EPA conducts joint monitoring exercise with GGMC

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) along with representatives from the Guyana Geology and Mines (GGMC) conducted a Hydro-Sedimentological Survey from Devil Hole Landing to the confluence of the Cuyuni River, from Peima Falls to the confluence of Mazaruni River, and some tributaries of the Cuyuni and Mazaruni Rivers. The monitoring exercise, conducted during the period of January 12-21, 2021, comprised water quality testing for a number of parameters inclusive but not limited to turbidity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, collection of physical water quality characteristics (flow rate, sediment logical regime etc.) and the distribution of questionnaires to riverine residents in order to assess their use of the fresh water resources.

The data collected was recorded and will be analysed and compared to data collected during previous monitoring exercises to determine whether there has been a change in water quality, or water availability/use in the area over the years and also to determine the impact mining and mining related activities are having on riverine communities.

This empirical evidence will aid EPA in the continued protection of aquatic habitats in the assessed areas as well as the health of persons who depend on the water source. As the Agency endeavours to execute its mandate, continuous monitoring assessments are scheduled.

 

EPA’s Response to Misconceptions in the Media regarding the Modified Liza 1 Environmental Permit

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wishes to address several misconceptions and inaccuracies being pedalled by persons, particularly select political, legal and technical pundits, regarding the EPA’s modification of the Environmental Permit for the Liza 1 Development Project, Offshore Guyana.

First and foremost, the EPA takes this opportunity to clarify that the modification was pursued in strict accordance with the legislation due to the intermittent periods of flaring conducted by Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) due to technical issues offshore Guyana. Prior to its modification, the Permit prohibited ‘Routine Flaring’; however, process upsets, equipment failures and maintenance events are not considered ‘Routine Flaring’ in the Oil and Gas Industry. Such events were not specifically addressed or regulated in any way by the original Permit.

Further, the original permit only required EEPGL to notify the EPA for flaring sustaining a volume of at least 10 MMCFD and lasting at least five (5) days. However, the modified Permit now includes specific timelines for detailed instances of flaring, and notification and approval processes, during which the company must justify its reason(s) for flaring and the EPA reserves the right to reject this request if unjustified.

The timelines prescribed by the Modified Permit are consistent with the US Code for Federal Regulations which establishes that flaring may not exceed 48 hours without seeking approval. Further, international benchmarking shows that the initial start-up period averages approximately 90 days, however, the modified permit specifies a more conservative start-up period of 60 days, below the average international benchmark. This is also consistent with the recently issued Payara Environmental Permit.

Any flaring in excess of these timelines requires the company to pay for the emission of Carbon Dioxide equivalent (CO2e) at the rate of US$30 per tonne of CO2e. To this end, the EPA was guided by the Polluter Pays Principle, which was prescribed by the Environmental Protection Act in 1996, but has served as a universal principle of environmental management even prior to this, and has continuously developed in its interpretation and applicability as a result of national and international jurisprudence, customary law, and international environmental laws and conventions.

Consequently, the EPA utilised carbon pricing benchmarking to determine this payment, so that the monies acquired from the pollution events could be used for Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs). Moreover, the determination of US$30 per tonne of CO2e was a result of rigorous research and is consistent with introductory prices for CO2e implemented by developed countries such as Canada.

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EPA conducts community consultations at Wellington Park Mangrove Reserve, Region 6, as part of the GEF CLME+ EBM Project

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On January 12 and 13, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted two consultations with community members, sawmill operators and representatives from the Skeldon Energy Inc. (SEI). On the first day, the EPA met with community members to discuss and gather information in developing the governance structure and management plan of the Wellington Park Mangrove Reserve.

The second consultation allowed for conversations between SEI and sawmill operators to strengthen their partnership in addressing sawdust waste and overall waste management along the Crabwood Creek area. At this meeting, community members were able to share their experiences working with the mangroves over the years. Members also shared recent observations of sawdust accumulation at the site.

Following the consultations, the Agency has scheduled a meeting with sawmill operators along the Crabwood Creek area for February 2021. The aim of this meeting is to discuss issues of erosion, and other environmental challenges sawmill operators are currently facing.

The EPA plans to invite the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), as well as representatives from the River and Sea Defense Department to attend this meeting. All COVID 19 guidelines will be adhered to.

PUBLIC NOTICE

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February 24th, 2021-The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hereby informs the general public that excessive emission of noise is an offence under the Environmental Protection (Noise Management) Regulations (2000). Defaulters can be fined up to $700,000 and face up to one year imprisonment.

As our children engage in virtual classes and many of people continue to work from home, the Agency advises citizens to desist from emitting noise level above the prescribed decibel limits.

Categories

Day(dB)

Night(dB)

Residential

75

60

Commercial

80

65

Industrial

100

80

Frequent exposure to noise can have serious implications for human health and animals which include but are not limited to:

  • Annoyance and poor level of concentration;
  • Increased heart rate leading to elevated blood pressure;
  • Sleep deprivation;
  • Headaches and migraines; and
  • Hearing loss.

Contact your local authority and report all matters of noise pollution. Be vigilant and exercise caution as we celebrate. Remember your right to music is not your right to disturb others.