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.

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 conducts outreach with Ministry of Business

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The Agency delivered two interactive presentations which focused on its functions with regards to the environmental authorisation process at two outreach sessions organised by the Ministry of Business. The audience entailed members of the business community and were held on February 7 and 21, 2019, at Eccles Industrial Site and the Coldingen Industrial Estates, respectively. The purpose of the outreaches was to encourage business owners to ensure that their businesses are authorised and compliant. Presentations were also delivered by the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) which focused on zoning and land use management.