Air quality claims to be tested
THE Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) is investigating allegations that air pollution reports in Gladstone may have been fabricated.
This comes after comments in The Observer on Tuesday from a former Australian air-testing company scientist who alleges data is being fabricated and fraudulently provided to regulatory bodies.
“If we don’t have accurate figures on what is being emitted into the air, in Gladstone for example, we have no way of knowing if levels are being exceeded past safe community levels,” the scientist said.
DERM associate director-general Terry Wall said the department was taking these matters very seriously.
“The informant who made the allegations contacted the department late on Friday afternoon,” Mr Wall said.
“The air-quality testing undertaken by the department in Gladstone is one of the most extensive air-quality testing programs ever undertaken.
“Any company that provides false information can face a fine of up to $166,500 or two years imprisonment.
Chairman of the Community Reference Group for the CHAG Project Col Chapman said the testing for CHAG was done by DERM and the methods used were reviewed by an independent expert as well as the Community and Industry Reference Groups.
“I have no doubt that these are serious allegations, but the link between them and CHAG is tenuous,” he said.