Whitehaven’s claims “not supported by logical reasoning and/or evidence”
Although Whitehaven refuted landholder’s claims that bores were being affected by the mining operations at Werris Creek, an independent assessment has found “it is likely that coal mining operations at WCC’s Werris Creek mine are contributing to the impacts currently being observed at landholders bores”.
UNSW Australia Water Research Laboratory (WRL) has reviewed available information and identified that Whitehaven Coal Company (WCC) has not undertaken the necessary hydrogeological field investigations, monitoring, analysis and modelling work to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that activity at Werris Creek mine has not significantly contributed to the rapid declines in groundwater levels within the aquifers about Quipolly Creek. The review found that Whitehaven’s arguments and assumptions in claiming that drought, landholder water use and Quipolly Dam upgrades were solely responsible for bores drying up “are not supported by logical reasoning and/or evidence”.
The draw down predicted in the … Read More »
Why even strict conditions are inadequate
Even the “strictest” conditions imposed on the project are inadequate to ensure the safety of our pristine water, and it is not hard to understand why.
Once the aquifer has been cracked, damaged, or polluted it not possible to just fix it. No one can “make good” once the damage has been done.
It is that simple.
No report guaranteed no damage to water – the term “minimal” is one frequently used, and is vastly different to the assurances of “zero damage” that we require to allow this mine to proceed.
It is that simple.
PAC Process Fails to Address Community Concerns
The first PAC made a number of recommendations to safe guard mining activities so that the Liverpool Plains and surrounding groundwater aquifers had some level of protection.
Of the 25 recommendations, 19 were rejected.
The Final PAC rejected 3 further issues raised by the community.
This highlights that the consultation process via the Planning Assessment Commission considered the issues raised by the community, however failed to provide a pathway in resolving these issues.
Upon analysis of the recommendations a clear pattern emerges.
IF the mining conditions needed to be more stringent to address the issue raised by the community, but the restrictions would impact on the mining operations then the issues were ignored.
IF the mining conditions related to process or external activities, such as technical working groups then the issues were addresses.
Access the full report outlining the recommendations made and whether the Final PAC determination … Read More »
SHENHUA WATERMARK PLANNING ASSESSMENT COMMISSION COMING SOON
The Shenhua Watermark mine application is currently with the NSW Planning Department awaiting determination. The Caroona Coal Action Group is currently preparing for the Planning and Assessment Commission application and hearing which provide a final opportunity to speak on the project and raise concerns of the material harm to the environment that this project poses. CCAG has identified suitable scientific experts to ensure the community has the best representation possible.
If you would like more information on how you can help e-mail us.
Repeat offender Santos stuffs up in the Pilliga AGAIN
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.
EPBC Amendment Passes
The ‘water-trigger’ legislation which Tony Windsor has fought hard for over the past few years has finally been passed to become law. This monumental piece of legislation was passed through the Senate yesterday, Thursday June 20, 2013.
This is huge win for water, with CSG and mining projects now requiring the green light from the Independent Expert Scientific Committee to ensure that these projects will not damage water resources.
This process will allow the Federal Government to step in where State Government has all too often been both the consenting body and a major beneficiary of such projects.
“Federal oversight based on independent science will help protect Australia’s most productive farmland from potential damage and encourage mining companies to pursue projects with lower risk profiles. After seven year fighting alongside local communities for a more balanced mining approvals process, I know farmers and … Read More »
Expert Report Finds Shenhua’s Mine Plan Lacks Basic Detail and ‘Understates Environmental Risk’
An independent environmental report has identified a litany of deficiencies, missing data, and failures to meet basic planning requirements in plans lodged by the Chinese mining giant Shenhua for a major coal mine on the Liverpool Plains.
The report, by the internationally respected consultants Earth Systems, has found there are such major gaps in baseline data on water quality and geochemistry that “…it is not possible to fully assess environmental impacts”.
It says not only does Shenhua’s 325-page EIS dedicate just a single page to its risk assessment which “appears to understate the likely impacts and risks” but has also uncovered the fact that Shenhua’s plans involve mining on the iconic floodplains – a clear breach of its exploration licence.
CCAG spokesman Tim Duddy said the Earth Systems review was damning of Shenhua’s approach to environmental protection and confirmed the community’s fears.
“From the … Read More »
Chinese mine in NSW fails to meet standards
May 13, 2013 – 12:07AM
Sydney Morning Herald
A controversial mining proposal slated for prime agricultural land on the Liverpool Plains in northern NSW fails to meet basic environmental standards, an independent assessment of the project has found. A subsidiary of Chinese mining giant Shenhua, Shenhua Watermark Coal, is seeking environmental approval for its proposed Liverpool Plains coalmine and has filed an environmental impact statement as part of the process.
If they get this wrong they could poison two thirds of the Murray-Darling system. But farmers and agricultural groups paid for an independent review of Shenhua’s EIS and say the report exposes significant problems with the proposed mine. The report, by consulting group Earth Systems, found the mine would likely breach a prohibition on open-cut mining on the Liverpool Plains.
It also found that the mine’s risk assessment lacked detail, and there were … Read More »
Submissions to Shenhua’s EIS
An Environmental Consultant has been employed by the Caroona Coal Action Group to review Shenhua’s EIS and prepare a submission for our Group. Personal submissions are also essential in ensuring the communities concerns are raised formally.
SUBMISSION TEMPLATE APRIL 2013 Version1
As we have stated before, there are many concerns with the proposed mine at Breeza. Some of these concerns being dust, noise, flora, fauna, water, aboriginal heritage, social impacts, traffic, hazards, soils and loss of agricultural land to mining just to name a few.
To assist you prepare your personal submission, a guide submission template has been prepared. The guide provides the format and compulsory information that is required by the Department of Planning for a hard copy submission. The guide also includes some of the concerns raised at a recent public meeting at Breeza as well as suggestions from members. The concerns … Read More »
Final Report on the Namoi Water Study
The final report of the Namoi Water Study is finally here.
Download the full report: https://www.namoicatchmentwaterstudy.com.au/client_images/1085523.pdf