DMP Claim Confidentiality Over Fracking Environmental Regulations

Thursday, 29 May 2014

The fracking industry is hiding behind commercial-in-confidence laws and may be breaching environmental regulations, according to Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC.

Mr Chapple said he was particularly concerned about contaminated water leaks from lined dams at several of Buru Energy Limited’s Yulleroo wells in February this year, but had been unable to gain access to the relevant environmental information from the Department of Mines and Petroleum.

“I’m absolutely astounded by the lack of transparency here,” he said.

“To the best of my knowledge, it’s the first time in history that environmental regulations have been commercial-in-confidence.

“We don’t know the environmental requirements of Buru Energy with regards to this site, nor are we allowed to access them so how can we possibly hold them accountable for any environmental breaches that may or may not have happened.

“The Fracking industry is being managed by a set of rules and regulations without public oversight.”

Mr Chapple said the Department of Mines and Petroleum had refused to acknowledge the leakages in February this year despite him having provided photographic evidence.

“They don’t want to have to deal with this issue,” he said.

“Modifications to the Yulleroo wells were made in May last year after a similar overtopping incident occurred.

“These modifications were supposed to prevent any further leakages; they haven’t.

“The DMP haven’t even inspected the site nor have they notified the Environmental Protection Authority or the Department of Environmental Regulation.

Mr Chapple said it was even more alarming that the Department of Water weren’t notified of any water leakages from Buru’s Yulleroo sites as, according to the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967, jurisdiction for this matter remained solely with the Department of Mines and Petroleum.

In response to questions in parliament a spokesperson for the Minister for Environment stated the Buru proposal was a small scale, “proof of concept” project unlikely to have a significant effect on the environment and would therefore be handled by the Department of Mines and Petroleum.

The parliamentary question can be sourced here

Photographs are attached below.










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