DERM lifts restrictions on bores

THE Department of Environment and Resource Management has lifted restrictions on the use of groundwater bores within a two-kilometre radius of the Cougar Energy Underground Coal Gasification plant at Kingaroy.

DERM will be contacting local landholders to inform them of test results for their individual bores.

Cougar Energy is subject to a legal Environmental Protection Order under the Environmental Protection Act, which means it is unable to re-commence operations.

Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Kate Jones said lifting the restrictions was a positive step for landholders in the area.

“We know this has been a challenging time for the local community and we thank them for their patience while this important testing could be undertaken,” she said.

“After five rounds of water quality testing by the Department, we have now received confirmation that restrictions on use of the bores on neighbouring properties can be lifted.

“The results have confirmed that there are no concerns with water quality in these local bores and they remain suitable for stock watering and other appropriate uses.

“Monitoring will continue to occur around the site to ensure there is no risk to the local community or the environment. An Environmental Evaluation of the three trial UCG projects is currently underway and the results will be reviewed by the independent Scientific Expert Panel.”

Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said no further UCG projects will be considered until the government has made a decision about the long term environmental feasibility of the industry. The three trials have been supervised and are due to finish in 2012.

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