International Biodiversity Day

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EPA hosts Biodiversity Village in celebration of International Biodiversity Day 

 

The Agency coordinated a Biodiversity Village for schools in Regions 3, 4, 5 and 10, in observance of International Day for Biodiversity. The day was celebrated under the theme "Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health." This event was held at Umana Yana on May 23, 2019 and saw approximately 19 schools making artistic presentations on this year’s IDB theme; inclusive of poetry, dances and drama.

 Delivering brief remarks at the opening ceremony were Ms. Nidibi Schiwiers, Director, Department of Environment; Dr. Patrick Williams, Chairman of the Environmental Protection Agency’s board; Dr. Priya Maharaj, Director, Centre for the study of Biological Diversity (CSBD) and Lecturer, Faculty of Natural Sciences; Dr. Gillian Smith, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. The event saw in attendance in excess of 250 persons from schools, government ministries, non governmental organisations, members of the media and members of the public.

Scoping meetings target Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 for EEPGL's Payara Development Project

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As part of the EPA's Environmental Authorisation process, Esso Exploration & Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) submitted an application to the Agency for a potential Payara Development Project.  This project would involve a third floating, production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) and related subsea equipment, umbilicals, risers, and flowlines.  The proposed concept is similar to that of Liza Phase 1 and Phase 2 projects.The final Scoping meeting was held on March 28 in Region 2.

EPA in Joint Team responding to emergency at Guyana Manganese Inc.’s Matthews Ridge Mines

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The EPA was part of the joint team responding to a case of a fatality and sick workers employed at the mines located in Matthews Ridge, Region One. EPA's objectives included: 

  1. To determine the influence of the environment on the death of one miner and severe illness of two others occurring on March 30, 2019;
  2. To conduct a Preliminary Risk Assessment in order to determine the potential human and ecological risks from the activities of GMI Manganese Mine.

Subsequent tests by the relevant authorities confirmed cases of histoplasmosis, a disease typically transmitted through inhalation or dermal contact with infected excreta of bats, birds and rats.  It was highlighted that potential risk of disease correlates with mode and length of exposure.  This, therefore, would also guide future recommendations for the site. Senior Environmental Officer, Ms Camille Adams during a joint press conference noted that the Company was engaged in the Environmental Authorisation process, and full assessment of the proposed operation was still underway at the time of the emergency.  Other authorities including the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Social Protection, noted the failure to utilize Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by the workers while cleaning some tunnels, leading to them coming in contact with the pathogenic spores fungus.

EPA Executes National Radiation Training Course

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), executed a four (4) day training workshop on Search and Recovery of Radioactive Orphan Sources during March 25-28, 2019. Twenty (20) persons from key stakeholder organisations, inclusive of the Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Communities, and Puran’s Waste Management among others, were exposed to lectures, classroom exercises and field training on search, identification, transport and recovery of radioactive sources. The workshop was facilitated by four (4) international experts.

Guyana became a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2015, and has benefited from several regional initiatives including the development of a National Source Inventory for radioactive materials. The EPA is currently implementing the IAEA Regional Project: Strengthening Cradle-to-Grave Control of Radioactive Sources. The project aims to protect people and the environment from potential adverse effects of ionizing radiation, while enabling and fostering the safe and secure use of radioactive sources to promote sustainable socio-economic development. 

The Agency will continue to partner with IAEA and its stakeholders as it seeks to improve access and effective management of Radioactive Sources.