Construction of American-owned chemical storage facility suspended pending approval; residents boycott meeting called to quell fears

Residents, fearful of pollution from an oil production-related chemical storage plant expected to be built in suburban Georgetown, boycotted a community meeting the United States-headquartered company called to allay fears.

One of the residents said they decided against attending the meeting because their grouse is not with the company but with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that they believe has not been doing enough to address their concerns.

John Fernandes Limited’s (JFL) Company Secretary, Jeremy Fernandes said during a question and answer session that works have been since been halted at the John Fernandes Limited (JFL) inland yard in the vicinity of Industrial Site Ruimveldt/Houston Gardens. He said that decision was made following a consultation with the EPA, Ministry of Public Infrastructure and the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA).

Fernandes explained that JFL had received broad permission to use the area as a storage facility, but it did not specify the types of material that should be stored at the location.

Nalco Champion (Guyana) Inc, which has leased the location from JFL for the warehouse, said it has since ceased operations pending regulatory approval based on an impact assessment. “We are currently pursuing the completion of our Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA),” said Nalco’s Base Manager, Eric Scott.

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