Coal seam gas report points to chemicals ban

SMH - Business Day - Alexandra Smith - 3.2.2011

THE Planning Minister, Tony Kelly, has given the strongest sign yet that the state government would ban the use of a group of chemicals in the controversial technique known as fracking to extract coal seam gas.
The chemicals benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene – collectively referred to as BTEX – are used in the fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, process for extracting coal seam gas.
The vice president of the NSW Farmers Association, Fiona Simson, said the scoping paper was ”too little, too late” and was designed to assist the coal industry, not other industries.
The Greens MP Cate Faehrmann welcomed the strategy but questioned why it could not be matched with a moratorium on the coal seam gas industry, which she said had been ”proven to be dangerous for water supplies and productive farmlands”.

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