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7 June 2022
Minister of Natural Resources,
Ministry of Natural Resources
Duke Street, Kingston,
Re: Submitted EIA/EIS for Gas-to-Energy (GTE) pipeline project at EPA – Process and Procedural challenges.
Greetings of wellbeing.
Further to the submissions of the EIA/EIS for the GTE pipeline project on April 20,2022 I write to raise the following challenges which have already been highlighted to the EPA in several documents. To date except for a few emails acknowledging receipt, no answers have been received. The closing date for submission of written concerns viz a viz the aforementioned documents is 18th June 2022. Time is both essential and of urgently great essence. Your intervention in having the following clarified before 18 June 2022 in order that the general public is pellucid about the accuracy of both the process and procedure of the aforementioned submitted to EPA, EIA/EIS for GTE pipeline project, would be highly appreciated and a service to the Guyanese people whom you serve.
The following are the challenges with the process that the Minister and the Ministry of Natural Resources are required to clarify.
- The developer via press on Sunday 8th May 2022, by ExxonMobil letter dated 11th May 2022 – attached herewith, along with numerous oral representations by the hired assistants of the developer at the public consultations held between 9th-20th May 2022; claimed that these public consultations are complimentary to the process and at the said public consultations it was stated that these would be submitted to the EPA.
The challenges for the Minister and the Ministry of Natural Resources to clarify to the people of Guyana are:
- Under what mechanism in or section of the Environmental Protection Act is the Environmental Protection Agency accepting the written submissions from the independent consultant and/or developer to compliment the submitted-on 20th April 2022 EIS/EIA for the GTE pipeline project? Letter to EPA on this still remains unanswered however, lately acknowledged.
- What is the verification mechanism to verify what is being sent in, is in fact, what occurred on at any of the complimentary public consultation? Question was asked and was directed to EPA, where it remains one of the many unanswered questions.
In order for the EIA/EIS for the GTE pipeline project to be effective and valid as is, there must have been a feasibility study conducted as per section 12 of 2016 Petroleum Act for the gas sector. To date despite requests made to the Office of the Attorney General, the developer and the EPA this question remains unanswered and there is dead silence. Kindly clarify pellucidly where this document maybe located as despite thorough searches, we are unable to locate anything beyond the 2016 feasibility study undertaken by K & M Advisors titled “Gas to Power feasibility study” sponsored by IADB. A copy attached herewith. Awaiting your urgent attention before the said original 60-day period is expired.
Further for the EIA/EIS for the GTE project to be effective and valid as is, the route would have had to have been predetermined at least in the realm of logic. Kindly explain in realm of the aforesaid the meaning of paragraph 3 of the developer’s letter dated 11 May 2022; copy attached. The government process for surveying land in pursuance of compulsorily acquiring land was on every occasion I attend, one of these complimentary to the process complimentary processes, inter-switched with the EIA/EIS process. Am sure the Minister and the Ministry of Natural Resources are fully aware the there are two separate processes, one a mandatory requirement in pursuance of legislation and the other the developer’s responsibility, EIA/EIS for GTE pipeline project. These are two parallel & indeed, complimentary processes.
The challenges for the Minister and the Ministry of Natural Resources to clarify to the people of Guyana with the submitted EIA/EIS are:
- The “primary stakeholders” within the area of influence (AOI) as defined in the developer’s submitted EIA/EIS were not consulted. Kindly see attached letters for Canal 1 and Crane to this effect. Further please be put on notice of intention to submit same from Canal 2 residents. In addition, to this lack of adherence to the developer’s own self-created definition, this lack of consultation is contrary to the Environmental Protection Act and Internationally recognized and implemented consultancy norms.
- The developer has failed to adhere to: – the requirements in both section 11(10) of the Environmental Protection Act and to the entirety of section 17(c) of the Regulation thereto of the act.
- The developer has attached a draft document with prohibitive exclusion clauses in the technical section Volume 2 EIS/EIA. Kindly clarify if this is usual best practices?
- The submitted EIA/EIS for the GTE pipeline project contains no Gas Leak Management System and/or plan a requirement in line with best practices of the Gas Industry.
- Further kindly indicate where Guyana’s Gas Integrity Management Plan/System or the Gas Leak Management Plan and/or System may be found so that it is clearly understood which laws govern this upcoming new sector gas, of the Oil & Gas Industry.
- And further what is and where is the regulatory framework within the Governmental system and/or the laws of Guyana under which this nascent gas sector will operate?
Please be informed that the developer is fully aware of both the jurisprudential principle of “Ignorantia juris non excusat” and the relevant legislature which govern the EIS/EIA for the GTE pipeline project. Kindly see attached letter sent and signed for at the developer’s offices and via email.
Your urgent attention is needed in clarifying to the people of Guyana the aforementioned challenges so that it is pellucidly understood how these are to be reconciled with the written instruments of the country and rule of law or lack thereof.
Anticipating a response in a timely manner before 18th June 2022.
Have a pleasant weekend.