FLARE: The QCLNG flare is burned darker than usual in mid July.
FLARE: The QCLNG flare is burned darker than usual in mid July.

Green group questions health impact of LNG flare smoke

AIR monitoring on Curtis Island is being called into question by an environmental group.

Gladstone Region Environmental Advisory Network is ready to act on health concerns raised by residents about black smoke billowing from the island's two LNG flares.

The group will ask the council next week to make a formal submission to the State Government.

Minutes from the latest Gladstone Region Environmental Advisory Network meeting detail concerns about the smoke emitted from the LNG flares, as well as raise questions about the number of air monitoring systems.

The Observer understands next week the group will ask Gladstone Regional Council to make a formal submission to the State Government that addresses "....the social impact LNG companies are having on the community and growing list of community complaints including but not limited to the lack of air monitoring, visual smoke plumes from an operating LNG facility, and potential impacts on the general health of community members".

There are seven air monitors around Gladstone - including Auckland Point, Memorial Park, Clinton and South Gladstone - that collect data hourly, monitored by the Department of Environment Heritage and Protection.

A spokesman for the department has already said based on that data there are no specific health concerns related to the flare emissions; the flares, given their elevation and temperature, are unlikely to have a significant impact on air quality at ground level.

QCLNG and Santos GLNG both said yesterday the emissions coming from their flares met Queensland standards.

A QCLNG spokesman explained that an independent evaluation of air quality carried out in April, and submitted to the state government in May, showed emissions were "well below acceptable levels".

During commissioning or shut downs it is considered normal for black smoke to come from a flare's flame.

Those emissions include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen and trace quantities of hydrocarbons.

During normal operations, flare emissions include carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and water vapour.



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