-EPA Exec. Director cautions ESIA evaluatorsThe executive director of Liberia Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Nathaniel T. Blama, has cautioned independent Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) Evaluators against covering up for companies operating in the country, a release has said.Blama told a group of independent ESIA evaluators not to turn their eyes away from harmful practices by companies operating in the environment.“Avoid being intimidated by concessionaires, because you are independent evaluators, so you have to be independent in your judgment,” he said.Mr. Blama, who spoke at programs marking the official certification of independent ESIA evaluators on Tuesday, June 12, threatened to revoke evaluators’ licenses if they compromise the people’s interest for money.On Monday, May 28, the EPA commenced the 6th edition of the Environmental Evaluators Training Licensing Certification Program for ESIA evaluators and representatives of line government ministries and agencies.According to the release, the 2018 ten-day training was intended to equip independent consultants, large project developers and representatives of line government institutions with basic technical information and guidance required in the administration of ESIA.For that, Mr. Blama disclosed that beginning November 1, this year, the EPA will not permit any company to directly submit their own study, rather through a third-party as provided by law.According to him, an environment assessment study will be done quarterly by certified evaluators, but warned that the paper work will have to be done properly by licensed evaluators.“Don’t do cut and paste, because the reports have to be done differently from that of logging companies. Any data that you provide will be cross-checked, and if it was altered, your lesson will be revoked,” Blama threatened.In reference to EPA staff, who also benefited from the training, Mr. Blama said, “we are training a new army at the EPA to set-up the check-point.”He said that the agency will not accept evaluators doing desk study, noting that independent evaluators will have to go on site and take accurate data.He indicated that every ESIA reports submitted to the EPA will have to consider a brief and management plan.Mr. Blama, a former independent evaluator himself, promised to strengthen independent evaluators in the discharge of their duty, but asked them to set the bar.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The sprawling storm system hit Wednesday and blew out to sea Thursday, leaving huge snow piles, frigid temperatures and tens of thousands without power across the Midwest and Northeast. The National Guard’s aid operation ended once the stranded vehicles were cleared from I-78 Thursday evening. Some vehicles – mostly trucks – were still being towed after becoming stuck in sections of the other two highways, Pennsylvania transportation officials said. Road-clearing operations were expected to continue through the night and into the morning. Transportation spokesman Sean Brown said he could not say when the roads would reopen. Eugene Coleman, who is hyperglycemic, was trapped for 20 hours while on his way home to Hartford, Conn., from visiting his terminally ill mother in Georgia, along with his girlfriend and pregnant daughter. “How could you operate a state like this? It’s totally disgusting,” Coleman said. “God forbid somebody gets really stuck on the highway and has a life-threatening emergency. That person would have died.” HAMBURG, Pa. – National Guardsmen in Humvees ferried food, fuel and baby supplies Thursday to hundreds of motorists stranded on a 50-mile stretch of highway for nearly a day by a monster storm blamed for 15 deaths. The traffic jam on the icy, hilly section of Interstate 78 in eastern Pennsylvania forced authorities to also shut down portions of I-81 and I-80 Thursday afternoon as they struggled to gain ground on the colossal traffic jam. Drivers were frustrated they were let on the road at all. State police did not close all the entrance ramps to I-78 until around 5 p.m., more than 24 hours after vehicles starting getting caught. “Why would they have that exit open if they were just going to let us sit there?” said a crying Deborah Miller. Her 5-year-old son was trapped in the car with her, running a 103-degree fever from strep throat. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!