Heavy Metals

Heavy metals link to horse deaths: owner

The owner of 22 horses that died suddenly on a south-east Queensland property has questioned a finding that scrub ticks or botulism probably caused the deaths.

Waste-water spill at Santos CSG plant


Saffron Howden The Environment Protection Authority is investigating a 500-litre spill from a coal seam gas operation at the Pilliga forest in north-western NSW.

Lessons from success of Bentley's anti-gas protest

Peter Hannam Anti-gas protesters have attributed their success in blocking drilling in the fertile Northern Rivers region of NSW to mobilisation efforts built along the lines of voluntary fire brigades.

Suspected leak at Santos CSG project under investigation

Site of a suspected spill at one of Santos's CSG site.

Peter Hannam Santos’s coal seam gas operations in northern NSW are being investigated for a leak at one of the company’s wastewater ponds.

Mining bigger threat to reef than agriculture, says scientist

The Great Barrier Reef

Bridie Smith Mining poses a greater threat to the health of the Great Barrier Reef than agriculture, says one marine scientist who has cast doubt on the federal government's prediction that water quality will...

Mining dwarfs farming as threat to health of Great Barrier Reef, marine scientist warns

The Great Barrier Reef

Bridie Smith Mining poses a greater threat to the health of the Great Barrier Reef than agriculture, according to one marine scientist who has cast doubt on the federal government's prediction that water quality...

Wonders of the water


Kelsey Munro Some magical creatures live in Sydney Harbour.

Santos fine for toxic spill 'pathetic', green groups say

Tony Pickard.

Peter Hannam Environmental groups have blasted as pathetic a decision by the NSW Land and Environment Court to fine Santos $52,500 for a toxic spill in the Pilliga forest.

Melting moments: Peru's disappearing glacier draws dwindling crowds

In its heyday, the Pastoruri glacier in central Peru, drew daily throngs of tourists packed into dozens of double-decker buses 5,0000 meters high into the Andes to ski, build snowmen and scale its...

Environment Protection Authority tests for toxic chemicals in Hillsdale park botched

Soil testing.

Natalie O'Brien The NSW government laboratory used by the Environment Protection Authority to test the levels of toxic chemicals and metals around a Hillsdale park area, made a series of embarrassing bungles that...

Feathers hold key to proof of bird health

Please credit: ANSTO. 

Left: breast feather from a young flesh-footed shearwater bird.

Right: images of the distribution  the elements bromine Br (above) and zinc Zn (below) obtained using the Australian Synchrotron's x-ray fluorescence microprobe.
Interestingly, the distribution of these elements does not match with the pigmentation patter of the feather. 
The bands of zinc have never been seen before and are evidence for daily occurring depositions of zinc during the roughly month long  period during which the feather has grown (hence usually around 30 regular bands in each feather)

Nicky Phillips Bird feathers appear to be simplistic structures, but a catalogue of chemicals and environmental contaminants resides deep inside them, scientists report.

Manmade lakes to hold water from coal seam gas wells

Ben Cubby Artificial lakes will hold millions of litres of contaminated water in the Pilliga district, in north-western NSW.

BHP's river clean-up too slow for some

Ken Hall at the polluted Georges River near his Bradbury home in Sydney's west.
1st May 2013
Photo: Janie Barrett

Peter Hannam Miner BHP Billiton has been given until the end of 2016 to halt most of the pollution discharged from one of its coal mines into the Georges River south-west of Sydney, a verdict that has split...


Santos green light to drill in forests

Local farmer Tony Pickard.

Peter Hannam The NSW government said it had approved the drilling by Santos of eight exploration coal seam gas wells, provided 'strict' environmental conditions are met.

Who will watch the streams now?

Kids from Maroota Public School.

Natalie O'Brien and Ben Cubby The only independent watchdog monitoring water quality in Sydney's myriad waterways is to be axed by Sydney Water, the authority outed as one of the state's biggest polluters.

Radioactive threat looms in Kakadu


Lindsay Murdoch in Jabiru The operator of the Ranger uranium mine expects to take drastic action to prevent radioactive water spilling into an Aboriginal community and Kakadu's World Heritage-listed wetlands.

Sea contamination likely to be local: scientists

Radioactive contamination of the sea from Fukushima is likely to be only a local problem, but could lead to an exclusion zone if there is a major release of long-term pollutants, scientists say.

Experts divided on radiation risk

Glenda Kwek An Australian scientist has dismissed fears of radiation risk from the spread of dangerous materials at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, saying the particles being released are...

Spill raises fears of more toxic time bombs

Ian Traynor From the Black Forest to the Black Sea, the Danube meanders for almost 2900 kilometres through 10 countries, its course punctuated by great beauty and industrial disasters waiting to happen.

Volunteers race to stop second wave of sludge

Matthew Day WARSAW: Hundreds of volunteers have rushed to build a dam around the site of the toxic spill in Hungary, as the country's environment minister warned that a second collapse at the reservoir was...