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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

EPA investigates Santos CSG ponds

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Image courtesy Lock the Gate

The Envrionment Protection Authority (EPA) is investigating possible leaks from Santos coal seam gas wastewater storage ponds, this time within 8km of the town of Narrabri in northwest NSW.

Requests by the Lock the Gate Alliance under freedom of information have confirmed the EPA is investigating two wastewater storage dams at Tintsfield, south-west of Narrabri.

Confirmation of the latest investigation follows a serious breach of a liner at Santos’s Bibblewindi wastewater storage ponds in the Pilliga, which resulted in the contamination of a groundwater aquifer.

Campaign coordinator for Lock the Gate Carmel Flint said the latest investigation showed the risks associated with the storage of CSG wastewater and the need for the industry to operate more openly.

‘Santos has already been fined for contaminating groundwater with uranium and other heavy metals at its CSG waste water ponds in the Pilliga Forest and now we learn that two more holding ponds are under investigation for similar leaks,’ Ms Flint said.

‘Santos have admitted that they first reported problems at the Tintsfield ponds in May 2013, more than a year ago, which begs the question as to why the community has been left in the dark yet again for such a long time.

‘Lock the Gate calls on the state government and Santos to reveal the full details of this investigation and to immediately inform the people of Narrabri if there is even a hint that groundwater in the area may have been contaminated.’

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