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Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

Metgasco fined over water plan

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Coal-seam gas company Metgasco was fined twice during the month of May over two of its petroleum exploration licences.

The fines are revealed, along with the reasons, on the Department of Environment Resources and Energy website on a page headed Division of Resources & Energy’s register of non-compliance for 2012.

The fines were not directly related to the company’s recent admission that it dumped potentially polluted ‘produced’ water from its Casino CSG wells into the town’s sewage treatment plant, which was overseen by the EPA.

The EPA chastised Richmond Valley Council over that incident but it has no authority over mining companies in NSW, including CSG companies.

The department said the reason for the fines was that Metgasco failed to adequately respond to a notice requiring it to ‘submit a water management plan, including details of all water holding ponds and water movements’.

But the notice was issued on 27 April, at least a month after Lock the Gate Northern Rivers first raised the matter.

Metgasco CEO Peter Henderson has made light of the penalties, telling local media he didn’t think they were warranted.

‘An official issued a penalty notice on the basis that in his opinion not all questions had been answered in the manner he had expected,’ Mr Henderson told APN this morning.

Echonetdaily understands the fines related to the notices total just $5,000.

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  1. These Gas company’s should be fined in the hundreds of thousands for the potential damage to the environment. If not millions ! Please everyone write to your local member & protest against these company’s . Once the damage is done it will be too late .

  2. Metgacso’s Peter Henderson’s presence on the DRE’s Non-compliance Register so early in proceedings must surely set alarm bells ringing. Rather than showing the utmost respect and care, proving that his company, in deed, rather than word, takes seriously its responsibility to residents and landowners, Mr Henderson’s dismissive response to these charges offers a real insight into just what the future holds for us under any such assumed sovereignty. Early days, still, and yet agreements set in place between Metgasco’s CEO and landowners/Govt bodies have already been dismissed as unimportant. Can an urgent need to get on with this money-harvesting venture possibly result in the negligence of safety procedures and environmental protection? Be wary of any who would overrun our beautiful, bountiful, land with polluting, noisy, wells and machinery. We cannot eat money! Shame!

  3. What an arrogant prat this Henderson bloke is. It is time the state government gave the EPA some real teeth because as it is they are basically in the business of issuing licences to pollute and it is after a company breaches the licence condition that the EPA investigates and that is only if the they warrant the breach serious enough! If these companies were scrutinised and licenced against possible pollution they would not see the light of day.


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