H Nauth and Sons Civil Engineering Contractors will be building an asphalt plant at Lethem in Region Nine and the Chief Executive Officer of the firm Kiran Nauth says that the multi-million-dollar investment is due to the future it sees in the town.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently published a notice where it stated that 11 applications were submitted to the agency by various companies for environmental authorisations.
One of the companies is H Nauth and Sons, which is seeking authorisation for the asphalt plant at the Lethem Industrial Estate. “We are taking up pavers and all asphalt-related components for the project and it’s a multi-million dollar investment. Since Lethem has become a town, we see a future there and it will return on the investment,” Nauth told Sunday Stabroek.
Nauth said the plant will be on the outskirts of the town and should not have any negative environmental impact to nearby communities. It’s on the outskirts of the town and more in the Savannah area and it definitely won’t have any effects on the people,” he explained.
In addition, he noted that the technology has improved dramatically over the years and as a result, the dangerous emissions associated with asphalt plants have decreased dramatically.
The asphalt plant, which will be the first that will be serving the town, is also expected to create employment for dozens of local persons.
In light of the company’s application for environmental authorisation, acting Executive Director of the EPA Kemraj Parsram told Sunday Stabroek that there is a 30-day period in which residents living around the area where the plant is going to be constructed can make an appeal as to why the project should not go forward or any other relevant comments.
He also explained that the Agency was able to determine that the 11 projects would not significantly affect the environment and, therefore, they are exempted from being required to submit an Environmental Impact Assessment. In fact, the EPA notice did state that in keeping with the Environmental Protection Act and the Environmental Protection Regulations, any person who may be affected by the project may lodge an appeal with the Environmental Assessment Board within 30 days.
Parsram explained that the companies would still have to submit an Environmental Management Plan to show the agency how they plan on dealing with various issues, such as noise pollution.
Parsram explained that if there are issues with the projects, then the agency will set the terms of references. If the companies can agree to work in line with the terms of reference, then the permits will be granted to them, once there have been no solid objections from anyone.
According to Nauth, his company is still in the process of transporting its equipment to the area and the deplorable Lethem trail has been a hindrance and is slowing their movements. However, by the start of next year, the plant should be completed and if they have received their permit, then the operations should begin.