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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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By Ralph Seeram I could not believe what she was telling me. She said that the Customs Officers at the Cheddi Jagan Airport charged her $10,000.00 duty on her pet dog, a tiny four pound dog that she carries in her pocket book.“Are you sure it was for the dog and not something else?” I asked in disbelief.“No”, she replied. “They told me I have to pay the duty on my pet and I can ask for a refund later. I can’t believe it, and they want tourists to come to Guyana, I didn’t even get back my money,” she added, “but that is another story”.I will explain later why she did not get her refund on the tax on her dog; it was another piece of stupidity in government departments.She said that she made sure she had all her documents for her dog including veterinary records to ensure there was no issue when she arrived at Timehri Airport.The Guyana- born U.S citizen was one of many readers who would normally comment on my columns. She read my article last week on “Cow Dam” and Smythfield. Her great grandparents as well as her mother were from Smythfield,Cheap NFL Shop, and she recalled as a “little girl” spending holidays in Smythfield, New Amsterdam.She emailed me because she wanted to know more of her relatives. I gave her my phone number so we could talk and “fill in the blanks”.As we were speaking on the phone, I could not help wondering how stupid it was on the part of the Guyana Government. Is the government so desperate for money, that is has to tax pets coming into the country? With all this talk of building a new airport to accommodate this anticipated influx of tourists, somebody had  better tell the Minister of Tourism that Americans take their pets seriously. Unlike some Guyanese, they do not view their dogs as “rice eaters”. These pets are like family, they are treated like family, and if they are going to be harassed at the airport they will not make Guyana a destination.Some may ask why bring their pets?  The answer is simple. If you have a pet in the U.S and want to travel, you either have to let a friend take care it,Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys, use a pet sitting service or take it with you. Now it might be more economical to pay the air fare (in the above case she paid US$400.00 for the pet’s airline ticket. Yes they do charge for travelling with pets). Pet sitting service is expensive. Sometimes you can’t be apart from your pet.As to the second part of her frustration, getting the refund of the tax on her dog, here is another piece of nonsense being implemented by Government agencies. I want to know who in the Guyana Government is the head of the “fashion police”? Who in government came up with the idea of what is decent clothing and what is not? What I am going to tell you is something I can relate to. When my reader went to get the refund from the relevant government agency, she was told that she could not enter the building. She had on an armless blouse. Women can’t enter a government building if they have on a sleeveless top.What a load of nonsense, with all the problems with crime and drugs in Guyana, you would think they will use their resources much more efficiently than to worry about a top without sleeves. So this Guyana-born tourist was denied entry to recoup her money. So frustrated she was that she told them that if the government was so “badly off” they can keep the “f……ing money”. Now do you think that she would be a returning tourist?Some years ago on a visit to Guyana, I accompanied a woman to the New Amsterdam hospital where she was taking her very sick brother. The guard told her that she can’t enter because of her blouse; it had no sleeves. I asked the guard how being without sleeves is going to affect the patients in the hospital, besides what is more important, arguing about the sleeves or taking care of the patient?It was no fault of the guard; she was just carrying out instructions. Fortunately I knew someone working at the hospital. That person came and escorted us in.On another visit I went to make a donation to a technical training school in Skeldon. At the gate the guard told me I couldn’t enter. The reason? I had on short pants. I could not believe what I was hearing. I can’t go in because my pants were short. I would really like to know which IDIOT in government came up with this nonsense. I told her I am from the U S and I am here to deliver a donation. She was adamant; I can’t go in with short pants. Now when I visit Guyana most of my pants are cargo shorts. In a hot country like Guyana it is the ideal clothing,Cheap Stitched Jerseys, yet some fool in government feels short pants are indecent. Is there nothing more important for the government to worry about than short pants? I had to let her call the principal who instructed her to let me in.Another time a few years ago,Cheap Stitched Jerseys, I went to help a relative pay off her electric bill, which was in arrears.She was given money before to pay off her bills, which she did not, so I wanted to personally ensure it was paid off. Again I was told I can’t enter because I had on short pants. She however was agreeable and let me in.I think she figured it was more important for the electric company to get their money. What is the electricity company doing in the fashion business? What makes them an expert in fashion? I know they are experts in blackouts, but fashion experts, they are not.So somebody in Government needs to rethink its policy on pets for tourists,Authentic NFL Jerseys Cheap, and the government needs to get out of the fashion business, leave that to Michele and other models,Wholesale Authentic Jerseys, I mean short of going in naked what’s the problem?Ralph Seeram can be reached at email: [email protected]
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