Technical Training College project “will not significantly affect environment” – EPA

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that a study of the environmental and social impacts of the Guyana Technical Training College Incorporated (GTTCI) being constructed in Port Mourant, Corentyne, Berbice, is not necessary. The institution is set to play a pivotal role in equipping Guyanese for growing sectors – oil and gas, and hospitality.

In an official notice to the public, the EPA said it made this decision because the project “will not significantly affect the environment.” This decision has been rooted in a comprehensive evaluation of various environmental factors:

1. Air Quality: Short-term, local impacts on air quality are expected during construction. Mitigation measures include not stockpiling materials and erecting dust screens.

2. Noise Emissions: Construction noise, mainly from vehicles and machinery, will be short-term and localised without long-term disturbances.

3. Water Management: No effluents will be generated during construction. Mobile sanitary units will be used, and an approved waste disposal company will manage them. Storm-water risks are minimal and manageable.

4. Waste Management: The project will follow strict waste protocols. Non-hazardous waste will be stored and disposed of appropriately, while hazardous waste will comply with the 2000 regulations.

5. Traffic: Traffic disruptions are anticipated but deemed manageable. A traffic management plan will be implemented to address potential congestion.

The exemption from the EIA is not final. As of September 4, the public has been given 30 days to register objections to the decision. 

The project, supported by ExxonMobil, is being streamlined by the Ministry of Education. A summary from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicated that the facility is expected to deliver industry-grade training that matches the standard of the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ). 

President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has said more than US$100 million will be invested in the development of the college. Currently, the Ministry of Education has hit the ground running with the bidding procedure for the Hospitality Training Institute. The bids, logged on August 22 by the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB), varied from US$6.4 million to US$13 million. ExxonMobil is also procuring construction providers. 

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