Subryanville residents concerned about proposed indoor gun range in community

-EPA says permit not granted as yet

The proposed establishment of an indoor gun range in Subryanville in 2018 is causing unease among residents as to the likely repercussions on the traditionally residential area.

Last month the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice indicating it had received 11 applications from various companies for Environmental Authorisation. One of the Companies, S&S Security Inc., applied for the authorisation of an indoor gun range in Subryanville. According to information received by Stabroek News, the company’s target audience would include licensed firearm individuals, security companies, the Guyana Police Force (GPF), the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), members of the Guyana National Rifle Association (Guyana NRA) and other military and paramilitary organisations in the Caribbean.

Residents of the community indicated that they were having a hard time obtaining the requisite information from the EPA about the project. They were also unsure as to where to lodge their objections.

One resident Vidyaratha Kissoon related that he had sent an email to the Agency inquiring about the specific location of the business and other details but has received no response. Concerns were also raised about the imminent increase in traffic in the area from the commercial activity, which will result in the residential area becoming a business zone which might in turn influence other businesses opening in the area.

However, Acting EPA Director Kemraj Parsram told Stabroek News even though the application was accepted, none of the permits has been granted.  He indicated that there is a 30-day period that residents can use to appeal or make relevant comments in keeping with the Environmental Protection Act Chap. 20:05, the Environmental Protection (Amendment) Act 2005, and the Environmental Protection Regulations 2000.

He also explained that the Agency was able to determine that the project would not significantly affect the environment and therefore an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was not required to be submitted.

However, all of the applications and supporting information were screened and deliberated on by the Agency to assess the potential environmental impacts. He said it was determined that the mitigation measures available and proposed could be implemented to protect the environment, human health and biodiversity, where applicable.

Parsram explained that the companies would still have to submit an Environmental Management Plan to show the Agency how they plan on dealing with paramount issues such as noise pollution.

The planned facility is expected to be built in accordance with international standards. The concept for the project was developed after it was noted that the country lacks a training facility where licensed firearm holders can acquire training time to use live rounds on targets. Additionally, it is expected that the project will attract international clients since it will be deemed a sporting activity with sponsored sporting activities between Guyana and other International Clubs. These activities are expected to boost tourism locally.

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