11th September 2015

Your correspondent (NST, September 4) may have misrepresented the chief scientist and engineer. In her report on coal seam gas (CSG) last September, Mary O'Kane found "the technical challenges and risks posed by the coal seam gas industry can in general be managed" and "(it) is not significantly more likely to be more damaging or dangerous than other extractive industries".

All her recommendations are now being legislated with the outcome being a clear and transparent compliance and reporting regime demanding high standards of engineering and professionalism from CSG companies.

The protection of aquifers and water catchment areas remains an integral component of any CSG activity approval and strong regulations are already in place. Additionally, CSG is banned in water catchment areas.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has spent five years researching and investigating the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on drinking water resources in America. It did not find evidence that fracking caused widespread impacts to drinking water resources.

Kylie Hargreaves
Deputy Secretary
NSW Department of Industry
Division of Resources and Energy

This letter originally appeared in the North Shore Times.