Managing leak detection in gas stations

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A typical Veeder Root System

What  you need to know about leak detection mechanisms at Gas Stations

Leak detection mechanisms are widely used in the petroleum sector, primarily in gas stations. There are several types used in Guyana, such as an electric shut-off system, dipstick, overflow alarm, sensors on the tank walls, gauging system, and a 'Veeder Root System'.

Moreover, gas station operators over the past years have been primarily using the dipstick and the electronic shut-off system as part of their leak detection mechanisms. However, in recent times, several operators were found to be using the 'Veeder Root System' which is a more advanced system in detecting leakage in the tanks, fuel level, and any water in the tank.

Why are leak detection mechanisms important in gas stations?

Leak detection mechanisms are used to determine if a leak has occurred in the system, tanks, or pipeline. Given that the majority of tanks are located underground, it would be difficult to ascertain whether or not there is a leakage, thus, the above-mentioned mechanisms can be used to safeguard both the underground and above ground tanks. Further, it should be noted that a single pint of fuel released into the waterways, either above ground or below ground can contaminate approximately one (1) acre of water. So it’s our responsibility to protect human health and the environment by encouraging operators to implement these systems at their gas stations.

EPA inspects proposed project site for manganese mining at Matthews Ridge

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The EPA conducted an inspection of the proposed manganese mining operation at Matthews Ridge, Region One on March 03, 2021, to assess the Guyana Manganese Inc.'s compliance with approvals granted for clean-up and other preparatory works at the site.

The inspection revealed, there are still remnants of the prior operation, such as the frame of the old processing plant and stockpiles of scrap metal from the dismantling process. Additionally, the company has made strides in preparing the site for operation.

The company was required to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in order to identify the potential impacts of operation and provide proposed plans to mitigate these impacts. The EIA has been submitted and is under review by the Environmental Assessment Board (EAB), which will recommend to the EPA if the EIA should be approved.

Once the EPA approves the EIA and authorises the project, the project will be bound to implement mitigation measures outlined in the EIA and abide by the conditions of the permit issued, to safeguard the environment.

 

Oil and Gas compliance inspection of the Liza Destiny

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In the month of March, the Oil and Gas Unit conducted a full scale compliance inspection of the Liza Destiny Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading Unit (FPSO), the production platform attached to the Liza Phase 1 Development Project in the Stabroek Block. The team also inspected one of the drillships (Noble Tom Madden - pictured below, photo courtesy of oilnow.gy) which undertakes both exploratory and developmental drilling.

This trip was a significant milestone since the EPA was able to audit the Liza Phase 1 Development Project against conditions of the Environmental Permit granted by the Agency. From the compliance inspection, the team was able to appreciate the conditions under which oil production is undertaken and also have a first-hand look at the complexities of such projects.

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oil and Gas Unit continues to work to ensure that all efforts are made to continue with its compliance monitoring programme with the aim of ensuring that operators within the oil and gas industry fulfill their environmental obligations.

 

Insight into Industry and Waste Management at the EPA

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The Industry and Waste Management Department issued a total of nine (9) permits for the month of March, screened eleven (11) applications received for Environmental Authorisation, conducted twenty-four (24) site/monitoring and compliance inspections and investigated twelve (12) complaints.

In addition to its work on authorisations and complaints, the Industry and Waste Management Department also has a self-development and capacity-building focus for its staff. On March 16 and 17, 2021, Officers of the department, along with three other departments of the EPA, and representatives from the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development (MoLG&RD) participated in a workshop to build capacity for waste management. The workshop was a collaborative effort between the EPA and Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) and was conducted virtually due to COVID 19 restrictions.

Bringing facilities into good environmental standing is also of primary concern to the Industry and Waste Management Department. As such, meetings were held, and monitoring and compliance inspections conducted by the Department at facilities that posed a threat to the environment to bring them into environmental compliance.