Bubbles continue to surface

The Basin Sustainability Alliance (BSA) is still looking for answers after the Government’s investigation report into the gas leaks bubbling in the Condamine River was released by Natural Resources Minister, Andrew Cripps recently.

BSA Chairman, David Hamilton said that he remained unconvinced that the CSG mining activity in the region had not exacerbated the seeps.

“We acknowledge that they have found no evidence of gas safety or water quality risks but they have still not identified the cause and whether or not the CSG industry activities have contributed to the gas bubbles.

“It’s possible that these methane leaks would be consistent with higher levels of methane in the environment as recorded by Southern Cross University Researchers when they recorded higher levels of methane in the region of the gas fields during their preliminary research program on how CSG mining can influence air and water chemistry.”

Although gas seepage has been observed in the region previously, Mr Hamilton noted that the report concluded that this occurrence “would appear to be more vigorous than previously observed.

“The source or cause of the Condamine River gas seeps is unlikely to be determined in the short-term and we need a long-term approach to find more science-based answers to the phenomenon.

“BSA looks forward to further announcements as to the cause of the problem and whether or not remedies need to be put in place, along with follow-up studies which will determine if these higher levels of methane are as a result of CSG activities.

“If it is established that CSG activities in the region are the cause of these methane leaks, the CSG industry will need to demonstrate how it intends to eliminate or manage methane leakage into the environment.” Mr Hamilton said.