Gas drilling goes ahead without any checks

SMH - 15.11.2010

The state government does not conduct any environmental assessment of exploration drilling for gas into coal seams despite increasing concern about its impact on aquifers and water supplies.

Documents tabled last week in Parliament show the government has little understanding of the possible environmental impact of coal seam gas exploration wells that are being drilled.
”The majority of sites that use fracking currently are operating under exploration licences regulated solely by [Department of Industry and Investment]”, which had no environmental or scientific expertise, the departmental officer noted.

Information obtained from one exploration company, Metgasco, detailing which chemicals would be injected into an exploration well was obtained by the government. The well was approved within days, with no assessment of the proposed injection process.

”I am alarmed at the lack of regulatory oversight in NSW that is allowing the burgeoning coal seam gas industry to run rampant throughout this state.”

Ms Faehrmann has written to the government calling for a moratorium on coal seam exploration drilling and extraction.

”The government must set tight environmental safeguards on the industry before projects are allowed to continue,” she said.

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