No environmental impact assessment for airport extension project – EPA

Extension works to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) will not require an environmental impact assessment (EIA), according to the Environ-mental Protection Agency (EPA).

Recently, Chinese engineering firm, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) announced in the Jamaican media that it had secured a contract to construct a modern terminal at CJIA as well as the extension of the main 5,000-feet long runway at the airport.

According to a notice published in yesterday’s edition of the Guyana Chronicle, the EPA stated that applications regarding several projects including the extension works at the airport have been screened to assess their potential environmental impacts.

Following the screening process, the EPA stated that the airport extension project will not significantly affect the environment providing relevant mechanisms are implemented to mitigate possible impacts. In addition the test also determined that there are no fragile ecosystems and habitats or endangered species which will be affected by the project.

The EPA stated that, “an Environmental Authorization with specific conditions for environmental management” may be granted to the Public Works Ministry for the implementation of the project. Additionally, in keeping with the Envi-ronmental Protection Act and related regulations, any person who may be affected by the project may lodge an appeal with the Environmental Assessment Board within the next month.

The Chinese construction company said that the China Exim Bank will fund the construction of the modern terminal building and the extension of the runway by 1,066 metres (3500 feet) to reach a total of 3,336 metres at the airport.

The report said that China Exim is providing US$138 million ($28.1 billion) in financing.

The project raised eyebrows when made public by the Jamaican Gleaner mid last month since there was no announcement of the tender process made locally for the project. At the same time there was no explanation of why single-sourcing might have been absolutely essential for the project as well as no engagement with the public.

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