The EPA hands out little more than a slap on the wrist to Santos for uranium contamination of aquifers near the Pilliga. The offence has attracted a mere $1500 fine, which the EPA claims reflects the environmental damage. Doubtful…. See the full SMH article.
This is after being fined $52,500 earlier in the year for failing to report a spill in the Pilliga. See full article.
CSG production is still continuing in the Pilliga even though there is a risk that the recent 10,000 litre spill is not a one-off spill and may be still continuing in one of the last of the great temperate woodland left in NSW. Environmentalists are not only calling for the NSW Government to shut down the Santos operation at Pilliga but to suspend all coal seam gas exploration licences following the saline spill. Soil and water samples taken six months after the Pilliga spill show a high level of lead, arsenic, chromium, salts and petrochemicals. Hear more on the toxic spill by accessing the following links.
As Rosemary Nankivell, CCAG’s gas spokesperson says, Coal Seam Gas is in the news everywhere these days. With Arrow Energy having another well blowout, on the Darling Downs, calls for shutdowns and moratoriums are being heard clearly down in political circles.
While CCAG welcomes the NSW Government’s announcement of a 60 day freeze on new exploration licenses for coal and gas, it’s only a start. It comes as news of the NFF fighting fund financial backing of a Queensland farmer challenge to Gas Company and State Government mining approvals. This NFF backing was critical too in CCAG’s recent successful challenge to NSW unfair mining exploration laws.
Locally the Pilliga is threatened by a reportedly planned 550 gas wells, and networked pipelines across the black soil Liverpool Plains. And as the cartoon shows, Santos cannot accurately find the Scrub for the trees.