EPA’s operations boosted with remote monitoring systems

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken the necessary steps to ensure the conservation, protection and sustainable use of natural resources with the procurement of a number of monitoring systems.

Executive Director of the agency, Kemraj Parsram said the systems have boosted development in the agency.  One of the most significant systems is the Geographic Information System unit (GIS) which will allow the agency to monitor activities in real time.

“Now with the onset of oil and gas, since 2015 we usually go from time to time…Now recognising that that is offshore, and with the increasing technology and accessibility technology, we thought it best that we need to bring in this remote monitoring capability and so, on a real time basis, every single day, every minute, every hour, we can keep track on what’s happening in our coastal waters, offshore and even on land with our mining and forestry sector industries,” he said at the entity’s Ganges Street, Sophia, head office.

While the operation is in its early stage, Parsram said it will be expanded.

“The intention is to build upon this by putting various sensors, for example water quality. We can put up a confluence at Bartica, at Cuyuni -Mazaruni and we can get real time what’s the water quality coming from mining and other activities,” he noted.

A monitoring room was also established to monitor and display the near real time data from developmental activities. The ‘war room’ currently hosts all the EPA’s monitoring activities and displays them on screen to make interpretation and reporting easier.

The EPA has also placed the use of air monitoring equipment higher on its agenda by sourcing donations of five air quality sensors. The sensors will be placed in environmentally sensitive areas including Georgetown and Linden.

Mr. Parsram also noted the agency’s ‘significantly higher’ budget for this year, which he said will allow for greater monitoring systems in the agency.

“We received almost $1 billion, when previous years were $400-$500 million, that’s it. So, the government of course sees the value in strengthening the capacity of the agency,” he said.