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Coal Seam Gas extraction puts environment at risk

21 August 2012

Coal Seam Gas extraction puts environment at risk

“A massive expansion of Coal Seam Gas (CSG) extraction putting our environment and clean green brand at risk is not the solution to the Government’s economic woes,” said Gareth Hughes Green Party energy spokesperson.

CSG permits covering 13,640 sq km have been granted in the last two years with a further 9049 sq km awaiting approval. CSG is extracted through wells drilled into coal seams. The initial phase of CSG production usually involves the extraction of water from the coal seams in order to reduce the water pressure and release gas from the coal. Environmental problems associated with CSG include direct pollution as well as lowering of ground water levels which impact on other users.

“Drew Hutton the President of the Australian Lock the Gates Alliance is in New Zealand speaking about the risk to our farmland, water and health from drilling and fracking for coal seam gas.

“If we don’t learn from the Australian experience we risk damage to the agricultural sector which is dependent on clean water.

“There are numerous examples of Australian CSG projects causing leaks, blow outs and other incidences of environmental pollution.

“We need to take a precautionary approach to CSG and not put our environment and agricultural sector at risk.

“This Government’s economic agenda is focused on dirty extractive industries. Coupled with the downgrading of the 100% pure branding, to a sub brand in their Building Export Markets document, highlights the Government’s economic strategy of attacking our environment not building upon it.

For more information:

Outline of Drew Hutton tour itinerary - http://blog.greens.org.nz/2012/08/17/locking-the-gates-to-fracking/
Some issues encountered in Australia:
Santos CSG plant polluted water spill - http://www.smh.com.au/environment/water-issues/arsenic-and-lead-found-in-contaminated-water-leak-at-coal-seam-gas-drill-site-20120209-1rx7s.html#ixzz243GwA0xF
Arrow Energy Well Blowout - http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/coal-seam-gas-well-blowout-near-dalby/story-e6freqmx-1226060860912
Drilling fluid in Condamine River - http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/sunday-mail/drilling-fluid-leaks-into-queensland-river-part-of-murray-darling-basin/story-e6frep2f-1226341485618, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-28/drilling-scare-halts-coal-seam-gas-work/3977786
Leaking wells pose fire risk - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-06-07/gas-wells-fire-threat-fixed/2748914
Figures for permits calculated from the NZPAM website - http://www.nzpam.govt.nz/cms

ENDS

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