Category Archives: Water analysis – Non-biological contamination

Focus on Queensland news.
Recycled water analysis, contamination by non-biological agents (eg, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, disinfection by-products, endocrine disrupters, environmental nutrients.
Journal articles have a broader geographic scope.

Queensland landholders claim secrecy over experimental coal gasification plant

ABC News Mark Solomons, Mark Willacy 16 April 2014

Landholders on Queensland’s Darling Downs say they are being kept in the dark about the nature of serious environmental harm allegedly caused by an experimental coal gasification plant.

Last week the Queensland Government filed four criminal charges of irreversible or “high impact” harm relating to the plant against resources company Linc Energy.

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Qld Government accused of scaring away UCG investors

Qld Government to keep close eye on tailings dams at Palmer nickel refinery

ABC News David Chen 15 April 2014

The Queensland Government says it will continue to monitor the water being released from tailings dams for toxic waste at Clive Palmer’s Yabulu nickel refinery near Townsville in the state’s north.

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Toxic nickel dam ‘full’: minister

Brisbane Times Tony Moore 14 April 2014

The toxic tailings dam at the Queensland Nickel plant near Townsville is “full” and may have over-flowed, Queensland’s Environment Minister Andrew Powell has been told.  The plant at Yabalu in Halifax Bay, 25 kilometres north of Townsville, is on the coastline and in a Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

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Clive Palmer’s mine defends dam

Yabulu refinery shut down over tailings spill

Palmer says sludge claim is just mud

Gas firm accused of environmental harm at UCG trials site

ABC News 14 April 2014

The State Government says there is no threat to local water sources, despite charging a company with causing environmental harm at a coal gasification site on the Western Downs in southern Queensland.

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Mystery remains over why Condamine River is bubbling

News.com.au JOHN MCCARTHY  April 11, 2014

QUEENSLAND has another mystery that science still can’t pin down: the bubbling of the Condamine River.
After two years and a “considerable sum’’ invested, coal seam gas company Origin has released a scientific report that has four theories but still cannot quite pin down the mystery.

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Plug Methane Leaks in the Booming Natural Gas Industry

Scientific American Forum Michael Oppenheimer 4 April 2014

Approximately one third of U.S. methane emissions come from the oil and gas industry. (Other significant sources include farms and landfills.) Although no one can accurately say how much methane is now leaking from wellheads, processing plants, pipelines and other natural gas facilities, there is a growing body of evidence that the amount is significant.

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A week to tell if polluted Wallumbilla water came from CSG

Brisbane Times Tony Moore 4 April 2014

It will take a week to tell if methane found in drinking water at Wallumbilla near Roma comes from coal seam gas activities, the region’s mayor Rob Loughnan on Friday.  Further testing is being completed by ALS Environmental to determine where and how the methane entered Wallumbilla’s No 2 bore.

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Tests to determine if CSG wells causing methane in Qld town’s water

ABC News Fidelis Rego 4 April 2014

A council in Queensland’s southern inland is investigating whether methane found in a town’s water supply is coming from nearby coal seam gas (CSG) wells.
The number two bore at Wallumbilla, east of Roma, was taken offline three weeks ago when an air relief valve activated, indicating there was gas in the supply.

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Brisbane Times article

Mines handling risks pollution and legal action: report

Brisbane Times Tony Moore April 4, 2014

Two government ministers have responded to accusations their departments have placed the environment in danger and exposed the state to legal action over their handling of Queensland mine sites.
An Auditor-General’s report into resource industries criticises the departments of Environment and Heritage Protection and Natural Resources and Mines.
The report comes as a federal inquiry questions how millions of tonnes of dredge spoil leaked from a bund wall in Gladstone Harbour in 2011 -12, but had to be discovered by a visitor.
Questions continue to be asked over the lack of scrutiny of Queensland Nickel’s tailings dam north of Townsville.

Fracking the future: busting industry myths about coal seam gas

The Australia Institute

This paper argues that there is little for Australia to gain by rushing into an expansion of coal seam gas operations.

The purpose of this paper is to bust the gas industry’s myths about coal seam gas (CSG). The gas industry has been prolific in putting out exaggerated claims about CSG’s economic benefits while at the same time staying almost completely silent on the health and environmental risks. This paper will look at both the economic claims and the health and environmental risks and will show that, while the economic benefits are likely to be relatively small, a lot more work needs to be done to assess the health and environmental risks. There is little for Australia to gain by rushing into an expansion of CSG operations.

Please note this is a revised version of the original paper published on 18 March 2014 which incorrectly stated that a nurse in the United States died after treating a patient who had been splashed with fracking fluids. It is reported that the nurse suffered multiple organ failure but did not die. References have been updated to reflect this.

Click here to download report