Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Laurel Formation Tight Gas Pilot Exploration Program

People have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. The Canning Basin is a natural resource is the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the state should conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.

Concerns with fracking of shale include the potential contamination of ground water, risks to air quality, the potential migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, the potential mishandling of waste, and the health effects of these, such as cancer. Many cases of suspected groundwater contamination have been documented. With the explosive threat of natural gas in the public exposure to the many chemicals involved in Canning Basin is expected to increase over the next few years in our community, with uncertain consequences.
Buru's Yulleroo tailing dam

The wording Pilot Exploration Program is clearly and simply a corporate managed propaganda, designed to deceive the general public of their true intentions. Buru undertook their pilot program in 2010 – 2013 these activities planned in 2014 are for oil/ gas extractions and infrastructure development. The gas obtained will be marketed.

Buru’s fracking proposal is to undertake over 32 fractures in four existing wells on the Roebuck Wetlands in 2014, two on Roebuck Plains and two in the Fitzroy River Valley.

Public Perception of the EPA
No matter how hard this government and the EPA tried to sweep all their dirty deals and dealings under the carpet in regards to the James Price Point (JPP), this decadal lifted a corner of that carpet only to reveal an infestation of corruption and injustice, for all to see.

The Brome community still holds this incredible mistrust of the EPA. It is believed that the EPA holds more reverence for their close   association the oil and gas players then they have ever shown to the environment, or a healthy society in recent years.

Our community and the WA public has seen absolutely no consequences for: the serious betrayal of community trust of public servants, the duplicity of government departments and the imprudent of state ministers who can tick the box but cannot dot their I’s or cross their T’s. We have seen the manipulation of process, the total lack of any consequences for serious conflicts of interest and the million of dollars and hours that were squandered throughout the JPP story by the current EPA Board.

The Broome community now holds no trust in the purported impassivity, professionalism or independence of the WA EPA. 
Buru's Yulleroo tailings dam
There is a very strong view that the EPA is not working for the protection of the environment but are the handmaidens of the corporations and their government masters. Protecting the environment is in all reality the last thing on this government’s department’s agenda.

There were no penalties for the fraudulent discharge of executive and ministerial duty?  No one’s head rolled,  no board positions were made vacant, no resignations and no enquiry into the EPA or policy changers have been undertaken. No member of the EPA has showed any moral or ethical fortitude by resigning from his or her position. And the Minister at the time was given anew portfolio.

That fact that there were no consequences for this appalling behavior of public deception has not been forgotten and as a consequence there is no confidence and trust held for the EPA in the public’s eyes. 

The conflicts of interest were no surprise to the Environment Minister. Not only did the courts overturn the JJP EPA’s decision because of the conflicts of interest fiasco it casted serious doubts over a number of other project approvals.

The EPA’s decision not to assess the Laurel Formation Tight Gas has only validated these widely held community suspicion and scepticism about the current integrity of the EPA.
The EPA has failed to assess a number of gas fracking proposals despite the very high community concerns held, evidence of unacceptable environmental risks and a lack of effective regulations, monitoring and or compliance.

To many it seems that instead of protecting the environment, the approach the EPA has been taking, whether strategic or not, simply facilitates destroying and polluting our land, water and wildlife.
Buru's Yulleroo tailings dam
By providing legitimacy for destructive policies and projects, it may be argued that the EPA’s actions are undermining the democratic process by making it more difficult for community and civil society to hold governments to account for poor environmental decisions.
The inevitable consequence is a fundamental breakdown of community confidence in the EPA – an outcome that does not serve government or industry, and certainly does not serve the environment.

The EPA’s knowledge of our environment is by no means complete. We are all still learning how our marine and terrestrial ecosystems function. We are still trying to understand the short and long term consequences of pressures such as pollution, climate change, and our history of land clearing.

The State of the Environment Report  provided a snapshot of our environmental health. It showed that air quality and the marine environment were, overall, in reasonable shape. However, it also showed that our waterways, wetlands, biodiversity, and land resources, were under significant pressure.

That’s where the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) plays an important role. It has the duty – on behalf of all Western Australians – to rigorously assess development proposals to determine what impacts they are likely to have, and whether those impacts are able to be managed to an acceptable level.

The EPA has not based its decision on any of its own analysis, has not drawn on the best scientific advice from other areas of Government, academia and the private sector.

