Executive Director of EPA, Dr Vincent AdamsAlthough air pollution is a “major concern” for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which falls under the Natural Resources Ministry, the Department is not equipped with the necessary tools to test air quality owing to the lack of finances.In an interview with Guyana Times on Wednesday, EPA Executive Director, Dr Vincent Adams complained that the body was unable to function at its full potential, as funding for critical aspects such as capacity building was unavailable.Speaking on the occasion of World Environment Day, which focuses on air pollution this year, Dr Adams stated: “We are looking at some statistics and the air pollution, I think, it says nine out of ten persons in the entire world is somehow exposed to air pollution. I think one out of every eight deaths occurs from air pollution directly or indirectly.”But although this is the case, he admitted, the EPA cannot test air quality. “So it’s a major concern and the problem is we do not see what’s in the air; it’s there, but we are not aware of it and that’s why the EPA is so important, because we are supposed to be equipped, even though you can’t see it, it’s to understand what’s out there and to mitigate against any health defects that come to the public,” Dr Adams explained.He is hoping that the Government considers the Agency in its next budget.“In my budget that I am going to be proposing for 2020, we are going to be proposing all of that, all of the requirements in the upcoming budget, but this here is really important and as a matter of fact, we have been taking it very, very seriously,” the Director assured.In addition, he stressed that the staffers of the EPA required training if they were to carry out their duties in a more effective manner, especially now that the natural resources sector is being broadened with oil production.“We need lots of resources, we need personnel who are trained, but we are not there yet. As a matter of fact, to be very candid or honest with you, we’re not even close to being there, so we’re putting a plan in place and next year’s budget is probably going to be the budget that really identifies all of the gaps,” Dr Adams posited.In the meantime, he said, the EPA has been conducting gap analysis to identify exactly what materials are needed. The Director referenced the fact that Guyana, with its diverse topography, required special vehicles to visit places such as the interior regions where mining was often conducted.He explained, “We have on the books currently over… I think it’s like 1200 permits meaning that we’ve got 1200 operations out there that we have permitted to operate, so we are supposed to oversee these things and not only issue permits but to go out there and monitor and make sure they are in compliance with these permits to protect the environment’s health and safety so we need equipment, we need lots of resources, we need personnel who are trained, but we are not there yet.”The EPA was established by the Environmental Protection Act in 1996. It is tasked with undertaking the necessary measures to manage, conserve, protect, and improve the local environment.It specifically handles matters such as air quality and noise, freshwater, waste, biological resources, land resources, research and development, ecological and human health risk, education, communication and awareness.
MAXWELLS DUBLIN, IRELANDVisit to Ireland by The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. Donegal, Ireland.Pic Shows: HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Donegal Castle with Junior Minister Joe McHugh.PIC: NO FEE, MAXWELLPHOTOGRAPHY.IEIn Donegal Castle, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were greeted by Sean McLoone, manager of Donegal Castle and by Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland.Children from Gaelscoil na gCeithre Mástrí (Irish school of the Four Masters) put on a display of traditional Irish dancing before the royal pair went upstairs into the great hall and admired the great stone fireplace decorated with the crests of the O’Donnells.They chatted with children from the Gaelscoil who were gathered upstairs to play a selection of Irish traditional airs and songs. Camilla asked one boy how long he had been playing the fiddle. “They’re very good,” she observed afterwards.The couple then signed the visitor’s book at the Castle before departing for the Diamond in the centre of Donegal town where a crowd of several hundred people had gathered to meet them.Charles and Camilla spent some time shaking hands and making small talk with local people, who told them they were very welcome to Donegal town.“We got a good day – it cleared up,” said Camilla. One woman greeted the couple with a bunch of yellow chrysanthemums.They were given an official welcome by Noel Cunningham, manager of Harvey’s Point hotel and local celebrity from his regular appearances on TV3, who showed them the monument erected in the centre of the ‘Diamond’ in honour of the Four Masters- the funding for which came from a “well heeled solicitor.”Afterwards, they paid a visit to McGettigan’s butchers – established in 1952 by Michael McGettigan and still run by his two sons, Diarmuid and Ernan.They were told how the abattoir was at the back of the butchers. “They come around the back and are taken out the front in a plastic bag,” quipped Diarmuid.The royal couple were offered samples of five different flavours of McGettigan’s award-winning sausages and Charles chuckled as he was told how the new variety – black pudding with cured bacon and pear – had been devised in his honour. He inquired if there were ‘chunks of bacon in it’ but declined to taste it – instead opting for the traditional ‘European Championship’ variety and declared it “very good.”The Duchess, who wore an Anna Valentine dress, was presented with a pink rose and met little Ella Rose McLaughlin – the eight month old granddaughter of Diarmuid. The Duchess played with the baby, hitting her gently on the head with the cellophane-wrapped flower and laughing.ROYAL VISIT: CHARLES AND CAMILLA GREETED BY IRISH DANCERS AT HISTORIC CASTLE was last modified: May 25th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:castlecharles and camilladonegalJoe McHugh