Last night residents at Spring Farm in greater Western Sydney raised the alarm when they observed gas discharging from an AGL CSG well just 200m from their homes in a local residential estate.
Lock the Gate Coordinator for western Sydney Dan Robins said residents heard a loud hissing noise coming from the CSG well yesterday evening and smelt a strong odour of gas inside their homes.
AGL have since claimed that a 'safety release valve was activated' at the site, causing gas to escape, but haven't provided any further explanation. Residents at the site are now demanding answers.
“Alarmed residents called the EPA on Sunday night who advised them to immediately call fire and rescue, which they did” Mr Robins said.
"The fire brigade, police, and gas workers from a company named Jemena, attended the scene, and the gas emissions were eventually stopped.
“However, residents in the area have since been astonished by a short written statement from AGL, released late on Sunday night, which implies that there was no reason for residents to be concerned.
"The statement made by AGL doesn't match with advice to residents from the first responders who described the incident as a 'gas leak'.
"The residents of Spring Farm want answers. They want an independent investigation of the incident and want to know why they weren't urgently informed about the event by AGL, instead of being left to deal with it alone.
"This is yet another massive failure of AGL in providing basic information to community members.
“The cocktail of gases from the coal seam, which includes methane and associated gases like volatile organic compounds, are not only noxious but also highly flammable.
“There are major risks for families forced to live just 200m from an industrial gasfield.
"Spring Farm locals have already raised concerns about their health as a result of CSG, and this event only exacerbates their concerns.
"The NSW Government has failed the people of Spring Farm, doing nothing to protect them from a CSG well just 200m from their homes, despite introducing a 2km buffer on houses elsewhere.
“The NSW Government needs to sort this out - families, residential estates and industrial gasfields just don't mix. It's far too risky" he said