Public Service Announcement June 10, 2020

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The transformation of Guyana to an oil producing country triggered changes in our development as a Regulatory body. As new and scaled-up projects took off, the demand for pollution control and environmental management increased. As such the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) transformed and found flexible solutions to new and increasing demands on its services.

At  24  years  old,  the  Environmental  Protection  Agency  (EPA),  has  come  a  long  way. Moreover, the past two years the Agency has seen a transformation in its culture by investing heavily in our most valuable resource, our human capital, through aggressive recruitment, development of skills,   and enhancing customer service. Employee development  includes  exposure  to  local  and  international  training  opportunities;  and networking  and  collaboration  with  international  organisations  such  as  International Association of Impact Assessment (IAIA), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), International  Offshore  Petroleum  Environmental  Regulators  (IOPER)  and  the  Air and Waste Management Association (AWMA).


Other significant accomplishments over the last two years include the overhauling and restructuring of the Agency to accommodate the increased work load. For example, with the help of the World Bank, we have established an Oil and Gas Unit to comprise of 36 highly skilled employees to oversee the industry; and have similarly established other Units to oversee each sector of the economy.

In 2019, the Agency substantially improved accountability by bringing over 500 expired   permits   into   compliance.   The   more   than   130   million   dollars   in   revenue generated by this effort was used to recruit 20 skilled staff, and increase our fleet of field ready vehicles from two to nine, allowing for greater compliance monitoring and enforcement.

Another  major  but  timely  development  is  the  Agency  24-hour  complaint  hotline,  we have  also  expanded  our  public  awareness  programmes  covering  new  media  outlets including a television show titled ‘The Environment Matters’ and the launch of the first ever  Green  Note  magazine.  In  addition,  we  established  a  Central  Registry  to  secure custody,  accounting,  and  efficient  processing  of  the  voluminous  amount of documents supporting the 2,000 projects.

It  is  the  vision  of  the  Executive  director  to  establish  an  EPA  office  in  every  region  by 2021,  and  revise  the  outdated  1996  Environmental  Protection  Act  to  consider  the petroleum  sector.  Additionally,  to  develop  a  new  course  to  address  the  post  2020 biodiversity agenda, and to implement the single-use plastics and mercury bans. Further to  investigate  in  capacity  building  while  tripling  the  staff  to  over  300  employees,  and building our own fully furnished laboratory by 2022.