ONE don’t have to look very far to notice, an increase in 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 environment. Therefore, certain types of activities need to be authorised by the EPA. These include:
? Construction of roads;
? Hotels, inns, resorts, guest houses;
? Port and harbour development;
? Development of industrial complexes/estates;
? Development of water distribution facilities;
? Power generation plants;
? Water treatment facilities;
? Vulcanising shops;
? Auto electrical/mechanical workshops;
? Facilities which store, treat or dispose of waste;
? Bodywork/spray painting operation;
? Rice processing plant;
? Mining activities (sand, bauxite, gold, diamond, rock etc.);
? Pulp and paper processing
? Cement Production & bagging plants;
? Asphalt/bitumen plants;
? Paint and ink manufacturing;
? Extraction of forest resources;
? Petroleum exploration;
? Pharmaceuticals manufacturing etc.
NB. This list is not exhaustive!
WHAT IS AN ENVIRONMENTAL AUTHORISATION?
Environmental Authorisation is an Environmental Permit, a prescribed process licence, a construction permit or an operating permit granted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
WHY IS THE ENVIRONMENTAL AUTHORISATION NECESSARY?
Having a valid Environmental Authorisation for certain types of activity is required by law; the Environmental Protection Act Cap. 20:05, Laws of Guyana. It also provides major benefits to the environment, human health and secures 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 the environmental authorisation process, it is determined whether or not an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is needed before 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 economic 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 investors and residents. An EA also legally protects your investment.
IT’S ILLEGAL TO BE OPERATING WITHOUT A VALID ENVIRONMENTAL AUTHORISATION
In order to continue to enjoy the benefits of sound environmental management and economic growth, investors need to have their permits renewed. This allows the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 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 Authorisations (EAs) 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 adjustments to your operations, the agency needs to be notified of same.
Environmental Authorisation protects the Environment…AND YOUR BUSINESS!
MAIN DOCUMENTS NEEDED FOR A NEW APPLICATION
• Completed application form;
• Proof of identification (ID or passport);
• Proof of land ownership;
• Business License;
• Any permit or license received from other government authorities;
• Project summary/description including a map of the surrounding area;
• Site layout; and
• Application fee.
You can make contact with the Agency on 225-5471-2; www.epaguyana.org or epaguyana on Facebook, Ganges Street, Sophia, Georgetown should you have questions regarding Environmental Authorisation