To give my opinion about the development of CSG in Queensland, I had to do a fair amount of research as I knew very little. My opinion is NOT YET! I can see the benefits but I am concerned about the probable and possible impacts on the environment and that there is too little information on the risks and how to reduce or remove them. We have a beautiful country that is being ruined by man’s insatiable greed and desire for power – pun intended. The areas of concern involve the impact on water and ecosystems, chemicals released or used in the process, and the effects on communities.
A problem exists in whether this co-produced water, a product of extraction or the hydraulic fracturing process, is processed as a waste product or approved for a beneficial use other than disposal. (Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, 2013b; Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development (IESC), 2014) My question is, how effective is the monitoring or treatment of the water, and how much water is lost in the process considering it is not limitless?
See spill story here.
As an Environmentalist, similar to Farmers and Indigenous persons, the health of the environment is paramount. Any mining ravages the land, but it is the contamination of it that is more destructive and difficult to repair, if possible.
Stark reality for some residents
It is not feasible to stop drilling at existing locations but I think there is too little investigative research undertaken on proposed sites before development starts. I would like to see more time given to research proposed areas, create and implement safe, adequate technology and practices, and ensure effective monitoring of these sites for the sites’ duration.
Cartoon image. Retrieved April 8, 2016, from http://davidshoebridge.org.au/2011/08/30/government-keeps-sydney-residents-in-dark-about-coal-seam-gas/
Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. (2013a). About coal seam gas. Retrieved March 14, 2016, from http://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/management/coal-seam-gas/
Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. (2013b). Regulating fraccing. Retrieved April 4, 2016, from http://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/management/non-mining/regulating-fraccing.html
Farmer image. Retrieved April 8, 2016, from http://www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au/story/3604762/qgc-should-spill-details-not-just-gas/#!
Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development (IESC). (2014). Coal seam gas extraction and co-produced water. Retrieved April 4, 2016 from http://www.iesc.environment.gov.au/publications/csg-extraction-and-co-produced-water