CSG freeze needed after cancer-causing chemicals detected at Gloucester

Published: January 27, 2015

Lock The Gate Alliance has called on the NSW Government to freeze all CSG projects in the state after cancer causing BTEX chemicals were detected in fracking waste water at Gloucester.

“AGL's alarming pollution monitoring results in Gloucester highlight the risk fracking poses to our precious water resources,” said Steve Phillips, regional coordinator for Lock The Gate.

News of the BTEX detection in AGL's CSG flowback water follows recent detection of fracking chemicals in water sampling results, and strange fluctuations in aquifer levels detected at the fracking site.

“Chief Scientist Mary O'Kane warned the Baird government that many unanswered questions remain about the risk coal seam gas fracking poses to our land, water, and communities. But the government allowed drilling to continue in Camden, Gloucester and Narrabri, and pushed ahead with a flawed Gas Plan that failed to implement many of the Chief Scientist recommendations,” said Phillips. “Today, the NSW Gas Plan is in tatters.”

"Communities throughout NSW are alarmed at what's happening in Gloucester and will now redouble their efforts to protect land and water in the lead up to the NSW election."

“AGL's unexpected detection of cancer-causing chemicals at Gloucester highlights the urgent need to follow the Chief Scientist's advice.  We call on Premier Baird to freeze all coal seam gas activities in NSW until there has been a full investigation into BTEX detection at Gloucester, and until the Chief Scientists recommendations have been fully met.”

“One of many unmet recommendations from the Chief Scientist is that there be thorough risk assessments on CSG projects before approval is granted. Yet the EPA routinely hand out CSG pollution licences without  limits on known pollutants, and without proper pollution monitoring plans in place.

“The EPA gave AGL a licence to frack in Gloucester despite many unanswered questions about the safety of project. Local residents and independent experts warned the government that surface and groundwater were at risk, but were ignored,” said Phillips.
 
“Now that the true risks of fracking at Gloucester are emerging, we call on the EPA to cancel AGL's pollution licence. No further coal seam gas activity should be licenced in Gloucester until the safety of communities and waterways can be guaranteed.”

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