The discrepancy in water quality test results in northern NSW is proof that self-regulation isn’t working and cannot provide community confidence in the coal seam gas industry says Lock the Gate Alliance Vice President Jacinta Green.
Metgaso’s results described the water as ‘salty but not toxic’. The NATA accredited EAL laboratory in Lismore found 10 heavy metals at levels well above safe ANZECC limits. Aluminum was found at 440 times drinking water standard while lead was 7 times drinking water standard and 20 times the safe environmental limit.
“Communities are rightly concerned about the lack of independence in air and water quality monitoring and testing,” Ms Green said.
“The gaping discrepancy between Metgaso's test results and those from EAL vindicate community distrust in the process.
“Grossly inadequate regulation, fundamentally flawed processes that give powerful vested interests the right to self-monitor and a string of unquantified risks will leave a terrible health and environmental legacy for regions affected by coal seam gas development,” Ms Green said.
“It is disgraceful that governments permit such a disregard for community health and well-being.
“Lock the Gate reiterates its call for an immediate halt to coal seam gas development until we understand exactly what we are dealing with and the consequences.”