Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Fracking Still Too Risky

Press Release

Fracking Still Too Risky

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has indicated fracking can be safe if the process is properly regulated but Frack Free Aotearoa New Zealand is still calling for a ban on fracking.

Spokesperson Robyn Harris-Iles says the risks of radioactive contamination from fracking in New Zealand have not been properly investigated by any regulatory body or by the Commissioner, Dr Jan Wright, and this is of grave concern considering the potential harm to human and animal health.

“Radioactive isotopes such as radium 226 and radium 224 are present in deep rock formations worldwide. We know radioactive particles are brought to the surface in flowback fluid and sludge in the USA because the correct testing has been carried out there and untreated or partially treated fluids have been discharged into streams and rivers, often upstream from water supply intakes. Reports from the USA Environmental Protection Agency and others show the level of radioactivity in fracking wastewater has sometimes been hundreds or even thousands of times the maximum allowed by the federal standard for drinking water,” said Ms Harris-Iles. “While no-one would be foolish enough to drink the wastewater directly, people in the USA have been exposed to radioactive particles in their water supplies and we want to know if this is happening here.”

Fracking wastewater and sludge has been spread on dairy farms in Taranaki for twenty years but the Taranaki Regional Council does not test ‘landfarm’ sites for barium, strontium, radium 226 or other dangerous radioactive isotopes in land where dairy cows are put to pasture, or in waterways that could be contaminated. Until last year wastewater and sludge in Taranaki was stored in unlined pits where seepage into the groundwater aquifer could occur. Contamination of soil and shallow groundwater has been identified at the Shell Todd Kapuni site to the extent the groundwater can no longer be used for human or animal consumption or for irrigation. While lining wastewater pits might alleviate the problem to some extent, linings can disintegrate or tear and evidence from the USA shows this is not a foolproof method of preventing seepage.

Ms Harris-Iles said her group was disappointed Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) only got a very brief mention in the interim fracking report released yesterday. “Dr Wright said there was no evidence of well casing failure that could cause chemical contamination of aquifers. We say there is no evidence the cement casings are safe and intact in the hundreds of wells drilled in Taranaki and elsewhere in New Zealand since the 1970s. We would like to see evidence that every single oil, gas and wastewater injection well drilled or fracked prior to 2006 is safe because we know the industry used non-acid resistant cements that dissolve over time in contact with low pH fluids,” she said. “Dr Wright believes safety concerns can be addressed with more regulation but how can we regulate the danger of radioactive and chemical contamination entering our land, air, waterways and eventually our foodchain when the arrogant oil industry already ignores regulations designed to protect the environment.”

Frack Free Aotearoa New Zealand is proud to join 17 other groups as a signatory to the Community Joint Statement on Fracking and we vow to continue our fight against this dangerous and destructive industry, while promoting a clean energy future.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Kim Regime

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the US had a very clear objective and eventually offered a quid pro quo of the removal of some of its own missiles from Turkey. This time, there’s no clarity about what the US is seeking, or offering.

It hasn’t helped that the US and the global media consistently agree on calling North Korea and its leadership “crazy” and “irrational” and urging it to “come to its senses”. When you treat your opponent as being beyond reason, it gets hard to comprehend what their strategy is, let alone work out the terms of a viable compromise. More>>

 

Recovery: Economic Impact Of Kaikōura Quake Revealed

The report details the impact on small businesses and tourism caused by disruptions to transport infrastructure and the economic impacts... The impact on New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the first 18 months following the earthquake has been estimated at $450-$500 million. More>>

ALSO:

Human Rights Commission: Urgent Need For Action On Seclusion And Restraint

Chief Human Rights Commissioner David Rutherford says that while the report makes for sobering reading, the focus should now be on how the recommendations can be used to reduce the occurrence of seclusion and restraint in New Zealand and, in circumstances where it is necessary, to improve practices. More>>

ALSO:

CORRECTIONS (March 2017):

SCHOOL SECLUSION ROOMS (2016):

$11bn Capital Spend, New Debt Target: Steven Joyce On Budget Priorities

First, delivering better public services for a growing country – providing all New Zealanders with the opportunity to lead successful independent lives... And finally, we remain committed to reducing the tax burden and in particular the impact of marginal tax rates on lower and middle income earners, when we have the room to do so. More>>

ALSO:

JustSpeak Report: Bail Changes To Blame For New Billion Dollar Prison

In 2013 criminal justice spending was falling and the Government was mulling over what to spend the money on. 3 years later there are 10,000 people in prison and a new billion dollar prison is announced. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news