Anti-fracker alert

2016-03-16 06:00

ANTI-FRACKERS have until 11 April to comment on the scoping report for environmental authorisation made by Rhino Oil and Gas Exploration South Africa which was released last week by SLR Consulting. Copies can be viewed at Greytown Library, New Hanover Library, Msinga Library, Nqhutu Library and Weenen Library or it can be downloaded from za

The purpose of the scoping report is to document the key issues and potential impacts associated with the proposed exploration project and to present the “plan of study” for the Environmental Impact Assessment. It is very detailed and lengthy and should be studied by the thousands who oppose these projects.

In the section on public opposition the report states:

“As a result of the strong public opposition in KZN to gas exploration, Rhino Oil and Gas appears unlikely to receive a social ‘licence to operate’. Rhino Oil and Gas must be aware that the undertaking of activities for the project could well be hampered by public opposition (e.g. including negative publicity, public protests, refusal to provide services, vandalism and damage to property).

Many landowners consulted during the EIA process have indicated that they would deny Rhino Oil and Gas access to their properties. Rhino Oil and Gas must be aware that in spite of holding an exploration right (if granted), without access to the land it may not possible to explore in terms of their right.”

Information of the time lines for the various processes is also set out. December is the date set down for the granting or refusal of the environmental authorisation and to inform interested parties of the outcome. This is followed by an appeal phase if relevant.

The project scope to be considered and assessed in the EIA is the three-year exploration work programme as proposed by the applicant. No further alternatives, other than the no-go, are to be considered,

Acting deputy director Department of Water and Sanitation, Namisha Muthraparsad, spoke about the high risk of water pollution at a seminar on fracking and unconventional gas production at Cedara last week.

“South Africa, as the 30th driest country in the world, could not allow petroleum companies to pump contaminated water back underground during the gas fracking process.”

She stressed that the department was neither for nor against hydraulic fracturing, but as the government regulator to ensure wise use and protection of the dwindling water resources, the department was already saddled with the legacy of underground water pollution from other mining activities.

The Greytown Gazette appeals to all who have indicated their interest through attending the public meetings to continue the impact they have made by obtaining and studying the scoping report and submitting further comment.

Anti-frackers have until 11 April to
comment on the scoping report for environmental authorisation made by Rhino Oil and Gas Exploration South Africa

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