Media reports of methane gas escaping from coal seam gas drilling wells near Casino in the Northern Rivers highlights the critical need for urgent, strong environment and health protections for coal seam gas exploration and mining across NSW
“The discovery of methane gas leaks from coal seam gas activities in our north brings to the surface serious questions about the risks involved with the growing coal seam gas activities in our state,” Nature Conservation Council of NSW Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said today.
“Methane is a highly flammable, poisonous substance that is difficult to detect. It is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas and can remain in the atmosphere for up to a decade.
“We can’t be sure of how many wells are leaking methane across our state or the full impact of this toxic substance on local water supplies, ecosystems and our health.
“The health and wellbeing of urban and rural communities must not become buried in the rush for quick profits from a risky and unsustainable industry.
“Neither the Coalition or Labor parties have put forward adequate policies to address the threat to our natural environment, productive farmland or water supplies. The Nature Conservation Council calls on both major parties to put an immediate stop on exploration licenses for coal seam gas mining projects until environment, water supply and other risks can be appropriately assessed,” Mr Clarke said.