President Ali says will engage former EPA head Dr Vincent Adams professionally

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Days after the People’s Progressive Party Government took a decision to send the Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Dr Vincent Adams on 126 days leave, President Irfaan Ali has committed to continue to engage him for his skillset in oil and gas but says Dr Adams cannot shy away from his political role with the previous APNU+AFC Government.

Dr Adams was sent on leave without no warning while decisions are being made on approval for ExxonMobil’s Payara Well for which EPA had raised concerns.

The President does not believe the move to send Dr Adams on leave will affect the EPA’s ability to continue to engage in the decision-making process.

“The EPA has a lot of institutional capacity. Dr Adams himself is not directly in the area of environment, he is well qualified in oil and gas, his area is not in environment and someone going there with 20 years’ experience in EPA,” President Ali told reporters on Tuesday during a visit to Rose Hall Estate in East Berbice- Corentyne.

Dr Adams was asked to hand over to Sharifa Razack who is currently the Permit Review and Authorisation Manager at the EPA.

Dr Adams holds a PhD in Environmental Engineering, MSc Degrees in Groundwater Hydrology and Geological Engineering/Petroleum Engineering, and a BSc in Civil Engineering.

President Ali said he will look to place people where their skill set is best suited. To this end, the President said his Government will continue to engage Dr Adams as a professional.

“Vincent has a skillset that the Government wants to utilize but we see no difficulties in the work of EPA currently,” he added.

The President is confident that the work of the EPA would continue unhindered in Dr Adams absence even in the face of a final decision on the Field Development Plan (FDP) for ExxonMobil’s third proposed oil well development – Payara.

Dr Adams had said that there was outstanding work but he was willing to bring the Government up to date on where he was before proceeding on leave.

President Ali said notwithstanding this, Dr Adams who is a known Alliance for Change member, one of the parties that make up the six-party APNU+AFC coalition, cannot shy away from his political involvement with the previous government.

“He also had a political role. Sometimes we want to forget that these persons were on the campaign trail…we need to have a professional pool in this country and when you cross into the political realm there are consequences,” the President added.

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