Public hearing into appeals against Global Oil Environmental Services (GOES) Project

On May 10, 2021, the Environmental Assessment Board (EAB) convened a public hearing at the Soesdyke/Huiste Coverden Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) Office into appeals against the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) not to require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Global Oil Environmental Service (GOES) Waste Treatment Facility.

The EAB convened a Public Hearing to facilitate the views and submissions of the appellants, the developer and the EPA for consideration. A total of four (4) appeals were submitted to the EAB within the statutory thirty (30) day period in response to the decision published by the EPA on March 21, 2021. However, while the EAB is only required by law to conduct public hearings into the appeals submitted within the statutory period, accommodations were also made for the additional appeals which were submitted out of the prescribed time.

Members of the public were invited to attend the Public Hearing for which the statutory fourteen (14) day notice published by the EAB on April 26, 2021, was given.

Recognising that the National COVID-19 Task Force had approved the conduct of the hearing at an outdoor venue with a maximum of fifty (50) persons for two (2) hours, the EAB also facilitated better participation and attendance by providing a Zoom Link for members of the public to attend virtually. Due to technical difficulties posed by the outdoor venue and inclement weather conditions, the virtual platform was interrupted at times. However, the EAB was able to fulfil the objectives of the hearing and has documented for resolution any outstanding questions and queries which could not be fully addressed at the close of the meeting.

The EAB has also afforded the formal appellants the opportunity to submit the specific concerns, reasons and justifications surrounding their appeals within seven (7) days and will endeavour to engage with the appellants further if necessary, to ensure that these are addressed. The EPA was also asked to make its presentation, including the justifications for its decision, publicly available at its Head Office and the EPA’s website. Thereafter, the EAB will deliberate on its decision for publication in the daily newspapers.

The proposed facility will involve the transfer, storage and treatment of Exploration and Production (E&P) Oil and Gas Waste, at Block lettered “X”, and Block numbered one (1), all being portions of Plantation T’ Huiste, Coverden, East Bank Demerara.

The EAB thanks all participants for attending and engaging in this fruitful and transparent exercise.

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