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March 7, 2021

Calls to shut down Metgasco well

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Metgasco has rejected criticism of its plan to dump five million litres of wastewater into the Casino Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP).

But Lock the Gate Alliance Northern Rivers has demanded the state government close down Metgasco’s Casino operation altogether.

At a media conference held yesterday, Metgasco CEO Peter Henderson said there may be ‘beneficial uses’ for the contaminated water the company’s wells are producing.

‘The whole reason you go through an exploration program is to find out how much coal you’ve got, how it’s distributed, how much gas is in the coal, how fast the gas will produce and how much water you’re going to produce. Once you know how much water you’ve got and you know what the water quality is you can then decide on what you need to do to process it and what beneficial uses are available,’ he said.

Lock the Gate Alliance Northern Rivers said the EPA’s approval represented ‘a complete backflip from just a few weeks ago’.

At that time, in a letter to lawyers acting for the Alliance, the EPA stated that this disposal pathway was ‘inappropriate’ for CSG produced water.

‘One has to wonder why a practice that was inappropriate last month has suddenly been deemed to be acceptable,’ spokesperson Ian Gaillard said.

‘This latest development in the Metgasco wastewater fiasco further highlights the fact that the measures this company has in place to handle wastewater from just a handful of exploration wells are completely inadequate.

‘The state government is actively aiding and abetting the failings of industry and recklessly supporting the roll-out of the industry without any due regard for the consequences.

‘They should shut down the company’s activities in the region rather than giving them a get-out-of-jail-free card for their failed management practices.

‘This government backflip gives rise to serious concerns in the community about the strong links between Metgasco and local and state governments through their employment of a Richmond Valley councillor and a former high-ranking Liberal Party official,’ said Mr Gaillard.

‘The decision by Richmond Valley Council to take part in the wastewater dumping deal makes a mockery of the supposed moratorium on any new coal-seam gas activities on Council land put in place in May.

‘It seems that the ratepayers of the Richmond Valley are being left to clean up the Metgasco mess and they are not likely to forget this when voting at the council elections in September,’ he said.

 


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7 COMMENTS

  1. Yep Stuart George and his crony daddy are like a couple of Deep Southern good ol’ boys caring the place up to enrich themselves while destroying it for the rest of us. They should both be in jail doing time

  2. Yep Stuart George and his crony daddy are like a couple of Deep Southern good ol’ boys carving the place up to enrich themselves while destroying it for the rest of us. They should both be in jail doing time

  3. Peter Henderson’s comment regarding possible beneficial uses for contaminated water is farcical. Are we not already witnessing major issues with salinity in other areas? Even if those with reasons for denying the other toxic possibilities of their putrid waste water declare it is “only salt”, do we need salt in our aquifers?

    And do we have any reason whatsoever to believe their spokesperson when he declares that there are no other toxic elements in their unclean water, for is this not the same company which told us, unambiguously, that they were not disposing of their waste water in the Casino STP? And was that statement not found to be misleading?

    Please RVC consituents, look very carefully at what is happening and vote and act accordingly. There are people about who simply do not deserve your trust.

    Shame on Metgasco, and shame on those politicians, entrusted with duty of care, who so freely throw away our water, land, air and lifestyle quality for their own pecuniary interests.

  4. If you are still a bit confused about the realities of CSG mining,then please investigate the Tara Estates area in Queensland.QGC under the British Gas headship has left a devastating legacy of at least 19 very sick families.People who live 2km from a well have very sick children.The Hydrogen Sulphide in their bores and in the air is heavier than air,so it sinks.Therefore children are more vulnerable than adults even though the adults are unwell too.
    At a lower concentration,the victims get headaches,sore eyes,swollen faces and other symptons.Poisoning increases with higher concentration of H2S.Then epilepsy and other serious conditions develop up until death by H2S.
    These people are living in a gas chamber,particularly when the weather phenomenon of “inversion” occurs,keeping the gas in.
    Do we want this for Northern NSW or in fact,anywhere in Australia?

  5. The Northern Rivers communities have sent a very clear message that the gas industry is not wanted in the region. The greatest fear I have is that the O’Farrell government intends using actual force to assist this industry in establishing itself here.

  6. Saw Peter Henderson from Metgasco on TV pulling the stunt of drinking water from the holding pond that was gathered for him by one of his staff. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I would think that undertaking an action like that that could be injurious to your health, and encouraging a staff member to assist would be a clear and serious breach of the Occupational Health & Safety Act. Such stunts do not convince the community of anything other than the fact that Mr Henderson & Co are cowboys with little regard even for their own health, let alone the health of the community. I hope Workcover were watching the telly and are on the way to issue a Safety Improvement Notice!

  7. Yes shame on Metgasco, and shame on those politicians, entrusted with duty of care. Let them drink the water, that would be the most beneficial use.

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