Thank you for joining us once again as we count the days into the year 2023.
The Environmental Protection Agency takes this opportunity to reflect on some of its major accomplishments during what can be deemed a rewarding 365 days in 2022. Despite some challenges, we have seen great improvements. From major developments, to its monitoring capabilities such as the use of equipment and online tools, to the reintroduction of the “Green Walk” in celebration of World Environment Day, the Agency has much to be proud of.
Let’s reflect on some of those key events:
EPA’s Executive Director participating in HSE Panel Discussion
The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. Kemraj Parsram, participated in a panel discussion on Health, Security, and Environment (HSE), which was organized as part of the Guyana International Energy Conference, held in Guyana from February 15-18, 2022.
During that discussion, Mr. Parsram reminded the audience that the environment is as important as health and safety, and therefore warrants the same attention. He also pointed out that while the EPA is improving its capabilities to monitor development and respond in the event of environmental emergencies, operators are likewise expected to ensure that their staff are trained and have the necessary equipment and skills to adequately respond to any emergency.
EPA Monitoring Air Quality
In February 2022, the Agency received five (5) Air Visual outdoor sensors from IQAir with capability to measure the presence of fine particles present in the air. The equipment is being used to monitor ambient air quality by continuously monitoring Particulate Matter (PM) – PM2.5, PM1, PM10, and Carbon Dioxide (CO2).
Each sensor unit has the ability to cover a radius of 20-25km and has a performance accuracy of 82%. The sensors indicate Air Quality Index (AQI) in the following categories: Good, Moderate, Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, Unhealthy, Very Unhealthy, and Hazardous.
Particulate Matter of a certain size, eg. PM2.5 and PM10, are of primary concern to health; the smaller the particle, the greater its potential impact on health. The five sensors have been installed at locations in Central Georgetown, East Bank Demerara, Corentyne, Berbice; Linden; and at Region Two.
Since installation, readings for PM2.5 have so far been below that of the WHO Guidelines for Air Quality. Data on air quality allows the Agency to understand contaminants of concern, possible sources of contaminants, as well as proposed appropriate mitigation action to reduce emissions of harmful air contaminants.
The Guyana Police Force and EPA signed the MoA to tackle noise nuisance
The Agency, on April 13, 2022, met with the Commissioner of Police (ag), Mr. Clifton Hicken, to discuss a strategy for sustained noise management in Guyana in collaboration with the Guyana Police Force (GPF). The team discussed matters such as the response to noise complaints from bars and music sets, training of Police Officers in noise management, more collaborative enforcement efforts, and mechanisms for information sharing and reporting.
The discussion resulted in the two authorities signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) cementing the partnership to effectively manage noise in Guyana, and the formation of the Technical Task Force between the agencies to address key problematic issues that warrant urgent attention by both agencies.
EPA’s Legal Department delivered a public lecture at the University of Guyana
The Legal Department of the Agency, on May 31, 2022, delivered a public lecture to the University of Guyana’s Department of Biology students on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process in Guyana. The lecture covered areas which include:
● The purpose of the EIA;
● The legislative background; and
● The procedure for their conduct in Guyana.
Through this engagement, the Legal Department, and by extension the EPA, was able to promote and encourage a better understanding and appreciation of the regulations that guide the Agency’s mandate to protect the natural environment.
Green Walk and Exhibition
A Green Walk and Exhibition was organized in celebration of World Environment Day (WED) on June 05, 2022. The walk commenced at the Umana Yana and concluded at the National Park. This activity attracted participation of approximately 2000 persons from various strata of society, including Government Agencies, schools, non-governmental organizations, and Civil Society. At the end of the walk, participants were treated to a WED ceremony, at which remarks were delivered by Ministers of Government and members of the Diplomatic Corps. The feature address was delivered by HE. Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.
Following the feature address, the Agency collaborated with the United Nations Office to launch a Wall Art in the National Park.
Whether authorised or unauthorised, operations, during their processes, would release unwanted materials into the environment. It is the EPA’s duty to take a number of steps to control pollution within the environment, including conducting investigations and inspections to ensure compliance with the Environmental Protection Act and regulations. The Complaints Unit and the Communications Department of the EPA provide information and education to the public regarding the need for, and methods of, protecting the environment. The following statistics provide an image of the work produced by the Agency’s Complaints Department During the year 2022.
Total Complaints Received by Agency 518
Total Complaints Received by Complaints Unit 366
Total Complaints Received at Regional Offices 108
Total Complaints Received by respective sectors 44
Total Complaints investigated by Complaints Unit 263
Closed (including referrals to NDC and Guyana Police Force) 156
Active Cases 107
Prohibition Notice Issued 9
These are just a few of our major achievements during the past year. We encourage you to continue to be engaged with the Agency through our media programmes, in to learn more about the work of the EPA.
You can share your ideas and questions by sending letters to: “Our Earth, Our Environment”, C/O Communications Department, Environmental Protection Agency, Ganges Street, Sophia, GEORGETOWN, or email us at: [email protected]. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel.