Tuesday, 10 February 2015
@LockTheGate 6 February 2015
The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 February 2015:
AGL's contractor did not test for toxic chemicals in flowback water before it was treated and discharged to Newcastle's main sewerage network, the state agency Hunter Water says.
Transpacific Industries discharged the so-called flowback water from AGL's four test wells in its Waukivory pilot project late last year into Hunter Water's sewers despite AGL and Transpacific being warned not to dispose of the waste water through the agency's network.
The Baird government and the Environment Protection Authority ordered AGL last week to suspend its CSG operations near Gloucester and began separate investigations, after the energy company disclosed it had detected BTEX chemicals in some of its flowback water.
The BTEX group – benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes – are banned in NSW in hydraulic fracturing operations. The chemicals occur naturally in coal and gas deposits and AGL said it did not use them in its fracking.
"Specific BTEX testing was not carried out at the time of discharge to sewer," Jeremy Bath, a Hunter Water spokesman, said on Thursday. "Independent testing of the stored raw water is now being carried out by [Transpacific]."
Energy Minister Anthony Roberts said the discovery of BTEX, and the fact AGL had withheld information on the findings for 12 days, had been the trigger for the government suspension of AGL…..
Hunter Water said Transpacific tested only for chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand (BOD), total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), total suspended solids (TSS) and acidity beforedischarging the water into the sewer.
Hunter Water had sent letters to AGL last year advising that it would not take the flowback water from the CSG wells because it did not accept waste from outside its region. It also did not have confidence that the contractor could effectively treat the water, which can contain Tolcide, a biocide that is potentially damaging to sewage treatment works.....