Panel to study impact of coalmining on Sydney drinking water

Enviroment groups, which have been warning for years of the impact of coalmining on drinking water welcomed the move but called for a moratorium on any expansion of mining activity until the conclusion of the review.
The department announced that a new independent expert panel on mining in Sydney’s drinking water catchment would be established, and headed by the yet-to-be appointed NSW chief scientist and engineer.
In the interim, emeritus professor Jim Galvin will be the acting chairman.
“There are proposals for a significant expansion of coal mining under the catchment special areas,” said the Lock the Gate Alliance NSW coordinator, Georgina Woods.
“Consideration of these project must be halted while the panel considers the long-term damage these operations are inflicting on Sydney’s catchment and water security.
NSW to weaken water quality test for extensions to mines Read more “This is the time to choose.
Do we want to safeguard Sydney’s drinking water, or let it be jeopardised for more coal mining?” The Coolong Foundation, which has campaigned on the issue for years, while welcoming the move, said Ray was wrong in declaring that mining had taken place so far without any big impact on water supply.
“There clearly have been significant impacts, if major impacts include the drying out of upland swamps and streams due to widespread cracking of surface rocks,” the director of the Coolong Foundation for Wilderness, Keith Muir, said.
“So the department needs independent advice on what should define ‘major impacts’.
Too often inquiries become mired in expert reports, when the truth is out there in what should be our pristine drinking water catchments.”

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