|Buru's Yulleroo toxic pit.|
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org , 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.