Saturday, July 18, 2015

Its snowing - but if you dig deep, the solid ground appears

  The snow may not be normal for Queensland at the moment,  but let me remind you its ALWAYS a risk , Infact its  breakfast lunch and dinner for some narky, smart but simple  polys and wannabes who  capitalize on the surface color of everything ,
Black is black and Coal mining is always black - to some
 It would more honest if the campaigners against  Watermark Mine didn't  hide behind  a fear that appears to have no basis- the aquifer contamination issue.
However the documents /maps from the Environmental  Effects Assessment are far too obscure to be clear too . Why does everyone have to be so difficult with cutting to the challenges;  the difficulties; the real risks ,
While I haven't done as much work as i would like,  the cross sections  of the Watermark mine seem to indicate that the risk to the aquifer is not significant - However for all the money the document is a unclear mess,
EES's must be clear and talk clearly to the aquifer question; so joe bow can see it
 If it isn't obvious to me as one who reads the geo drawings all the time , what hope has joe blow

Too much room for snowing  from both sides

The Watermark Mine  in NSW  is meant to be a big deal according to all the noise .
I obtained a few geological cross sections but i was disappointed I did not get more from NSW govt -- are they playing snowing games too? - there is always a down side to any action on land because of risk to one or more processes, With complete maps one can interpret  the overburden and groundwater risks more clearly  .   I have  done plenty of staging/ reviewed others plans  in  a range of mine plans in SW Victoria. Staging is necessary to make sure overburden is moved efficiently and slope stability and water quality maintained through the life of the mine and beyond. 
Risks to aquifers are critically important to assess.  I have resisted some big projects where GW issues were significant   ( groundwater extraction and tip development ) Some agencies of government can , in my direct experience as coordinator of environmental planning , resist the truth so I understand people's concerns ,One of the projects I resisted was ignored by a Water Board. The other major project was stopped . 

Provided the hydrogeology /ecology is independently assessed by the State and local groups,  I have no problem with  States making the decisions . 
To have the Feds step in is only justified in special cases which they must justify , You only need best locally contexted  advice  from someone close to the area ; remote advice is unreliable.  

I therefore completely reject the Commonwealth  Biodiversity  legislation bureau as politically motivated and unnecessary duplication - Its  ineptitude , narrow focus ( vegetation not process) and political vulnerability has been shocking ,

That said , while State governments fail to retain and train independent experts in these  areas, I don't trust them , The ban on fracking in Victoria is appropriate  for that reason alone . Its not that expensive either through survey agencies or existing inground  organisations to provide geological hydrological soil land use and other experts - They may not exist at the moment as most env agencies have focused too narrowly for 2 decades on the superficial ( vegetation)  This vegetation preoccupation is profoundly stupid and narrow as all environment builds from soil water and geology.  .

I am not sure yet whether there is a dark side to this mine , but I am familiar with the high risk of snowing and why governments/ industry /wannabe activists  of all kinds are prone to play that game.. Why the stupid circle is so big at the moment   

The ongoing 
remaining risk of obfuscation would not happen if the States organised 
themselves  better and stopped relying on ad hoc consultancies.
The Feds  can help by encouraging  States to employ and train their own 
independent experts - not trying to duplicate staff in Canberra as Labor did . This attempt to get Feds to step in and stop things only works if you believe polys know what they are doing/ or don't  . Duplication is a huge risk and a huge waste.
If you let competent experts decide , the sensible people relax and the merely fearful shut up and find something else to worry about. 

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