Metgasco: Drill mud stalking charges dropped

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

Metgasco: Drill mud stalking charges dropped

Postby HVPA_research » Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:35 am

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* Archived from Coal Seam Gas News Daily *

Drill mud stalking charges dropped

Hopefully, this is the last from the long running sagas of the battles between anti-GSG forces from NSW Northern Rivers and Metgasco. Thankfully, Metgasco now abandoned their NSW operations. We are endlessly being told by the government regulators that, when it comes to CSG, we have the best environmental regulations in the world. While this may not be quite so even in theory, it is certainly not true in practice. Coal and gas mining industries are essentially self-regulating under a very benign eye of the government regulators. Everyone involved benefits personally from the uncontrolled mining industry expansion so they do not look too hard on any environmental problems. It is up to local people to find out what is happening with all that toxic waste. Naturally, the industry does not like it and does not hesitate to call in their lawyers. We can easily improve our "world best" regulations by forcing all mining companies to publish the details of any movement of potentially toxic waste outside their mining leases so we do not need to follow the dump trucks.

There is also the question of what and where are these "authorised" waste disposal facilities. They are rarely specifically nominated in any company or government reports. The legislation covering most of the waste treatment plants was created decades before anyone even heard about coal seam gas and fracking and may be, therefore, hopelessly out of date. After all, in most cases we do not even know what is the composition of the drilling muds and fracking fluids used in a particular well because this is regarded as proprietary information.

A MAN accused of stalking a truck driver dumping drill mud from Metgasco's Glenugie test drilling site is the latest person to have charges dismissed.

Terry Elvey of Halfway Creek was joined by 12 anti-CSG protesters last week, including several knitting nannas, who displayed signs of support outside Ballina Local Court.

He was charged with two counts of stalking, knowingly driving a vehicle in a matter that menaces another, and driving over a continuous line.

The charges related to three occasions during January and February when Mr Elvey allegedly followed truck driver Jayde Rose to find out where he was dumping drilling mud from the Glenugie site.

During examination by prosecutor Sgt Nick Wiles, Mr Rose said he could only recall being followed by Mr Elvey on two occasions.

Magistrate David Heilpern declined to allow Mr Rose to refresh his memory by re-reading his evidence.

"It is quite clear from this witness that he is only here to give evidence from two incidents," he said.

Mr Rose said he was taking "mud from the ground", to be disposed at an authorised facility in Queensland when he was followed by Mr Elvey who yelled abuse and stuck his finger up at him.

Mr Heilpern dismissed all charges.

Outside the court, Mr Elvey produced documents from Coffs Harbour Laboratory showing an analysis of soil samples he obtained from near the site fence, compared with samples of the drilling mud.

The analysis showed elevated levels of arsenic, potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, zinc, magnesium and sodium in the drill test mud.

Mr Sledge questioned who monitored where the drilling mud was disposed.

Charges against Ian Gaillard, Benny Zable and Ingo Medek were dismissed at Grafton in May.
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