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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection
    The Honourable Andrew Powell

    Environmental incident investigated

    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection
    The Honourable Andrew Powell

    Saturday, April 28, 2012

    Environmental incident investigated

    The Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Andrew Powell announced today that his department was investigating a release of drilling fluid into the Condamine River downstream of Chinchilla Weir.

    The investigation was immediately initiated following notification of the incident by QGC contractors who are constructing an underground pipeline beneath the river.

    “Although EHP officers who inspected the site did not see any significant water quality impact, they are taking steps to address the risk of future potential impacts,” Mr Powell said.

    The release occurred when contractors were drilling to run a pipeline underneath the Condamine River, about 12 kilometres downstream of Chinchilla Weir.

    A limited amount of the drilling fluid seeped from the drill hole up into the banks of the river and made its way into the river where it was contained within a wall of sandbags and pumped out.

    The contractors have stopped drilling work at the site.

    Mr Powell said officers had visited the site to undertake an independent investigation.

    “The department is concerned that the incident occurred and is therefore moving to address the risk of further potential impacts both in this case and in future directional drilling projects undertaken as part of the pipeline installation,” Mr Powell said.

    “QGC is preparing a risk assessment of the likelihood of the problem recurring in future works at the Condamine River site and will submit it to the department.

    “Work will not resume until the department has reviewed the assessment and decided whether the operation can be undertaken without further impact.

    The department is committed to ensuring that all incidents are investigated and landholders and the community are advised about incidents as they arise,” Mr Powell said.

    “The operations of coal seam gas companies and their contractors are being closely monitored and where necessary, changes will be made to operational practices to ensure environmental safety is maintained,” Mr Powell said


    Media contact:
    Brooke Hargraves 0458 689 043