Australian Financial Review - 24.11.11
Queensland’s environment minister will investigate claims her department allowed coal seam gas (CSG) water to be dumped into a river in breach of national standards.
An ABC Radio investigation found treated CSG water, containing chemicals and traces of heavy metals, was dumped into the Condamine River in southeast Queensland.
Environment Minister Vicky Darling said she would investigate the matter.
“Our guidelines are very strict and if there are any allowances that vary from that, that’s something I’ll look into,” she told the ABC.
She said releasing CSG water into natural waterways was the least preferred option in Labor’s CSG water management policy to be released on Thursday.
“That’s why we are releasing a new policy which clearly sets out the first priority is to reinject treated CSG water back into the natural coal seam,” Ms Darling said.
She said she did not want the burgeoning CSG industry to come at the expense of landholders and the environment.
The government is seeking comment on its water treatment policy.
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GABPG comments on this article:
Firstly, re the Environment Minister’s comments that “their guidelines are very strict” – yes, there may be stringent guidelines in place, but who is policing that the guidelines are followed? This CSG industry is self-regulated, there are no inspectors, no checks, no supervision, no compliance officers to ever ascertain what the industry is doing – the industry are a law unto themselves. So the guidelines might be “strict”, but they are not followed.
And secondly, this article proves that the government is pushing the disastrous re-injection as an agenda (as their masters, the mining industry, are dictating for them to do). Re-injection is every bit as bad as hydraulic fracturing. First of all, reverse-osmosis will not remove the heavy metals, chemicals, and carcinogens from the water – only the salt. Furthermore, the water has initially been removed from the seams, which creates a void, and subsidence, and then if this water is forced back into the seams under pressure, it causes the fracturing and faulting that “fracking” causes.
The governments and industry see re-injection as the solution as to what to do with the polluted waste water, simply because they want it “out of sight, out of mind”. And they have no other solutions for what to do with it – nor the tonnes of toxic salt that will be left behind. They want to shove their polluted waste water back down into the aquifers, to get rid of it – with no thought for the drastic consequences to the GAB.