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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in the statement, said the organisation feels compelled to address several misconceptions and inaccuracies being circulated in a video and subsequent comments on Facebook regarding a spray-painting operation in Crabwood Creek, Corentyne, Berbice.
According to the EPA all the complaints have been investigated and all necessary actions as prescribed by the Environmental Protection Act and its regulations the body has complied with.
The facts of the complaint, per the EPA, are that:
- A complaint against the polluter was received on March 25, 2014. In keeping with the Agency’s approach to complaints management, compliance assistance was offered to the polluter by way of recommended mitigation measures which included building a functional spray booth for the operation.
- The Agency worked with the polluter and conducted inspections on March 25, 2014, June 04, 2014, September 23, 2014, January 21, 2015, June 15, 2015, November 24, 2015, March 17, 2016, April 07, 2017, and August 04, 2016, at the location. Letters were issued to the operator regarding the continued occurrence of complaints against his operation.
- A Final Warning Letter became relevant on August 10, 2015, to direct the polluter to cease spray painting outside of the spray booth. The Agency conditionally accepted the compliance of the polluter on December 06, 2016.
- During December 2016- November 2022, the Agency deemed the matter closed and handed it over to the CH&PA for further resolution regarding zoning and permission.
- Recurring complaints were received on November 16, 2022, and another investigation was conducted. There are several surrounding residents that were affected by the operation. Following this investigation, it was determined that there are continuing nuisances from fumes and the polluter was observed conducting spray-painting outside of the spray booth, fully conscious of previous intervention by the EPA.
- The polluter was operating without the approvals from the local NDC and the Central Housing & Planning Authority (CH&PA). In fact, there is an active court matter between the polluter and the CH&PA regarding the location of the operation.
- The Agency issued a Prohibition Notice (PN) to the polluter on December 16, 2022, to cease operation after reviewing the operation’s history and the findings from its latest investigation.
The EPA said the allegations of corruption, bribes, negligence, and harassment made by the video host are dangerous, antagonistic, divisive, and vexatious, aimed to besmirch the agency’s reputation and the character.