EPA issued 200 operations permits during past year

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EPA Executive Director Khemraj Parsram

ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency (EPA) Executive Director Khemraj Parsram said the entity has issued 200 operations permits during the past year as it moves to formalise operations in the forestry sector.

“Over the last year or so we recognised that several of these small, forest resource or harvesting facilities like the sawmills log depots and so on are not authorised,” Parsram told the Guyana Chronicle.

In response, he said, the EPA reached out and provided operations permits to these businesses.

“The authorisation basically does an evaluation of your operation and sets outs terms and conditions for which they must comply to ensure that there are adequate environmental and social benefits and ensure the protection of the environment,” he said.

After assessing some of the operations across Guyana, Parsram said some 200 authorisations in the form of operation permits detailing the terms and conditions to which businesses must comply to protect the environment were granted.

“Once you have a permit after we have done the risk assessment, we will determine the frequency of our visits and inspections,” he said.

Parsram’s comments came against the backdrop of the launch of a project through the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) which seeks to provide capacity building assistance to community forest organisations on the environmental authorisation process.

“We are going to have this inventory of operators and go and meet them or communicate with them, providing them with what is required and supporting them to provide necessary documentation and so and showing them how to comply,” the EPA executive director elaborating on the project said

All relations will be premised on the Environmental Protection Act and its guidelines and will target all regions.

“This is just a start, we intend through this project to bring the harvesting operations as well as the downstream activities like sawmilling and so to come into the environmental protection act,” he said.