News

Statement by the Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hereby notifies the general public, its sensors are reporting air quality in Regions 3 and 4 in the ‘unhealthy’ range, based on the World Health Organization Standards for Good Air Quality. EPA’s sensors at Eccles, EBD, and Sophia, Georgetown, currently show much higher concentrations than that recorded on March 25, 2024.

 

In light of its data, the EPA encourages members of the public to take precautionary measures to protect their health by limiting the time spent outdoors and to wear dust masks as practicable. 

 

During the period March 19-26, a heat signature comparison reveals a substantial increase in heat signatures along the low coastal plain of Guyana. Visibility has been and continues to be affected by smoke from active fires in Regions 3 and 4.

 

With the increase in reports and coverage of wildfires by the media, it is evident that there is a lack of knowledge of the EPA’s role regarding fires. Consequently, the EPA must inform the public, it does not have the authority, mandate nor capacity to investigate or fight wildfires.

 

In keeping with its mandate, the EPA monitors air quality and when readings are outside of the normal range will notify the public to take precautions.

 

The EPA strongly supports the Fire Service, the relevant authority in its constant and effective efforts to manage wildfires and fires generally. Further, the EPA strongly encourages all public-spirited citizens to promptly report fires and urges the general public to continue to cooperate with any other authority to ascertain the source of wildfires.

 

The EPA assures the public that it remains committed to their protection through effective management of the environment to protect and conserve its natural resources.   

 

In this extended period of little or no rainfall, the conditions are more conducive to spontaneous combustion which may lead to wildfires. It is also more likely in these conditions, that careless or deliberate human actions may lead to wildfires.