The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the regulatory Institution of the Government of Liberia for the sustainable management of the environment and its natural resources. The Agency was established by an act of the Legislature November 26, 2002 and published into hand bill on April 30, 2003.
The EPA operates on three basic legal Instruments: The National Environmental Policy (NEP), The Environmental Management and Protection Law of Liberia and the Act Creating the Environmental Protection Agency. Of these three instruments, the National Environmental Policy ordered the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure sound environmental management and put in place measure to avoid irreparable damage to the country’s natural resources. The NEP seeks to harmonize cross cutting functions between and amongst agencies. The NEP seeks to ensure long-term economic prosperity of Liberia through sustainable social and economic development of the generation without endangering the potential of future generation. The objective of the NEP is to improve the physical environment, the quality of life and the improvement of economic and social living condition of the citizenry present and future generations. It also seeks to ensure reconciliation and coordination between economic development and growth with the sustainable management of the natural resources. A National Environmental Policy provides a broad framework for the implementation of national objectives and plans.
The Environmental Protection and Management Law (EPML) of Liberia establishes a legal framework for the sustainable development, management and protection of the environment by the Environment Protection Agency in partnership with regulatory Ministries and organizations and in a close and responsive relationship with the people of Liberia; and to provide high quality information and advice on the state of the environment and for matters connected therewith. The EMPL have several principles and objectives to include but not limited to the following: The principle of sustainable development; The pre-cautionary principle, The polluter – pays principle, The principle of inter-generational equity, The principle of public participation, The principle of international co-operation in the management of environmental resources shared by two or more states; and Other principles of natural resources and environmental management.
The Act creating the Agency provides the legal mandates and authority to manage coordinate, monitor and supervise in consultation with relevant line Ministries, Agencies and organization, and other relevant stakeholders for the protection of the environment and sustainable use of natural resources. The act details the functions of the EPA from the Policy Council to environmental inspectors. The Act also clearly explain the entire environmental impact assessment (EIA) process in its totality.
The Agency is mandated to protect the environment and sustainable use of natural resources in consultation with relevant line Ministries, Agencies and organizations, and other relevant stakeholders. EPA ensures that the environment is clean, safe and healthy.