One doesn’t have to look very far to notice an increase the number of economic, construction and other developmental activities taking place in Guyana. Developmental activities are necessary to improve the quality of our lives; however, they need to be conducted in a manner which will not compromise the quality of the environment and human health. Further, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established to manage, conserve, protect and improve our envi-ronment. Therefore, certain types of activities need to be authorised by the EPA. These include:
Construction of roads
Hotels, inns, resorts, guest houses
Ports and habour development
Development of industrial complexes/estates
Development of water distribution facilities
Power generation plants
Water treatment facilities
Auto electrical/mechanical workshops
Facilities which store, treat or dispose of waste
Body work/spray painting operation
Rice processing plant
Mining activities (sand, bauxite, gold, diamond, rock, etc)
Pulp and paper processing
Cement production and bagging plants
Paint and ink manufacturing
Extraction of forest resources
Pharmaceuticals manufacturing, etc
NB – This list is not exhaustive!
What is an environmental authorisation?
Environmental authorisation (EA) is an Environmental Permit, a prescribed process licence, a construction permit or an operation permit granted by the EPA.
Why is the environmental authorisation necessary?
Having a valid environmental authorisation for certain types of activities is required by law; the Environmental Protection Act Chapter 20:05, Laws of Guyana. It also provides major benefits to the environment, human health and to secure your investment. The process ensures that development is conducted in the most sustainable way possible by mandating investors to identify the major impacts of an investment project and determine the best measures or alternatives that can be put in place to prevent or mitigate negative impacts.
Additionally, through environmental authorisation process, it is determined whether or not and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is needed be-fore granting the Environmental Permit. This is another important process which is required to be completed by investors who are planning projects that will have significant adverse effects on environmental, social and eco-nomic well-being.
An environmental authorisation has many long-term advantages, even for the investor; you will be guided on addressing impacts before they even occur. This helps to save time and money, as it prevents conflicts that may arise not only between investors and authorities but also between the inves-tors and residents. An EA also legally protects your investment.
It’s illegal to be operating without a valid environmental au-thorisation
In order to continue to enjoy benefits of sound environmental management and economic growth, investors need to have their permits renewed. This allows the Environmental Protection Agency to carry on monitoring project activities to ensure that they are conducted sustainably. You should apply for renewal of your permit at least six months prior to its expiration date. The Agency is currently requesting all persons who have expired environmental authorisation to have their permits renewed. You have until February 28, 2019, to come into compliance after which the Agency will be enforcing against defaulters.
If you are renewing your application and have made any adjust-ments to your operations, the Agency needs to be notified of same.
Environmental Authorisation protects the Environ-ment…and your business!
You can make contact to the Agency on 225-5471-2; www.epaguyana.org or epaguyana on Facebook, Ganges Street, Sophia, GEORGETOWN should you have questions regarding Environmental Authorisation