Three Guyanese women who filed a case last year against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for allowing ExxonMobil Guyana to engage in excessive flaring in exchange for a fee are calling on the courts to hand down its decision forthwith.

The litigants, Sinikka Henry, Sherlina Nageer, and Andriska Thorington, made the appeal to Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire in today’s publication of the Stabroek News.

In their missive to the press, the women said, “We are ecologically minded Guyanese who care about the environment and are concerned about the extended and dangerous flaring from the oil production activities of ExxonMobil in Guyana’s offshore waters. As such, we became plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency of Guyana & (Exxon).”

The litigants said this matter was heard by the Chief Justice on May 12, 2022. At the conclusion of the hearing, they said the CJ indicated that she would deliver her decision in July 2022.

“We are now in a new year and still awaiting the ruling, six months later than promised. Several letters inquiring about this judicial delay were sent from our attorney to the Registrar of the Supreme Court but to no avail. We are now ventilating this issue in the public domain in hopes of obtaining a speedy resolution to this matter,” the women said.

Through their attorneys-at-law Melinda Janki and Ronald Burch-Smith, the trio had filed the case last year to secure an order to block Exxon’s excessive flaring aboard the Liza Destiny vessel. At the time the case was filed, Exxon was flaring beyond 1 million cubic feet of gas per day, in some cases 6 million cubic feet, due to a malfunctioning gas compressor. That has since been fixed.

Be that as it may, the women sought several other orders and declarations from the court. In this regard, they sought the court’s declaration that it was unlawful and illegal for the EPA to modify Exxon’s permit to allow it to flare gas in exchange for a US$45 fee per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent. They have asked the court to quash this decision.

The litigants also contended that the agency’s decision to modify Esso’s environmental permit to allow excessive flaring via approved circumstances was irrational and unlawful and should therefore be quashed by the court.

The litigants have also asked for orders directing the EPA to provide reports on the amount of gas flared, and the toxins released. They also called for an independent and expert investigation into Exxon’s compliance with the manufacturer’s standards for operating its gas compressor.



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