The Environmental Protection Act requires that, among the numerous functions outlined, pollution is prevented or controlled; that assessments of the impacts of economic development on the environment are done; and that environmental regulations are established, monitored, and enforced. As a reminder, the Act and the following regulations fall under the purview of the EPA:

* Air Quality Regulations
* Water Quality Regulations
* Noise Management Regulations
* Hazardous Waste Regulations 2000
* Authorisation Regulations 2000
* Litter Enforcement Regulations 2013, and
* Expanded Polystyrene Ban Regulations 2016.

These legal instruments serve as the foundation of the work of the EPA.
It is important to remember that, before any activity that is likely to have an impact on the environment commences, an authorisation from the EPA has to be issued in the form of an Environmental Permit. In order to issue this permit, the Agency must be provided with a description of the project, including the foreseen impacts and the actions that would be taken to address them.

What is environmental monitoring?
Environmental monitoring refers to the tools and techniques designed to observe an environment, characterise its quality, and establish environmental parameters (air quality, water quality, noise levels etc.) for the purpose of accurately determining the impact an activity has on the environment.
The main objectives of environmental monitoring are to mitigate or lessen the harmful effects on the natural environment, and to protect human health and ensure compliance with laws and regulations. Additionally, monitoring ensures the effectiveness and efficiency of activities of businesses and development projects, and can save money in the long term.
The importance of compliance monitoring cannot be sufficiently emphasised. The EPA ensures that compliance monitoring is carried out for every activity in Guyana that can pose a threat to our environment. Once a project is issued a permit, compliance monitoring is scheduled by the EPA: to ensure that these measures are implemented, and, of course, to determine how effective and efficient they are. Some of the parameters monitored are air and water quality, noise levels, and waste and land management techniques.
Since December 2021, the EPA has acquired the technology, equipment, and personnel required to conduct environmental monitoring remotely; that is: through the use of satellites, programmes, and partnerships with external agencies. In the EPA’s Monitoring Room, staff are able to see in real time – and, in some cases, near real time – activities both on-shore and off-shore Guyana, including vessel movement and air quality information from sensors across the coast and in Linden. If, at the end of the monitoring exercise, a developer is found to be in breach of his/her permit conditions, the Agency can take actions which were identified in our July 17 article.
The slogan “the environment is everybody’s business” suggests that the responsibility of environmental monitoring does not fall solely on the shoulders of the EPA; developers and members of the public are also required to be complaint and observant.

Note: Some images displayed are a representation of the equipment used by the Agency, and not necessarily the exact models of the pieces of equipment.


You can share your ideas and questions by sending letters to: “Our Earth, Our Environment”, C/O ECEA Programme, Environmental Protection Agency, Ganges Street, Sophia, GEORGETOWN, or email us at [email protected] or follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.