This map shows the exploration and mining leases of the three companies in the Clarence Valley and beyond. The green area is Metgasco, the red is Red Sky Energy and the pink belongs to Arrow Energy.
This map shows the exploration and mining leases of the three companies in the Clarence Valley and beyond. The green area is Metgasco, the red is Red Sky Energy and the pink belongs to Arrow Energy.

Poison warning as gas mining starts

ONE of Australia's leading environmental law bodies is warning North Coast residents to be cautious about the claims of companies exploring the region for coal seam gas.

The education officer for the Environmental Defenders Office NSW Northern Rivers, Mark Byrne, said with three companies, Metgasco, Red Sky Energy and Arrow Energy holding leases stretching from the Queensland border to south of Grafton, land owners needed to be aware of the risks coal seam gas mining posed to the environment and health.

Mr Byrne said only one of the companies, Metgasco, had been given a licence to mine using the controversial hydraulic fracturing technique, also known as "fracking".

He said this method of extracting natural gas from coal seams involved pumping material that often including poisonous or carcinogenic materials into the rock to create fractures that allowed the gas to escape.

In the USA and Queensland, where this technique has been used to varying degrees, traces of the chemicals used in the fracking process have turned up in both underground and surface water.

The EDO will hold an information seminar at the Red Dove Hall, on the corner of Keen and Woodlark streets, Lismore, on February 2 from 6pm to 8pm to discuss theses issues.


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