After watching the EPAs dealings over several years it has been become clear that the environment that should be highly valued and protected, however the EPA has been total lacking in their duty of care and legislated requirements.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The fracking is proposed to take place in four wells, two on Roebuck Plains and two in the Fitzroy River Valley

Environs Kimberley
Buru's Yulleroo toxic pit.
Fracking in the Kimberley? - Take action now!

In an astounding decision, Western Australia’s independent environment watchdog, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has refused to even assess one of the largest, modern fracking proposal in the State’s history in the Kimberley.

The proposal by Buru Energy is to inject 31 million litres of water and 80,000 litres of chemicals and proppants at extreme pressure to fracture rocks to release gas. Some of the chemicals are toxic, one a biocide BE-9 was even banned in Canada in 2000 because of its toxicity and persistency.
Fracking banned

We know from experience in the US that there are pollution risks with fracking and the Department of Health, Water Corporation and Department of Water have all said that fracking should be banned in Public Drinking Water Source Areas because of the risks of pollution.

Cities like Fort Collins in Colorado, regions like Cantabria in Spain and countries like France have banned fracking as have many other jurisdictions around the world including Victoria in Australia. This is because of the risks to groundwater and public health yet WA’s environment watchdog has refused to even assess this fracking proposal despite EK’s submission to the EPA.

Take action – write an appeal, it doesn’t have to be long

The government needs to act and the Environment Minister Albert Jacob has the power to direct the EPA to assess this fracking proposal. We have until Tuesday, January 28 to appeal the EPA’s decision not to assess this proposal and make sure the Minister gets the message that we are concerned about fracking.

You can read here about the reasons why the EPA chose not to assess the plan.

Here’s how to write an appeal:

1. Ask the Minister for the Environment to remit the proposal to the EPA with a direction that the proposal be formally assessed.

2. Do some research from the links in this email or use some of the tips below for what to include in the appeal.

3. Email your signed appeal to: admin@appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au , addressed to the Minister for Environment, Hon. Albert Jacob.

4. Call the appeal convenor to pay $10 appeal fee for the Environmental Impact Assessment of Buru’s fracking program in the Kimberley – (08) 6467 5190

What grounds to include in your appeal

1. Shale gas extraction has the potential for serious environmental impacts, which is demonstrated by science from around the world – you may want to provide examples

2. The EPA has not adequately considered the values of the environment – the importance of Roebuck Plains and its connection to the Ramsar listed Roebuck Bay and the extent of the likely impacts of pollution if anything goes wrong i.e. once polluted and aquifer can never be cleaned up

3. The lack of information on the groundwater and surface water of these areas

4. It is inappropriate for the proposed works to be approved to proceed while a parliamentary inquiry into unconventional gas is being undertaken

5. The high level of community concern which must be addressed and the complete lack of community consultation on this proposal – have a listen to a forum on ABC Kimberley this week about fracking.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Dutch Government to Pay $1.6 Billion in Gas Extraction Damages - Bloomberg

Dutch Government to Pay $1.6 Billion in Gas Extraction Damages - Bloomberg

The Netherlands will spend 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion) to compensate for damaged houses and buildings after temblors linked to extraction of natural gas in the Groningen province led to a public backlash.
“There is no doubt anymore that those tremors were caused by gas extraction,” Henk Kamp, minister of Economic Affairs, said today in Loppersum, a village in the Groningen province 127 miles north of Amsterdam. The government will cut gas production by 21 percent to 42.5 billion cubic meters in 2014 and 2015, lowering gas proceeds by 700 million euros this year, 600 million in 2015 and 1 billion in 2016, he said.

Friday, January 17, 2014

ABC Kimberley Mining and Fracking Forum

ABC Kimberley Mining and Fracking Forum
  • Join Kimberley Mornings for a special mining and fracking forum at the ABC studios in Broome.

    Learn more about the practice of fracking, and the future of mining in the Canning Basin.

    A panel discussion will take place between 11am and 12pm, and you're invited to join the audience or ask a question.

    The panel:

    - Dr Peter Stone from the CSIRO

    - Dr Phil Gorey, Executive Director of the environment division with the Department of Mines and Petroleum

    - Martin Pritchard, Director of Environs Kimberley

    - Damian Ogburn, Chief Scientist for Buru Energy + John Ford, General Manager of Community Affairs with Buru

    - Dr Anne Poelina representing Nyikina peoples

    Please come prepared on the day with your question to panel members, or submit yours prior to Wednesday by e-mailing abckimberley@abc.net.au.

    The discussion will be hosted by Kimberley Mornings presenter Vanessa Mills.

