East International Rock Quarry in Marshall has been shut down by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for illegal backfilling of the wetland protected under the Ramsar Convention.

East International Rock Quarry is being used by Sino Liberia to dam a wetland of international importance in Marshall, Margibi County.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia recently temporarily shut down the operations of Fengshou International, a rock quarry owned by East International, for the persistent non-compliance and defiance posture of the company to adhere to the EPA’s recommendations communicated to them after a full-scale assessment of its project on October 19, 2022, as well as the repeated backfilling of a critical ecosystem of international importance to construct a 2.0 km-long road in the wetland.

However, it can be recalled that East International applied for an environmental permit last year to construct a 2.0 km access road in the wetlands from the Fengshou Rock Quarry to the RIA main road, but the EPA, after a pre-assessment of the project’s feasibility, denied the project.

But the company exhibited a defiant posture and started backfilling the wetland to build the road, despite the EPA’s refusal to allow them to build a road in the wetland.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, January 11, 2023, during the tour of the Marshall wetland, the National Focal Person of the Ramsar Convention at EPA, Levi Piah, said that the unauthorized backfilling of wetland is a violation of the Environmental Protection and Management Law of Liberia (EPML).

Piah indicated that Marshall Wetland is one of Liberia’s wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention and an international treaty for the protection of wetlands.

He also said that Liberia is a signatory to the 1971 Convention.

For her part, the Communication Officer of EPA, Denise Dodoo, expressed dismay that the company continued to violate the stay order after being shut down by EPA.

Denise emphasized that the EPA is not against the development of Liberia, but the company should build smart climate roads and not destroy the wetlands, especially when they have the needed technology to do that.

According to the EPA, since the company was shut down, they have continued to violate the law by backfilling the wetland.

When reporters contacted the company authorities, they did not show interest in speaking until now.

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