AGL sinks new Sydney CSG well despite three-year breach

A CSG well blowout in Camden north, May 2011. Photo:

Residents in Sydney’s southwest have slammed AGL’s coal seam gas activity in NSW. AGL has admitted that it failed for three years to meet a requirement to monitor air emissions from its Camden Gas Project.

The August 22 Camden-Narellan Advertiser reported that the Scenic Hills Association (SHA) had condemned AGL, saying it showed a “massive failure of a system that allows coal seam gas companies to self-monitor and self-report”. Despite this breach, SHA said: “AGL is now being allowed to engage its own consultants to self-investigate and self-report.”

In nearby Menangle Park, residents expressed anger at AGL and the state government after finding out that CSG drilling would take place near their homes, said the August 23 Macarthur Chronicle.

The Sydney Morning Herald said Campbelltown Council has also raised concerns that the CSG well is also about 40 metres from the Nepean River, which flows into the Warragamba Dam, a key water supply for Sydney.

The well presents serious risks of water contamination given the Nepean floods regularly.

Despite government and industry rhetoric about “community consultation”, residents said they were not notified of the drilling in advance.

The well is Sydney’s first CSG production well and the first approved under the Barry O’Farrell NSW government. One resident told the Macarthur Chronicle that work on the CSG well had “kept her awake at night for about a month”.

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