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Eastern Star Gas takes short cuts when it comes to Rehabilitation

On the latest of my tours of Eastern Star Gas’ well sites in the Pilliga East and Bibblewindi State Forest’s to the South of Narrabri, I happened upon a crew of 2 contractors who were top dressing Bibblewindi 25 well pad.

I say top dressing because that is all they were doing. taking the stockpiled natural top soil and placing it over the well site, not the entire cleared well site, just that bit inside the fence.

There are other sites this team has done of late, these are Bibblewindi 22 and 26H, and what a slap-dash job they are. Soil is placed over imported soil contaminated from the drilling and fitting out process with chemicals and salt, then a few fallen logs are placed on site to make it look good. The top soil placed over these sites is so thin in places that the contaminated well pad surface below is showing through.

 How long does this company think it will be before the underlying contaminates kill any growth on the surface? Still Eastern Star Gas nor the Government Department does not care, why should they? It is very hard to say to a mate that he is doing it all wrong,and anyway Eastern Star Gas will not be here soon, Santos ca clean the mess up, they and their partner have plenty of money.

What was evident at both Bibblewindi 26H and Bibblewindi 25, was there was no full time presence of an Eastern Star Gas Safety Officer during the cover up Rehabilitation (I thought that the AUSTIN case would have wokenthem up), this is despite the full pipe venting of coal seam gas, along a metal pipe at 26H, and Bibblewindi 25 being in full production during the whole operation.

 There were 4 pieces of machinery on site, a Bobcat, an Excavator, a Grader an a tip Truck. The truck used was at least 15 years old. All the machinery had uncovered batteries and no method of spark arresting on the exhausts. There was also a metal leveling attachment that the Bobcat moves over the site to smooth it off, which can cause sparks as it is pushed over the ground.

 Eastern Star Gas knows the regulations, in fact they have stated them in their REF’s, that as part of the well pad rehabilitation the contaminated top soil was to be removed prior to the re- applying of the original top soil. However, Eastern Star Gas does not do that, because where will they put this contaminated soil? They were caught dumping the contaminated top soil, removed from Dewhurst 19, on the roads in the State Forest.

 I suppose the best way to cover up the massive pollution that this Company is causing, is to increase the background levels of naturally occurring soil/water chemicals,by dumping contaminated soil on the roads and then say ” Our operation will not cause any increase in the existing natural levels of chemicals or salts in the surrounding area”.

As if a further example was needed; How about the Auto Vent on the Water/Gas line from the Bibblewindi West wells to the Bibblewindi Collection. This vent is well photograhed showing large deposits of salt and a tar residue on the ground around it. so along comes Eastern Star Gas employee’s. Instead of removing the salts and tar, lets cover it up, out comes the shovels and a few shovel loads later the offending area is covered up, but wait there is more. What about the evidence of the sloppy job? idea, let us cover up the spots we got the few shovels of dirt from, lets use some of the leaf litter to hide the spots, no one will know.

No no one would have known, well not straight away, but guess who happened along and recorded all this, photo and video. Proof that some Eastern Star Gas’  Employee’s are the laziest around and Santos wants to keep them on. What a silly idea that would be.

Eastern Star Gas is just waiting for the Big Government ordered Buy out, then it will be someone else’s problem and all the Board will be sitting pretty and enjoying their new wealth. They have managed to fool so many people over the course of the years.

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