– City drafts by-laws to regulate operators

The Houston, East Bank Demerara, (EBD) area has been earmarked for major infrastructural transformation.

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The area is set to become the main industrial hub for oil and gas activities, City Mayor Ubraj Narine has said.
Given the impending transformation, Narine told Kaieteur News in an interview that the Georgetown Council is in the process of drafting by–laws to help the City regulate the entities operating onshore.
According to the Mayor, the by-laws are expected to provide a guideline for the onshore operators in keeping with the guidelines of the Municipal and District Councils Act Chapter 28:01.
Narine noted that at present, Chapter 28:01 does not cater for activities related to oil and gas.
“There is nothing in the law about that, but Houston is an area which falls under the Council. That‘s why it is important for the City to implement by-laws to help regulate what goes on in the sector.”
The Mayor explained that given its location, Houston is considered a top locality for industrial activities of the sector.

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Storage silos are expected along the shoreline as part of the industrial transformation at Houston, East Bank Demerara.

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He said that the entire area, particularly along the shoreline, is expected to be transformed for industry use within the coming months and years.
According to him, the Georgetown Council has already received building plans for industrial sites, as well as the laying of pipelines and silos used in the oil sector.
“The City Engineer’s Department has already received several plans for commercial and industrial buildings expected for Houston. We know the change is coming.
So at this point, the Council is working with lawyers from the Attorney General’s Chambers as well as officers from the Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA) to help draft the by- laws.”
Narine said that the agencies involved play a key part in ensuring that the regulations are in keeping with the municipal laws as well as the environmental regulations.
The Mayor told Kaieteur News that presently the by-laws have been drafted and sent to the Attorney General for perusal.
“As soon as it is vetted by the legal minds, the Council will place it to a vote and soon after it will be forwarded to the Minister of Communities for approval and to be published in the Official Gazette,” Narine added.
Additionally, the Mayor noted that the City Council is among a number of agencies prepping for the infrastructural changes expected to come on stream as a result of the new sector.
During an end-of-year press conference, Chief Development Planner of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) Germene Stewart outlined plans to redevelop Houston to cater for the industrial transformation.
According to Stewart, the CH&PA‘s plan will factor in the needs of potential oil and gas investors. She noted that already, facilities which cater for the oil and gas industry have been established at Houston by Guyana Shore Base Inc., Tiger Tanks and Schlumberger, among others.
With further developments expected, the CH&PA officer said the authority has been proactive in meeting with developers and land owners.
Stewart disclosed that to date, for the oil and gas sector, the CH &PA has processed 44 applications.

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