The Draft National Harmonised Regulatory Framework: Coal Seam Gas Submitter: Neil Ross Address: 1 Treloar St Sale 3850

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Nov 4, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)

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The Draft National Harmonised Regulatory Framework: Coal Seam Gas



Submitter:

Neil Ross

Address:

1 Treloar St Sale 3850

Email:

neilross00@web
-
hermits.com

Confidentiality:

Happy to have submission published




Executive Summary


1.

Any perceived benef
its CSG exploration and mining are far outweighed by the
risks to the environment, ongoing viability of farms, health and integrity of
water supplies, and the health and wellbeing of local community members.

2.

Continued development and use of fossil fuel res
erves is:

a)

unnecessary in the light of studies which show that our future energy needs
can be met using renewable sources (
www.beyondzeroemissions.org
)

b)

irresponsible and negligent given the dire prognosis f
or the environment if
climate change is exacerbated by from increased greenhouse gas emissions.



Chapter 1. Towards Sustainability and Co
-
existence



The Draft National Harmonised Regulatory Framework: Coal Seam Gas (the Draft
Framework) includes the prin
ciple of : “Shared Commitments to
multiple and
sequential land use”

(
The Draft National Harmonised Regulatory Framework for
Coal Seam Gas 2012, p8



However:

“(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with
others.

(2) No

one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property."

(Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml),


This has been interpreted to mean:



that a person’s right to private property not unreasonabl
y interfere with the
property rights of another private party and their right of quiet enjoyment and
privacy, and




that the use of private property not unreasonably interfere with public property
rights, including uses required for public health, safety,

peace or convenience.”

www.libertyvictoria.org

[online] accessed 28 January 2013

“However there is currently no legal protection for such rights.


(
www.libertyv
ictoria.org

[online] accessed 28 January 2013)


Therefore the property rights of landowners are extinguishable under the current
mining laws. In Australia, the right to the quiet enjoyment of one’s land can also be
destroyed or damaged by mining infrastru
cture and works on neighbouring properties.
The landowner has no right to prevent or even influence drilling and infrastructure
works not only on his/her land but also on neighbouring property where such works
may cause Nuisance to the landowner (
Mineral r
ights ownership


what is it and why
is it so unique in the USA?

[online]
www.ieneurope.com/pdf/Mineral.pdf

Accessed 21
February 2013)



Chapter 3. Well Integrity and Compliance


The Draft Framework

states:

“Leading practice in well integrity is a key strategy for managing impacts associated
with CSG activities as it ensures strong governance and rigorous practices and
standards in well development to prevent the uncontrolled release of fluids, solid
s and
gases into the environment over the full life cycle of the well.”

(
The Draft National
Harmonised Regulatory Framework for Coal Seam Gas 2012, p5)


Unfortunately, the existence of

well documented industry standards, codes of
practice, procedures, te
chnical reports and industry experience that
should be

considered in the design, construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning
of CSG wells and associated facilities”
(
The Draft National Harmonised Regulatory
Framework for Coal Seam Gas 2012, p5
)

are not mandatory. Practice shows that
conditional requirements are

easy to circumvent and difficult to enforce.


There is evidence of
astronomical failure rates of 60 percent failure of casings over a
30
-
year span is documented by a 2003 joint industry
publication from Schlumberger,
the world’s No. 1 fracking company
:
http://sustainabilitypr.net.au/2012/08/safe
-
coal
-
seam
-
gas
-
and
-
the
-
sky
-
is
-
pink/


The blowout and

oil spill on the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico was
caused by a flawed well plan that did not include enough cement between the 7
-
inch
production casing and the 9 7/8
-
inch protection casing. Although this is an instance of
human error, such mista
kes clearly cannot be ruled out:

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6493



Chapter 4. Water management and monitoring


CSG mining presents several significant risks to availability and quality of both
surface
and underground water.

The National Water Commission has “….. previously reported that massive water use
and the ‘dramatic de
-
pressurisation of coal seams’ could affect water availability, that
waste water could pollute streams, and that fracking had the
‘potential to induce
connection and cross
-
contamination between aquifers, with impacts on groundwater
quality.’

A senior figure representing the industry confirmed to a public meeting that drilling
could impact on aquifers to varying degrees".

http://www.echo.net.au/newsitem/csg
-
companies
-
under
-
growing
-
pressure


Ross Dunn , a spokesperson for the petroleum industry group APPEA, has said:
“drilling will, to varying degrees, i
mpact on adjoining aquifers
-

the extent of impact
and whether the impact can be managed is the question”.

http://www.p
arliament.nsw.gov.au/Prod/parlment/committee.nsf/0/e10c0cfa1c673157
ca25790d0026514c/$FILE/Submission%200348.pdf

page 9


Instances of reported water contamination include:


The Pilliga forest leak appears to have occurred both above and below ground.

Thi
s report says: ''There have been three subsequent, smaller leaks of water from coal
seams within Eastern Star's Pilliga operations". There was also contamination from
"Bohena Creek, near a coal seam gas well discharge pipe".

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/water
-
issues/arsenic
-
and
-
lead
-
found
-
in
-
contaminated
-
water
-
leak
-
at
-
coal
-
seam
-
gas
-
drill
-
site
-
2
0120209
-
1rx7s.html


And
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/water
-
issues/tests
-
reveal
-
contaminated
-
water
-
near
-
gas
-
si
te
-
20111208
-
1oldj.html#ixzz22pPX9BNy




Chapter 5. Hydraulic Fracturing


The scientific evidence is that hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is not safe. Aside
from chemical toxicity there is also the impacts on seismic activity, even, as the Draft
Framew
ork notes, the
“[p]
otential for seismic events of sufficient magnitude to cause
damage at the surface”
(The Draft National Harmonised Regulatory Framework for
Coal Seam Gas 2012, p72).

Many areas of Australia are subject to seismic activity
and it would be

stupid and unreasonable to add to the earthquake risk by allowing
fracking in these areas.




Chapter 6. Chemical Use


Risks from chemicals are exacerbated when the consequences of using a cocktail of
chemicals is unquantifiable and, in many cases, unkno
wn because chemicals used are
often “
commercial in confidence”
.

http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml


Hazard assessment protocols are largely aspirational because rigorous scientific
analysis has not be done with, reportedly:

“Only
two of the t
wenty
-
three most commonly used fraccing chemicals
[having]

been
assessed by the national regulator (NICNAS), and neither of these has been
specifically assessed for use in fraccing.”

www.libertyvictoria.org

[
online] accessed 28 January 2013