Nepean coal seam gas wells flood again as AGL says it will push on

MEDIA RELEASE

25 February 2012

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham today expressed concern that two coal seam gas wells drilled on the banks of the Nepean River have again flooded, with flood waters peaking at 7.24 metres at Menangle Bridge yesterday after heavy rainfall on the weekend.

“Last time these gas wells flooded the Nepean River peaked at only 5.92 metres, this time the gas wells were deep under water with the river hitting 7.24 metres on Sunday afternoon,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“Again everything on the gas well site, including whatever chemicals or waste water is stored in the open pits would have flowed into the Nepean River which provides drinking water for parts of Greater Sydney, irrigation for market gardens, and flows into the oyster growing areas of the Hawkesbury.

“Was gas still bubbling to the surface at this gas well as was seen last time it flooded? Did the Environmental Protection Authority visit the site?

“AGL were negligent in drilling gas wells in an area that is regularly flooded. They were warned by Campbelltown Council not to drill in this location, but they did it anyway and now we have a heavy industrial petroleum production site regularly spilling into the Nepean River,” he said.

“The EPA must investigate and the government should shut down a gas well that is regularly being inundated by flood waters.

The Greens are also concerned that AGL refused to rule out coal seam gas in Western Sydney. At a Campbelltown Council organised community information session at Ingleburn, Mike Moraza reportedly refused to say the expansion of coal seam gas operations was at an end, instead saying the new regulations “would make it more difficult.”

Mr Buckingham said: “While the Government’s new regulations have stop an immediate threat to Western Sydney, we are concerned that unsafe coal seam gas mining can still occur in the hinterland around Sydney and will still affect urban areas. Drilling can also still occur in water catchments and on agricultural land.”

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

24 February 2013

Photos of the flooded well are available here:

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