New coal seam gas policy – a step in the right direction

New coal seam gas policy – a step in the right direction

7.01.2013 - Posted by Kane Travis
The Queensland Government has recently released a new policy on water reuse from Coal Seam Gas (CSG) production. Prompted by increasing community and environmental concerns about the release of groundwater to surface creeks and rivers, CSG companies will be required in the first instance to reuse water in ways that are beneficial to local landholders, water-dependent industry and the environment.

Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Andrew Powell said "Firstly, CSG water could be used for the benefit of the environment, water users or water-dependent industries. After all feasible beneficial use options have been considered, CSG water must then be treated and disposed of in a way that minimises impacts to the environment."

It was only November 2011 that the Queensland Government was accused on ABC Lateline of risking the environment by allowing the release of treated coal seam gas water into the Condamine River. At the time over 20 ML of coal seam gas water was discharged per day.

After recently driving the back road from Mullumbimby to Nimbin the ‘lock the gate’ signage on every gate reminded me of the challenges that are faced to develop an industry that respects the needs of the community and the environment. The new policy is a step in the right direction and will result in increased investment into the science of waterway flow requirements in Queensland. Hopefully this knowledge then gets translated into better management of our rivers and estuaries.

Coal seam gas wells south of Chinchilla in south-west Queensland source: ABC News