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Robust discussion held over CBM water

World Coal,

Professor Mary O’Kane, a technical expert from the New South Wales (NSW) Chief Scientist & Engineer (CSE) office, hosted a technical workshop on water from coalbed methane (CBM) operations as part of her independent review of the extractive industry in NSW.

Technical experts from government, industry, academia and stakeholder groups came together to discuss produced water, how to identify and manage any associated risks, and ways it can be reused or disposed of.

"Water is one of the biggest areas of concern to those worried about CSG activities – that could not be clearer from the vast number of submissions to the Review, and our meetings with community groups in Camden, Campbelltown, Gloucester, Narrabri, the Liverpool Plains and Taree," Professor O'Kane said.

"The hazards posed by produced water, how it might be reused and methods of disposal were particular concerns raised with the Review.To address those concerns, the Review invited technical experts from government, the industry and community, as well as leading figures from relevant science and engineering fields to discuss potential risks posed by produced water, how those risks can be properly assessed, and what systems are in place or can be put in place to effectively manage those risks,” O’Kane continued.

"This series of workshops allows the Review team to pull apart a particular issue – for instance, produced water – seek advice and hear a variety of opinions from a wide range of experts, who are all involved in one way or another with the industry,” she said.

"We can then identify where there might be common ground on an issue, where there is a difference of opinion and where more research or more work on legislation, regulation and compliance might need to be done," she concluded.

The Review is expected to continue until late 2014, with the CSE to release a series of issue-based reports over the weeks and months ahead.

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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