and don’t deserve decent living. We frown on such perception and shout to the high heavens against such barbaric and evil behavior perpetrated against the people of Grand Cape Mount County by an institution that has only dashed them with exploitation and subjugation for the many years of mineral exploitation on its soil,” the release stated emphatically, cautioning that any inaction by the Cape Mount legislative caucus, EPA and Government of Liberia to create the necessary legal climate in Cape Mount and ensure compliance will render them guilty of being agent collaborators of BMMC and declaring chemical warfare on the people of Grand Cape Mount county, thereby establishing the BMMC Gold Mine as a force for evil.

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