CSIRO study reveals coal seam fracking not harmful to environment

CSIRO has completed a three-year study on the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in rural Queensland – and found the process has “little to no impact” on local air, soil, waterway and groundwater quality.

CSIRO Headquarters. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/

Hydraulic fracturing is a controversial method for extracting gas from coal seams beneath the ground (CSG). Water is pumped into a coal seam, causing structural fractures that create a path for the gas to transfer to collection points (wells) above ground.

The CSG industry is relatively new and still dealing with unfounded activist claims that fracking causes serious environmental and health risks.

CSIRO’s study provides crucial evidence to the contrary, which should promote expansion of the CSG industry in Australia an industry that injects billions of dollars into the economy and provides thousands of jobs.

The study monitored six coal seam gas wells in the Surat Basin in Queensland; analysing air, water and soil samples at taken before, during and six months after hydraulic fracturing operations.

Key findings:

  • Hydraulic fracturing operations had little to no impact on air quality

  • No hydraulic fracturing chemicals were detected in nearby groundwater bores or creeks

  • Biocides used in the fracking process were completely degraded in soil samples within two to three days