The Management of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has imposed US$50,000 fine on the Sime Darby Plantation (Liberia) Inc. with immediate effect as a result of non-compliance with the terms and conditions of a permit. According to a press release, the EPA Management has instructed the company to deposit the amount in the Central Bank's account number0220530000135 on or before Monday, October 10, 2011 and receipt presented to the EPA. The EPA Management disclosed that it decision followed Sime Darby's deliberate refusal to comply with the terms and conditions of permit number( EPA/EC/ESIA/001-0410) issued on 21st April 2010 to cultivate ten thousand ( 10,000) hectares of oil palm in Bomi and Grand Cape Mount Counties.
The EPA also noted that it views as an affront, the inability of Sime Darby to respond in a timely manner to an earlier communication dated August 29, 2011 in which the company was given the opportunity to address the violation, but to no avail. However, the Agency said it has granted the one month requested by Sime Darby to address the violation, but warns that should the issue not be satisfactorily addressed within the time requested, further penalty would be imposed.
Meanwhile, the EPA Management has also drawn the attention of Sime Darby to the issue of the comprehensive resettlement plan of affected communities, which the Agency has made clear that it must be addressed according to the terms of their permit.