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EPA’s Waitsia approval puts water at risk in the Mid West

The approval of the Waitsia Gas Project Stage 2 in Western Australia’s Mid West region could put underground water sources and communities at risk, according to Lock the Gate Alliance.

The state’s Environmental Protection Authority officially recommended the controversial project be approved yesterday.

Waitsia 2, co-owned 50/50 by Mitsui E&P and Beach Energy, is the only onshore gas project in WA that will produce gas for export.

LTGA WA spokesperson Simone van Hattem said, “while there is no application for these companies to frack in this submission, neither the companies nor the government have ruled out this happening down the track.

“We would like to see a firm announcement from the companies and a formal condition from the government that there will be no fracking at this location.

“We are also concerned the companies plan to re inject wastewater into old oil and gas wells - this sort of activity has been shown to cause earthquakes in other places around the world.

“The environmental plan also shows there will be drainage of the Yarragadee Aquifer, and there could be an impact on a local wetland - the Ejarno Spring, which is culturally significant for First Nations people in the area.

“Mitsui and Beach must be forced to be clear on how they will protect local air quality and water resources.”

Farmer Rod Copeland, whose property sits adjacent to the planned gasfield, said, “as a neighbouring horticulturist who provides fresh produce to the Perth market, we are reliant on clean and sustainable supplies of water.

“This diabolic project has the potential to contaminate that clean water we rely on. 

“We live near fracked gaswell Corybas, which was known to have had a methane leak in 2012 - we are alarmed at what is going to happen in the near future in our area.”

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