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.

Lawyer urges more health testing as part of Oakey chemical contamination investigation

ABC News Ellie Sibson 9 October 2015

A lawyer representing Oakey residents affected by a chemical contamination at the local Army aviation base says more testing needs to be carried out, after the release of recent blood tests.
The Defence Force is investigating what effect toxic chemicals used in firefighting foam at the base had on the environment and human health.
It has commissioned blood tests on local residents who have been drinking bore water.
Lawyer Peter Shannon said some of those had come back with highly elevated levels of heavy metals.

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Military base chemicals monitored

Brisbane Times Amy Remeikis October 2, 2015

The state government is “in close contact” with the Defence Force as it investigates the contamination of a Queensland town’s water board from chemicals used on the base.
Areas around the Townsville and Amberley bases are also being monitored, with concerns the same perfluorinated chemicals found in ground and surface water in Oakey, may have spread beyond the perimeters of those air bases.
PFCs, also found in water proofing sprays,  were used in fire-fighting foam used in Defence Force training exercises for decades. Contamination of ground and surface water in Williamtown, near Newcastle in New South Wales, was confirmed early last month.
Recently revealed results of Oakey residents’ blood tests showed those living by the base had PFC levels of up to 40 times more the national average in their blood.

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Queensland town in Defence water contamination scare

Brisbane Times Amy Remeikis October 1, 2015

Residents of a Queensland town face living with potential health time bombs after ​chemicals used for decades at an army aviation base were found to have leached into the ground and contaminated part of the ground water supply.
​It has left some residents with chemical levels 44 times the national average in their blood.
And Oakey residents are not alone – the recent discovery of the same chemicals in some surface and groundwater of a New South Wales town around a Defence Force base and airport has raised concerns further contaminations could be found.

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ABC News: Blood tests ruled out after Williamtown toxic leak

Cost of managing contaminated land in Queensland to rise, impact farmers and developers

ABC Rural 29 September 2015

Queensland farmers and developers could soon be paying thousands of dollars extra if they want to manage contaminated land.

Properties that contain old cattle and sheep dip sites, or legacy mines, are just some examples of farms that can be considered contaminated.

Currently, property owners wanting to have their land taken off the Contaminated Land Register (CLR) can do so if they provide scientific evidence to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

However, as of Wednesday, the required contaminated land investigation documents will also need to be approved by an auditor, independent of the department.

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Cyanide ponds from abandoned mine could spill into Murray-Darling Basin; farmers fear ‘catastrophe’

ABC News 30 September 2015

Queensland authorities fear a series of ponds containing heavy metals and cyanide could overflow from an abandoned mining site and spill into a nearby river in the Murray-Darling Basin.

An internal government document obtained by the ABC warns that as little as 40 millimetres of rain could cause a discharge from the silver mine near Texas on the Queensland-New South Wales border.

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Labor’s water backflip: Queensland Government set to keep ‘shameful’ laws giving mines right to billions of litres of groundwater

ABC news 30 September 2015

The Queensland Labor Government is set to backtrack on an election pledge by keeping controversial water reforms designed to help big mining operations.

In the lead-up to this year’s state election, the ALP vowed it would scrap Newman government laws giving resources companies, including coal miners, the right to extract vast amounts of groundwater for their operations.

At the time, Labor described the package of reforms as “shameful” and “an utter disgrace”, warning they would have “a detrimental effect on the Great Barrier Reef catchment systems and allow for over-allocation of Queensland’s precious water resources”.

But a leaked document, from the Department of Natural Resources and Mines, suggests the Palaszczuk Government has changed its tune significantly and is set to backflip on its commitment.

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Ban fracking until 2020: Vic coalition

Sydney Morning Herald 28 September 2015

Fracking will be banned in Victoria until 2020 if the Liberal-National coalition wins power again.

Coal seam gas mining is on hold in Victoria while a parliamentary inquiry examines the practice.

But the opposition wants it banned until 2020 to give the state time to assess its impact and implement law changes.