Mining company Santos’ acknowledgment of multiple pollution failures at coal seam gas exploration sites in the Pilliga Forest is a stark warning for the State government of the inherent risks of the CSG industry in NSW, according to the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
Many of the breaches of pollution laws were not reported to authorities.
“In its report, Santos attempts to distance itself from environmental breaches and problems but this simply is not credible. Santos was a joint venture partner with Eastern Star Gas during the time of these unlawful activities and further breaches occurred following the Santos takeover,” Nature Conservation Council of NSW, CEO, Pepe Clarke said today.
“The Santos report raises serious doubts about whether self‐reporting of pollution breaches by the CSG
industry can keep our communities and environment safe from pollution and industrial accidents.
“We’ve seen unlawful clearing of native vegetation and contamination of waterways from exploration wells
in the Pilliga. The move to full production with up 1100 wells in the state’s largest coal seam gas field will
massively increase the likelihood of further breaches.
“Sensitive natural areas like the Pilliga are not suitable places for the destructive impacts of coal seam gas mining.
“The rapid expansion of the mining and gas industry is placing increasing pressure on public lands, including our state forests. These public lands have been set aside for their special environmental value for the benefit of the community, not exploitation and degradation by the mining industry.
“The draft strategic regional land use plan for the region, due to be released soon, provides an opportunity for ending coal seam gas expansion in the Pilliga forest and other local sensitive areas,” Mr Clarke said.