Latest update May 31st, 2023 3:04 PM
Mar 29, 2023 Court Stories, Features / Columnists, News
Kaieteur News – Two citizens, Elizabeth Deane-Hughes and Vanda Radzik on Monday moved to the High Court challenging a permit issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) for the pipeline that will transport natural gas to Wales.
The pipeline is a component of the Guyana Government’s Gas-to-Energy (GTE) Project and was authorised by the EPA on November 25, 2022. Through their lawyers, Melinda Janki, Abiola Wong-Inniss and Joel Ross, the citizens are seeking an Order of Certiorari to quash the decision made by the EPA to award an Environmental Permit to EEPGL- ExxonMobil Guyana- to undertake the GTE project activities, on the grounds inter alia that the decision was in breach of the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act (Cap. 20:05), and more particularly, the Environmental Protection (Authorisation) Regulations.
The citizens argue that the decision to grant the Permit to Exxon was “unauthorised and contrary to law, in excess of jurisdiction, failure to satisfy or observe conditions or procedures required by law, unreasonable, irregular or improper exercise of discretion, abuse of power, conflict with the policy of the Act, error of law (and) breach of/ omission to perform a duty.”
The applicants are therefore seeking a declaration that the respondent acted in breach of the Environmental Protection (Authorisation) Regulations; a declaration that the Permit is null, void and of no legal effect with costs and such further order the Court considers just.
In their application to the High Court, Radzik and Deane-Hughes stated that Pursuant to Regulation 17 (2)(c)(iii) of the Environmental Protection (Authorisation) Regulations, an application for an environmental authorization must contain “proof that the applicant either owns the facility or has a lease or other agreement with the landowner or occupier to enable the applicant to conduct the activity without the consent of the landowner or occupier.”
The citizens outlined that ExxonMobil Guyana in its application, dated June 24, 2021 includes details of the project site, the proposed route of the pipeline and the areas to be used and affected by the project, which includes residential properties, commercial properties and state-owned properties. Be that as it may, the application did not include or provide any proof of ownership, a lease or other agreement with the land owners of the said area.
Notwithstanding, the EPA granted EEPGL a Permit to undertake the project on November 25, 2022. Subsequently, the Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill in January 2023 passed various orders to acquire lands for the purpose of the project, pursuant to the Acquisition of Lands for Public Purposes Act, Chapter 62:05.
On January 31, 2023 the Applicants through their Attorney-at-Law, Melinda Janki wrote to the EPA and Minister Edghill, setting out the Respondent’s failure to enforce or ensure compliance with the Environmental Protection Regulations. Janki had requested in the letter that the Permit issued to EEPGL be revoked and that the application process be restarted in compliance with the Regulations. There has been no response to the letters.
According to the Application filed in the High Court by the citizens, “Regulation 17 (2) of the Regulations requires Esso to submit proof that it either owns or has a lease or other agreement with the landowners or occupiers of the lands which will be affected by the Project, prior to the issue of the Environment Permit.”
As such, the Applicants have applied to the High Court to review the EPA’s decision and to uphold the rule of law and public rights to scrutinize the actions of a public authority and to safeguard the health, welfare, and sustainable existence of the people of Guyana.
TT PM closing loopholes, while our VP creating loopholes
May 31, 2023Kaieteur Sports- The Guyana Mixed Martial Arts Karate Association (GMMAKA) has attended The North American Federation of Martial Arts Championship last Saturday, 27th May, 2023 at the Sheraton Hotel,...
May 31, 2023
May 31, 2023
May 31, 2023
May 31, 2023
May 31, 2023
Kaieteur News- The President has shown the art of compromise in his response to the Mahdia tragedy. The Opposition called... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – The report on May 17, from the World Meteorological Organization, (WMO) that... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]