19.3 C
Byron Shire
May 29, 2022

Metgasco silent over wastewater claims

Latest News

Primex Sustainable Farming and Primary Industries Expo new date confirmed

After being postponed due to the flooding and ongoing wet weather the 2022 Primex Sustainable Farming and Primary Industries Expo and will now go ahead on November 10–12.

Other News

Bringing learning and play together

Byron Bay High School’s new agility course recognises the importance of play for learning and has students from all years actively playing during breaks and PDHPE lessons, according to Byron Bay High’s Principal, Janine Marcus.

Corporate beach

Tallow Beach is a great place to walk your dog and it has got a lot busier over the...

Recognising 50 years of police service

When John 'Jack' Keough moved to Byron Bay police station in 1982 there was still a station sheep that kept the grass down and goats still roamed Cape Byron. Sargent Keough began his career in policing in 1972 when he walked into the Redfern Academy to join the police force. 

Large bioenergy facility gets nod

Byron Council’s plan to build a facility that converts waste into electricity at the Byron Bay Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) has been given the green light by the Northern Regional Planning Panel

Frida’s Field: nose-to-tail lunch

On Saturday 4 June, Frida’s Field will pay homage to their holistically-reared Angus-Wagyu cattle by hosting a special five-course...

Get your art on this weekend

This weekend they are predicting not a lot of rain and even a possibility of sunshine with only a...

Local coal-seam gas exploration company Metgasco has failed to respond to allegations that it has been illegally transporting wastewater from the company’s holding ponds at a disused quarry near Casino.

Lock the Gate Northern Rivers (LTGNR) claimed yesterday Metgasco might be carting water away from ponds at the council-owned quarry to avoid overflows from the site.

This revelation comes on the back of public confirmation from Richmond Valley Council that these ponds are being operated illegally by the company.

LTGNR is organising a protest on the public footpath outside the company’s headquarters at 139–141 Johnson St, Casino today from 10am.

Ian Gaillard, LTGNR co-ordinator, claims Metgasco’s chief financial officer told a local resident in an email that ‘If our ponds approach their capacity we cart water away to be treated’.

‘As far as we can tell, Metgasco has no authority to be removing this toxic water from the ponds, as the consent conditions clearly state “only clean and unpolluted waters are to leave the site”,’ he said yesterday.

‘This raises a whole lot of questions about how much potentially hazardous wastewater is being carted away, where it is being disposed of, why the ponds are unable to contain the water volumes being dumped there and whether they may have overflowed in the past.

‘It also casts serious doubt on Metgasco’s ability to safely operate a gas field if they can’t even adequately manage a couple of ponds.’

Echonetdaily contacted Metgasco’s CEO Peter Henderson yesterday for comment; he put us in touch with the company’s external affairs spokesperson Simon Richardson, who in turn promised to forward us ‘some words’ by email in response to the claims. No information had been received by this morning.

The company told other local media it had operated the ponds on the Bruxner Highway at Woodview, west of Casino, safely for four years, but declined to be drawn on the allegations.

LTGNR is calling on Richmond Valley Council to investigate the claims and undertake a contaminated-land investigation at the site, including the commissioning of comprehensive independent sampling of soils adjacent to the ponds where overflow may have occurred.

‘Recent results from coal-seam gas operations in northwest NSW and Queensland show that this wastewater can contain unsafe levels of harmful substances such as heavy metals, petrochemicals, hydrocarbons and ammonia,’ said Mr Gaillard.

‘We believe that council has a duty of care to adjacent landholders and the wider community to ensure that no pollution of surrounding lands and waterways has occurred as a result of these operations.’


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Reasons to be cheerful

After nine long years of being led by the least among us, Australia’s future feels optimistic. Thanks, Western Australia, you were instrumental in booting those numpties out! 

Regrets for treatment of Wardell CORE?

After Ballina Council's recent decision, at its Finance and Facilities Committee Meeting, to effectively evict the Wardell Community Organised Resilience Effort (CORE) from the War Memorial Hall, in mid-flood recovery, some were having second thoughts at their Ordinary Meeting yesterday.

Keep your eyes and ears open for Albert’s Lyrebird

Tweed Council is asking that you put your best bird listening ears on this June and capture the sounds of a rare bird.

Progress at Ross Lane?

The perennial question 'is Ross Lane open?' edged closer to an answer yesterday, with Ballina Council discussing a range of options to solve the flooding problem which regularly cuts off Lennox's main access to the west. Ross Lane has been closed again this week.