COAL seam gas company Metgasco has welcomed new State Government rules for the industry and called for a “sensible conversation” around land-use issues.
In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange on Friday, the company said it “welcomes the NSW government's coal seam gas initiatives as an important step in re-assuring the community of the safety and environmental sustainability of the CSG industry”.
The company also said the new arrangements would support their operations by creating greater public confidence in the industry, and that it does not use BTEX chemicals, which have now been banned, or hydraulic fracturing, on which an extended moratorium has been placed.
Metgasco managing director Peter Henderson took the opportunity to also call for a conversation about competing land-use concerns which are “based on fact and not untrue and poorly informed assertions”.
“As a community we must have a sensible conversation about how we manage competing needs for land use,” he said.
“CSG operations can be managed in a manner that is safe and protects the environment – it can co-exist with other land uses.”
Environmental scientist and member of Kyogle based Group Against Gas, Boudica Cerese, described the new measures as a “good sign (the government) is listening to the community”.
NEW RULES FOR COAL SEAM GAS OPERATIONS
New rules for all new coal seam gas exploration licences:
- No BTEX chemicals (benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylenes) to be used (also applies to existing licences).
- Moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) extended until December 31.
- Companies to hold a water access license for extraction of more than 3 megalitres per year.
- A ban on the use of evaporation ponds.
- New guidelines to increase transparency and accountability to be developed.