    We look forward to seeing you in the back garden of our Broome studios. Access to the event is off Haas St.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Comment: What cutting environmental regulations will do | SBS News

Comment: What cutting environmental regulations will do | SBS NewsThis is the reality.
While Tony Abbott will tell you that all environmental regulations do is hamper businesses from creating jobs and building the economy, these events in West Virginia are showing what they’re really about - and what can happen when we let them slip. Environment regulations are there to protect our rivers from mass chemical spills that could leave us without drinking for days on end. They’re there to keep our air clean, our drinking water safe, and our land protected. And whilst it may be hard to see Australia heading down the path where we can’t even drink our water, this is what could happen if we continue to let big businesses have their way through cutting essential regulations at every point.
Vital protections that keep our drinking water safe, our air clean, and our communities protected are much more than just tape.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fraccing giant to set up in Broome - Yahoo!7

Fraccing giant to set up in Broome - Yahoo!7

Port Drive, OTS site  Photo: Redhanded Jan 2014

Schlumberger, the oil services giant which has become a major benefactor of the US shale boom, has unveiled plans for a $12.5 million supply base in Broome to service a likely frenzy of fraccing activity in the Canning Basin.
It is the first concrete sign of the boom that could sweep across the Kimberley, based on much-hyped expectations the region east and south of Broome could hold some of the world's richest untapped shale reservoirs.
Schlumberger yesterday would not comment on its proposal for Broome, which remains subject to regulatory approval. Its subsidiary M-I Australia has submitted plans with the Shire of Broome for a drilling fluids facility at the town's port.
One of the biggest challenges facing explorers, led by Buru Energy and New Standard Energy, in their quest for Canning Basin riches has been the lack of infrastructure and a dearth of support services. Backed by Mitsubishi, Apache, ConocoPhillips and PetroChina, this year is set to be groundbreaking for the explorers as they embark on big drilling programs.
Houston-based Schlumberger has been riding the US shale boom, sparked by oil and gas companies' need for hydraulic fracturing to break up the shales to release the oil and gas.
The process requires the injection of sand and chemicals-laced fluids, usually at least 1000m beneath the surface. It is a service provided by the likes of Schlumberger, which has more than a dozen specialised trucks on site at some of the bigger shale well operations in the US.
Fraccing has caused widespread concern among environmental groups, which claim the fluids can poison ground water supplies. They are also worried about the disposal of the fluids once fraccing is complete.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Laurel Formation Tight Gas Pilot Exploration Program Buru Energy Limited

Monday advertisements - Public notices

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Appeals on levels of assessment set by the EPA should be directed to the Office of the Appeals Convenor on 08 6467 5190. For more detail on specific referrals, please see the Chairman's Determinations.
The date of release of reports is indicated with the report number in brackets after the title. 
From 1 January 2013, notification of EPA report releases and levels of assessment set are no longer advertised in The West Australian, but will continue to be advertised on this page. Interested parties can also subscribe via RSS or follow us on Twitter @EPA_WA. If you have any comments or concerns about the change, please contact the Communications Coordinator at donna.weston@epa.wa.gov.au or phone 6145 0974.
You can subscribe to RSS feeds from this page by clicking on the RSS icon icon at the top right of this page. An explanation of RSS feeds is in the footer of this website.
You can also follow us on Twitter @EPA_WA. An explanation of Twitter is in the footer of this website.

Each Monday, the EPA publishes the weekly record of determinations on levels of assessment by the Chairman of the EPA. These levels and their significance are explained in the fact sheet What are levels of assessment.
On occasion, the EPA may consider that formal environmental impact assessment is not warranted, but may still issue advice on development proposals or schemes and scheme amendments which have been referred for assessment.
You can subscribe to RSS feeds from this page by clicking on the RSS icon icon at the top right of this page. An explanation of RSS feeds is in the footer of this website.http://www.epa.wa.gov.au/News/mediaStmntsChrmn/Pages/default.aspx?cat=Chairman%26%2339%3Bs%20Determinations%20on%20Proposals%20Referred&url=News/mediaStmntsChrmn

13 January 2014
The following proposals were referred.

The following assessment levels have been assigned.
  1. Laurel Formation Tight Gas Pilot Exploration Program, Shire of Broome and Shire of Derby-West Kimberley.
TitleOpen Menu
13-404315 --Laurel Formation Tight Gas Pilot Exploration Programs38 Laurel_13-404315NewBuru Energy Limited13/01/2014