CSG groups want Arrow ban

GROUPS opposed to coal seam gas mining are calling on the NSW Government to suspend the exploration licence of Arrow Energy after an audit claimed it had dumped drilling muds at an undisclosed Northern Rivers location.

The audit by the NSW Government deemed the breach a significant environmental risk.

However, Arrow Energy has refuted the claim, saying the substance was naturally occurring mud and not drilling mud.

The audit also found four lesser breaches.

Arrow holds petroleum exploration licence 445 which roughly covers Kyogle, Keerrong, Bonalbo and Woodenbong.

Keerrong Gas Squad spokesperson Ian Gaillard and other groups opposed to the industry have called for the NSW Government to suspend Arrow's exploration licence.

Mr Gaillard said the government must also release details about where it suspected Arrow had dumped drilling mud.

Yesterday, Arrow told The Northern Star the auditors made claims about the dumping of drilling muds without conducting any testing.

"The facts are that as part of routine rehabilitation after exploration activities Arrow engaged a licensed contractor to remove drilling mud from the site and dispose of the material appropriately in accordance with environmental regulations," a spokesperson said.

"Arrow provided the documentation to the auditors last year.

"Arrow commissioned initial testing of the material in question by an independent testing laboratory, which showed it was naturally occurring organic matter.

"Arrow has undertaken further, more extensive independent testing. We are waiting for the results.

"Arrow's top priority is always the safety of communities and the environment in which we work."



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