The Camden Northern Expansion coal seam gas Project would have posed low and acceptable risk to community health, a new study has found.
AGL Energy Limited (AGL) commissioned environmental consultants, Environmental Risk Sciences (EnRiskS), to conduct a comprehensive study into the effects of the proposed Camden Northern Expansion Project on health. AGL and EnRiskS consulted NSW Health throughout the development of the report.
The report investigated air quality, groundwater, surface water, noise, vibration, hazards and subsidence impacts during the construction and production of the Project.
The Environmental Health Impact Assessment concluded that the risks posed to health of the community and to groundwater, surface water and air was found to be low and acceptable provided best practice, current policies and Codes of Practice are met.
International and Australian health experts define a low and acceptable risk as one where the health of the community is protected.
Group General Manager Upstream Gas, Mike Moraza said NSW Health called for the investigation to better understand if the project would have an impact on community health.
"It's important to AGL that we balance the energy needs of NSW with the needs of the local communities. From AGL's perspective, this report confirmed that the Camden Northern Expansion Project could have been safely developed."
Despite the investigation, AGL's application to develop the Northern Expansion Project remains suspended due to the NSW Government's environmental planning policy which introduces a coal seam gas exclusion zone and a two kilometre buffer around those zones on which new coal seam gas activities are prohibited.
The Camden Gas Project has been operating successfully side by side the community for 13 years, producing natural gas from coal seams hundreds of metres below the surface for distribution to homes and businesses in NSW.
The report can be viewed at agl.com.au/camden/environment.
AGL is one of Australia's leading integrated renewable energy companies and is taking action toward creating a sustainable energy future for our investors, communities and customers. Drawing on 175 years of experience, AGL operates retail and merchant energy businesses, power generation assets and an upstream gas portfolio. AGL has one of Australia's largest retail energy and dual fuel customer bases. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, landfill gas and biomass. AGL is Australia's largest private owner and operator of renewable energy assets and is looking to further expand this position by exploring a suite of low emission and renewable energy generation development opportunities.