EPA has not taken ‘soft stance’ on this rice mill owner
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rejects the notion being peddled by Vice Chairman of the Alliance for Change, Mr. Moses Nagamootoo that the agency has taken a ‘soft stance’ in addressing the issue of dust and noise pollution relating to the operation of Mr. Hakh’s Rice Mill located at Cane Grove, East Coast Demerara, since receipt of the first complaint on May 30, 2000.
The Agency would like to point out to the AFC that over the years, the issue relating to the noise nuisance was addressed and complaints regarding noise nuisance from the Rice Mill ceased; however, dust pollution remained a major concern.
During the period from 2000 to present, the Agency has been aggressive in recommending mitigation measures to the polluter, and conducting monitoring inspections of the Rice Mill to ensure that recommended measures were being satisfactorily implemented to reduce impacts on the receiving community.
Numerous community meetings and joint inspections were also held with affected residents and all government officials related to the project such as the Ministries of Agriculture and Local Government, Guyana Rice Development Board, NDC etc., to allow for residents to voice their concerns and propose and discuss further recommended measures for alleviation of the pollution.
More recently, the EPA conducted bi-weekly inspections to assess the level of mitigation works completed, and noted that Mr. Hakh has installed felted material within the Bag House to contain dust particle sizes of 2.5 micro meters and sealed all exposed vents/openings on conveyers and elevators with duct tape, installed higher pressure nozzle on the furnace, installed a sprinkler system, and enclosed the loading and offloading areas to prevent the escape of dust particles into the environment.
Despite these extensive measures which were implemented to alleviate the dust nuisance, a few residents whom are politically aligned with the AFC claim to be affected by the operation.
As such, the Agency remains actively involved in the complaint resolution and has scheduled air quality monitoring to be done using the recently acquired air quality monitoring equipment, for the rice mill in order to determine whether dust particles are being emitted by the Mill and if so, whether they are within acceptable world standards.
Environmental Protection Agency