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Guyana has the necessary safeguards in place and is adequately protectedNecessary safeguards are in place in the likelihood of an oil spill or other accidentsin the unlikely event of an oil spill,Cheap NFL Jerseys Store, Government says.“First of all, it should be noted that there is a statutory framework that exists in Guyana as it relates to environmental management. This is mandated in the Environmental Protection Act, 1996,Nike NFL Jerseys China, under which the EPA was established. This framework caters for environmental management of all developmental activities in the country including the Petroleum Sector.“The functions of the EPA ensure that development integrates measures for environmental impact avoidance, mitigation, remediation, and protection, which are clearly stated in Part II 4(1),” the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment said yesterday.There have been questions about the measures that Government has in place to protect the environment and possible fallouts from any disasters.There are currently two wells being drilled offshore Guyana and hopes are running high especially in light of rising world prices. CGX Energy has concessions off the Corentyne shores while Spanish-owned, Repsol, is also drilling more than 100 miles from the Georgetown shores.    “Developmental activities, which are deemed by the agency to have potentially significant impacts on the environment or listed in the Fourth Schedule of the Act, must apply to the Agency for Environmental Authorisation. The EP Act, No 11 of 1996, establishes the requirement for Environmental Authorisation of Developments/Projects,” the new Ministry said.It is under Part IV of the EP Act, 1996, which both CGX and Repsol Oil Exploratory companies submitted applications for Environmental Authorisations for Oil Exploration activities within the respective Prospecting Licences issued by the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission.Prior to the submission of Applications for Environmental Authorisation, both companies submitted Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) which provided information on  principled exploration drilling activities,Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic, a description of all supporting activities and baseline conditions, and assessed potential environmental impacts and mitigation actions.ConsultationsAccording to the Ministry,Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping, both SEAs were reviewed and approved by the agency and the relevant sector agencies. Several consultations with both the relevant sector agencies and public were conducted by the companies to garner views,Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping, and address concerns relating to the development, it was disclosed.“Subsequently, Environmental Authorisations were granted to both CGX and Respol which contain specific conditions to ensure effective environmental management of the oil exploratory wells, and thus maintain the integrity of Guyana’s coastal resources.“Both environmental authorisations stipulate national and international standards for various environmental parameters and operation protocols which must be adhered to.”As a further check, the two companies are required to submit monthly reports on the progress of the operation and compliance with the conditions under which the permit was granted.“In addition, the companies have submitted Emergency Response Plans (ERPs), Oil Spill Contingency Plans (OSCPs) and Environmental Management Plans (EMPs) for the relevant sector agencies review and feedback.”The Ministry pointed out that in February, ERPs prepared by both companies were presented at a public forum which was attended by relevant sector agencies and the media.“The companies would have also conducted seminars and table-top exercises to test the effectiveness of the emergency response procedures on April 02 and 03, 2012, with the relevant sector agencies.”CompensationMeanwhile, the Ministry also spoke of compensation in the event of problems.“Another aspect covered in the Environmental Authorisations issued to these companies, is the mandatory compensation of affected party for any loss or damage to the environment that is directly attributable to the project. The Environmental Authorisations also require that these companies provide the financial, equipment and technical capacity to adequately respond to any emergency that may occur on site and respond to any emergency immediately.”In the event of finding oil within the Guyana basin by either company, Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) would be required before commencing commercial drilling.“EIAs are undertaken with the intention of protecting and enhancing the quality of human life and the preservation of the stability of ecosystems and species diversity by ensuring that economic development continues in a way that least harms the environment.”Further, the EIA process allows for public consultation and participation in the decision-making process. The EIAs prepared by the Companies would have to be submitted to the agency for review and approval; after which an Environmental Authorisation for commercial drilling may be granted.“This Environmental Authorisation would also contain conditions for effective environmental management of the said activity, accompanied with national and international standards for operations and environmental parameters, and the necessary submission requirements which would allow for the monitoring of operation in accordance with Environmental Authorisation conditions,” the Ministry said.Safety will remain one of the top issues for any oil projects especially following the April 20, 2010 incident in which a BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and commencing months of oil leaking unrestrained into the ocean. Efforts to manage the spill with controlled burning, dispersants and plugging the leak were unsuccessful until BP capped the well in mid-July, temporarily halting the flow of oil into the Gulf. The well was then successfully plugged and declared “effectively dead” on September 19.
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