Expert ‘astounded’ at LNG plant emissions
ONE of the major LNG plants on Curtis Island has emitted thousands of tonnes of potentially toxic pollution in its first year of operation, new data has revealed.
The latest National Pollutant Inventory data for 2014-15 also shows the BG Group-owned Queensland Curtis LNG plant became the third-largest industrial emitter of pollutants in the Gladstone region - 4800 tonnes of carbon monoxide, 4300t of nitrous oxides, 620t of volatile organic compounds, 190t of formaldehyde and 17t each of benzene and toluene.
The data represents the first full year of pollution emissions from the LNG plant, which started shipping gas overseas in July.
National Toxics Network senior adviser Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith said she was "astounded" by the sheer volume of emissions from the plant in its first year.
"The fact that one (plant) can come on and be the third largest emitter in Gladstone in its first year of operations is astounding," she said. "In reality, that's not something you're going to see the (health or environmental) impacts of today or tomorrow, but it does raise concerns about what is being emitted."
A spokesman from BG Group subsidiary QGC said the emissions were within the company's environmental approvals and were expected during the first year of operation. He also said they did not come from the gas flare attached to facility, but "mainly" were emitted by "equipment engines" and were "consistent with those of any other diesel engine".
Dr Lloyd-Smith said there was no concrete evidence it was affecting people's health.
"I've heard anecdotal reports of people having breathing problems... but it would be hard to study and even harder to find a definitive link," she said.
She said most concerning was the 546t of "particulate matter" being emitted - which she described as 'soot', which the pollutants could attach to and escape in the air.