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Nov 22, 2021 News
– environmentalist rails against Exxon dumping radioactive toxic waste at Houston dumpsite
By Davina Bagot
Kaieteur News – Environmentalist Vanda Radzik has told oil giant, ExxonMobil to take its radioactive, toxic waste back to Texas, rather than utilising the Houston, East Bank Demerara facility to dump same.
The Environmentalist made this appeal to the oil giant during the consultative session recently hosted on Exxon’s fourth project, the Yellowtail development. “If all of your planning at ExxonMobil, EEPGL (Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited), etcetera is so wonderful, then may I ask personally that you bypass Houston, East Bank Demerara Guyana and take all your waste and all of your radioactivity and all of the toxicity back to Houston, Texas,” she requested.
Her appeal came following several questions, with regard to the impacts of the project on global warming and the standards by which the project is being guided, among others.
“We all know in the world that related to the goings on of the Oil and Gas industry that we need 1.5 (degrees) Celsius to stay alive… we are asking if you could please explain how you will manage each risk.”
She listed the risks as the impact of sea level rise on a receding shore line; receding river banks; impact on fish nurseries and the livelihoods of fishers and the impacts of ExxonMobil’s related shore base hazardous waste facilities, such as the one…at Houston East Bank Demerara and the impacts on the general health and wellbeing of humans.
Additionally, she asked whether ExxonMobil in its EIA quantified the emissions, including Yellowtail Exploration, drilling, transportation, flaring, oil lifts, oil barrel discharges. She pointed out that hundreds of Scientists across the world in their 2021 report projected Global Warming to reach 1.7 to two percent. This she said is likely to happen if ExxonMobil’s expansion of new fossil fuel drilling such as Yellowtail et al and all of the other oil blocks it has lined up to take place.
“Have you therefore, specifically in your EIA, addressed the cumulative effects and impacts of ExxonMobil’s drilling, contributing to Guyana’s sea warming? Have you specifically addressed the cumulative risks and impacts of these fossil fuels, especially [of] the Yellowtail, including flaring in contravention of our Climate (change) agreement that Guyana and all of the Caribbean signed in 2015 in Paris and is ratified by Guyana and the Global targets set and agreed globally,” Radzik questioned.
In addition, she also asked Exxon to name the independent auditors that verified the various aspects of their operations and a possible site where the audit reports were published.
While the oil company ignored her request for the audit information for the Liza One and Two projects, it explained through their Consultant, the Environmental Risk Management (ERM) that the global impacts of Yellowtail is difficult to calculate.
ERM representative, Jason Wiley explained, “There are three volumes to the EIA. And the third volume contains all of the management plans and one of the management plan is called the Environmental and Social Management Plan. And that particular document has tables that list the standards that the consultancy has recommended be applied to the project, as well as the monitoring procedures.”
Meanwhile, ERM’s Todd Hall pointed Radzik to the EIA document which he says includes an emissions inventory for “criteria pollutants”.
“The EIA includes an emissions inventory for what are called criteria pollutants as well as green house gases. So there’s a year by year inventory for the entire project life cycle for Yellowtail, of greenhouse gases emissions eliminate from the project,” he said.
Todd added: “In addition to quantifying the emissions of greenhouse gases from the Yellowtail project, a similar inventory was prepared for all of the offshore projects that are in what we call the accumulative impact assessment basis”.
The Consultant pointed out that because the nature of impact to climate change is of a global scale, global climate models are used. “The nature of impacts to climate are of a global scale so the global climate models that are used to run all of the analyses around the 1.5 and 2 degrees scenarios, those are on the scale of where the impact from any one project wouldn’t show up on that. It really just doesn’t. It’s a relatively small scale model. You can’t predict where those particular emissions would go, because of the nature of climate impacts, you simply can’t model that within a level of accuracy…the focus of EIA is on assessing the degree to which the project is doing the appropriate things to mitigate the emissions of greenhouse gases, from a project of this nature,” Todd pointed out.
Radzik however argued that Exxon cannot run away from the fact that they are destroying the planet. “We can’t escape from the fact that what fossil fuels are doing, what ExxonMobil supported by ERM is doing is contributing to the bad things of our planet and contributing to the warming above the 1.5 to stay alive and this can’t be swept under the rug. Sorry to say but that is the truth and it is happening and ExxonMobil is going to be damaging and destroying not only Guyana and so on but the planet,” she argued.
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