19 May 2014

It is disappointing to see the Medical Journal of Australia have its scientific credibility sullied by a letter (published Monday 19 May) with more political overtones than science.

Professor Marion Carey selectively quotes a draft 2011 US EPA report “Investigation of groundwater contamination, near Pavillion Wyoming”, and fails to mention two things that may provide some context.

Firstly, the draft report was neither finalised nor peer-reviewed, indicating grave concerns the EPA held about the veracity of data collected, and secondly the investigation was abandoned by the EPA itself in favour of continued monitoring.

The EPA said it “does not plan to finalise or seek peer review of its draft Pavillion groundwater report released in December, 2011. Nor does the agency plan to rely upon the conclusions in the draft report” (See this link)

In addition Pavillion is a conventional gas field, not a CSG field which the letter implies.

Australia’s natural gas industry will continue to treat water produced through CSG production to the highest required standards for both the environment and water users.