The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wishes to refute an inaccuracy contained in a Kaieteur News article dated November 16, 2021, under the headline “US$900M Gas-to- shore, oil projects will significantly impact marine resources”.
A section of the article states:
“OVER THE LAST TWO WEEKS, THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) HAS HELD SEVERAL MEETINGS WITH STAKEHOLDERS TO EXPLAIN THE WORKINGS OF THE PROJECT. THESE DISCUSSIONS WERE STARTED AFTER THE NATION HAD A MERE 10 DAYS TO DIGEST OVER 7000 PAGES OF TECHNICAL DATA ON THE PROJECT.
Today is the last day for persons to submit any commentary on the project to the EPA.”
This is categorically untrue. The EPA takes its obligations seriously under the Environmental Protection Act, which states at Section 11(10):
“The developer and the person carrying out the environmental impact assessment shall submit the environmental impact assessment together with an environmental impact statement to the Agency for evaluation and recommendations and publish a notice in at least one daily newspaper confirming that the environmental impact assessment and the environmental impact statement have been submitted to the Agency and members of the public shall have sixty days from the date of publication of such notice to make such submissions to the Agency as they consider appropriate.”
The developer (EEPGL) and its team of consultants (ERM) submitted the EIA and EIS to the EPA on October 15, 2021. A Public Notice was published by the developer on October 16, 2021, giving the public 60 days to peruse the EIA and EIS and make recommendations/comments to the Agency. The EPA has gone above and beyond its legal requirement by hosting public disclosure meetings across the coastal regions, allowing the public to have face to face interactions with members of all teams concerned with the project. This is testimony to our commitment to public engagement in environmental decision making. We use this opportunity as a reminder that the period for public comments on the Yellowtail Development Project ends on December 15, 2021. Written comments must be addressed to the Executive Director, Environmental Protection Agency, Ganges Street, Sophia, Georgetown or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Section 11(11) of the EP Act states: “The environmental impact assessment and the environmental impact statement shall be public documents and the developer and the Agency shall have such documents available for the duration of the project and five years thereafter for inspection, subject to the deletion therefrom of such information as may disclose intellectual property rights, during normal working hours at their respective offices and shall supply on request and on payment of cost of photocopying copies of such documents.”
Copies of the EIA and EIS are available for public scrutiny on the EPA’s website https://www.epaguyana.org/epa/eepgl/category/16-eepgl, at its offices in Georgetown; LEN Building, MacKenzie – Linden and Whim – Berbice; at the National Library in Georgetown, and all offices of the Regional Democratic Councils. A copy of the Non-Technical Summary of the EIA is also posted on the EPA’s website.