Proven: Pilliga groundwater contaminated by Santos CSG

Published: March 08, 2014

Lock the Gate Alliance is calling for all coal seam gas exploration in NSW to stop immediately after proof emerged today that Santos have contaminated groundwater in the Pilliga.

  • Documents obtained by The Wilderness Society show that groundwater in the Pilliga has been contaminated by Santos CSG operations.
  • Uranium levels recorded in the groundwater as a result of CSG activities are at 20 times the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.
  • The NSW EPA have confirmed the contamination event, but failed to act with any proper legal force, choosing to fine Santos only $1,500 dollars.

"This proven case of contamination in the Pilliga makes a lie of all the claims Santos have made about their CSG operations being safe," said Drew Hutton, President of Lock the Gate Alliance.

"The uranium contamination of groundwater confirms that CSG is a dangerous, toxic industry and it needs to be stopped dead in its tracks before more extensive damage is done.

"It's extraordinary that contamination as serious as this has been swept under the carpet by the NSW Government and trivialised with a paltry fine.

"We are demanding that the NSW Government now stops all CSG exploration immediately, and conducts a far reaching investigation into how things have gone so horribly wrong," he said.

"Groundwater contamination with high levels of uranium from CSG activities is our worst nightmare," said Mark and Cherie Robinson, dryland farmers from west of the Pilliga, who were recently arrested protesting Santos CSG drilling activities in the Pilliga forest.

"We are completely reliant on groundwater on our farm and cannot survive without it.  Our water is our lifeblood. Now we know for sure that CSG puts all that at risk."

"There's no way we are going to allow this polluting industry to spread any further across our region. It needs to stop now," they said.

The Pilliga is an important recharge area for the Great Artesian Basin, which means Santos actions are a direct threat to our greatest inland water resource.

Read the Sydney Morning Herald article that broke the story here.

Take action to demand that the Pilliga drilling halt here

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