The Environmental Protection Agency was legally established in 1996 with the responsibility to take the necessary measures to manage, conserve, protect and improve the environment. This entails that the EPA take actions to prevent and control pollution, assess the impact of economic development on the environment, and ensure the sustainable use of Guyana’s natural resources.
One of the main components of the Agency’s work is overseeing the Environmental Authorisation (EA) process. In fact, an EA is required by law for any activity that may have significant impact on the environment, the EPA seeking to have the activity done in the most sustainable way possible. The EA requires that developers identify the major impacts of a proposed project, and determine the best measures or alternatives that can be put in place to prevent or mitigate negative impacts.
An Environmental Authorisation (EA) may include a prescribed process licence, an Environmental Permit, a Construction Permit, or an Operating Permit granted by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Below is a list of projects which require Environmental Authorisation
General documents required when
applying for Environmental Authorisation
* Completed application form (this can be downloaded from the EPA’s website, or uplifted at the offices);
* Proof of identification (National ID or passport);
* Proof of land ownership (lease, tenant agreement, transport etc. This does not apply to state agencies);
* Business Registration licence;
* Any other permit or licence or approval required by other Government agency;
* Project Summary or Description, including a map of the surrounding area;
* Site layout; and
* Application fee
Kindly note that this list is not exhaustive.
An Environmental Authorisation has many long-term advantages, even for the investor/developer. You will be guided before the impacts occur, which also enables the Agency to fulfil its mandate of preventing pollution.
Having an EA helps to save time and money, as it reduces conflicts that may arise not only between developers and authorities, but prevents conflicts from arising between the investors and residents.
Types of Environmental Authorisation
The EPA issues four types of Environmental Authorisation:
1. No Objection Letters – granted to developments that do not have significant environmental impacts;
2. Construction Permits – issued to projects that are on the EPA’s list of projects requiring an environmental permit, and projects that may not be on the list but can have significant environmental effects during construction, operation, or closure;
3. Environmental Permits – issued to developments new or existing, for which environmental impacts would take place only during the construction phase; for example: infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges; and
4. Operation Permits (for existing developments only) – required for businesses already in operation but wishing to undergo changes in the process/technology, which can affect the environment.
The Environmental Authorisation includes conditions (permit conditions) for environmental management which the developer/operator is obliged to comply with. Those outlined in the document are deemed necessary to protect human health and the environment, and each permit contains these.
If you already own a business, or are thinking about starting one, ensure you call or come in to the EPA to start the process. Remember to protect and respect each other and the environment.
Look out for our column next week as we continue to share information on Environmental Authorisations.
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.