(27 May: see update at bottom of post)
Concerns about the health effects of coal seam gas mining were raised at the National Rural Health conference in Perth earlier this year.
Now is the chance for those with such concerns to speak up. As part of its inquiry into the management of the Murray Darling Basin, the Senate Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee is examining the impact of mining coal seam gas.
The committee will examine the economic, social and environmental impacts of mining coal seam gas on:
• the sustainability of water aquifers and future water licensing arrangements;
• the property rights and values of landholders;
• the sustainability of prime agricultural land and Australia’s food task;
• the social and economic benefits or otherwise for regional towns and the effective management of relationships between mining and other interests; and
• other related matters including health impacts.
Submissions are due by 30 June 2011.
More than 200 submissions have already been lodged with the overall inquiry but, at a quick glance, none look to examine health concerns specifically.
(If you are planning on lodging a health-related submission, please let me know…)
Update 27 May
ProPublica has investigated Exxon Mobil’s claims about the safety of fracking…(surprise, surprise, they’re not giving quite the full picture). Another thing of note about this story is how they’ve provided a backgrounder on the side – to explain the broader context to the industry and concerns about its impact.