Environmental Assessment of the AGL's Newcastle gas storage

Social, legal and health issues related to air and water toxic pollution in Australia.

Environmental Assessment of the AGL's Newcastle gas storage

Postby HVPA_research » Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:13 am

Link to this page:http://forum.huntervalleyprotectionalliance.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=351


The following project is up for approval. The project is the start of the spiderweb infrastructure which carries the CSG from the lands in our state towards the Port of Newcastle. People/organisations can read lots about it.


Under Section 3A of the Keneally Government which have been passed down to the O'Farrell government there lingers many major projects which are in the process of being dealt with.

Currently on exhibition is the Newcastle Gas Export facility which is to be based at Tomago.

This means that there will be an export port in Newcastle for the rest of the state to feed into. The CSG industry have proven raw material resources, but they do not at this point have the infrastructure to export it in NSW. Like access to Water, this goes to the core of the CSG business. Luckily we have until the 29th July for this one. Hopefully there will be more time for people to read their emails and respond by that time.

On this webpage you will find a hell of a lot of info that meet the current legal requirement.

Underneath you will see a submission area, below that is a drop-down box for individuals to: just comment, agree or disagree.

This means that people on an individual level (and/or as part of a committee/group/organisation directed action) can disagree to this project.


This is the link to the Preliminary Environmental Assessment of the AGL's Newcastle gas storage facility which is being approved under the controversial Part 3a legislation.


Like most similar environmental reports it describes this AGL project in a complete isolation from the overall context. It describes the Storage Facility as a stand-alone project. Yet this AGL facility will be a hub, collection point from a network of pipelines from a giant future gasfield covering most of the Hunter and Gloucester areas. The combined cumulative environmental effects of this industry have never been properly considered. Take for example the air quality issues covered on a single page 23.

Preliminary Environmental Assessment Newcastle Gas Storage Facility Project
6.6 Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
6.6.1 Existing Environment

The existing ambient air quality in the project area and immediate surrounds is characterised by local industries, including the Tomago Aluminium smelter. Air emissions from these industries are regulated in accordance with environmental protection licences.

6.6.2 Preliminary Impact Assessment
Air Quality

During construction, fugitive dust (e.g., from construction-associated road works and site preparation and excavation) will be the primary emission. Emission impacts during construction however will be short term and localised. Construction areas will be watered as required to suppress dust using water trucks.
During operations, the gas plant will have a flare system to combust hydrocarbons discharged from the liquefaction and regasification processes (see Section 3.3.2).
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) emissions will vary over the life of the Project. Direct emissions from the gas plant will result from:
• CO2 emissions from the amine unit regeneration. • Flaring of hydrocarbons. • Any accidental loss of gas.
Liquefied natural gas has lower emissions intensity when compared to other transport fuels, such as diesel. The Project will process natural gas for storage as LNG with options for future use as a lower intensity transport fuel. Greenhouse gas emissions are associated with the liquefaction of the LNG. When the energy used in the LNG liquefaction is accounted for, as well as Scope 3 emissions for diesel (including extraction, production and distribution), the GHG savings for the LNG are expected to be approximately 10%. This does not include emissions associated with the transport of LNG.

6.6.3 Proposed Level and Scope of Assessment Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions An air quality and GHG study will be undertaken to:
• Characterise the existing air quality conditions and existing sources of air emissions pertaining to the Project.
• Identify and describe potential sources of emissions to air associated with the construction and operation of the Project, including estimating the type and quantity of GHG emissions generated by the Project.
• Conduct air quality modelling based on potential future land uses to determine maximum emission levels and identify and quantify constraints on the Project associated with air quality.
• Assess potential GHG impacts and issues associated with the Project and compare with project alternatives, with reference to relevant GHG strategies, protocols and agreements.
• Identify measures to avoid, minimise, or mitigate adverse impacts, and to manage residual impacts, on local air quality and the global climate.

During operations, the gas plant will have a flare system to combust hydrocarbons discharged from the liquefaction and regasification processes. In other words they are planning to discharge chemical facility waste into the atmosphere!

Air pollution potential must be surely one of the most important consideration for locating any major chemical plant especially if it is so close to the urban areas of Newcastle. Yet this report report needed only a single page to cover these aspects. Presumably this will be covered in the next study. It is disturbing to note that the current report does not cover the potential health effects of the carcinogens and neurotoxins know to exist in discharges of petrochemical plants. Yet the project is practically approved already.

The this health problem with the carcinogens and neurotoxins is nothing new. The evidence is not hard to find evidence if one tries to look for it. For example, The following quote is from an article describing this problems in Texas town named Dish.
This town is located on an intersection of several major gas pipelines and hosts their compressor stations, note, just compressor stations, NOT A GAS LIQUEFACTION PLANT!

Officials release maps of toxins
Data gathered around Dish used to plot possible dispersion of chemicals
11:38 AM CST on Monday, January 25, 2010
By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe / Staff Writer

DISH — Town officials have released a set of maps showing that some carcinogens and neurotoxins could be drifting a mile or more from compression facilities here — and at levels that exceed the state’s long-term screening limits.

The maps are another component of an air quality study the town commissioned from a private company last year that found 16 toxins at troubling levels near compression and metering facilities.

Another useful review of air pollution problems associated with extraction of all types of unconventional gas can be found in this US report:

The References section of the Preliminary Environmental Assessment Report on page 35 is also disappointing. There is not a single reference or link showing that the health hazards associated with this gas processing plant have been considered even at some elementary level. The authoritative references supporting the claims about the superiority LGN, as far as the greenhouse gas potential is concerned, are also missing.

Tags: CSG,AGL,air,pollution, health, toxins, carcinogens,neurotoxins,flaring,CO2,methane,
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