'Toxic' coal gases no risk to human health: report

AN INVESTIGATION into toxic gas leaks close to the site of a controversial coal gasification project near Chinchilla has found the gases pose no risk to human health.

The State Government today released the results of an air quality investigation conducted at Hopeland, south-east of Chinchilla, where the subsoil gases were discovered earlier this year.

There are claims that the gases, which include carbon monoxide, hydrogen and hydrogen sulphide, are linked to Linc Energy's decommissioned underground coal gasification plant.

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The investigation by the Department of Science, Technology and Innovation did not find any evidence of "subsoil gasses leading to unsafe levels of air pollutants in the community".

"This suggests that any surface emissions that may be occurring are likely to be gradual and quickly diluted by surrounding air to very low levels," the report reads.

Western Downs Mayor Ray Brown said the results of the investigation would give landholders in the affected area some peace of mind.

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"This confirms there are no health issues for our residents or livestock," he said.

However, Cr Brown said testing needed to be ongoing to find the source of the subsoil gases.

"There is a substance that has been found that shouldn't be there," he said.


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