The National Assessment of Chemicals associated with Coal Seam Gas Extraction in Australia (NCA) is an initiative of the Department of the Environment and Energy (DoEE) that assessed human health and environmental impacts from surface handling of 113 chemicals used in drilling and hydraulic fracturing for CSG extraction in Australia between 2010 and 2012.

The Assessment was a collaborative effort of technical experts from the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) in the Department of Health, DoEE and CSIRO.

CSIRO contributed five out of the fourteen technical reports that comprise the Assessment. One CSIRO report describes conceptual models for the potential transport of chemicals through shallow groundwater, one deals with predicted dilution rates of chemicals transported through shallow groundwater, and three reports are literature reviews on hydraulic fracturing and geogenics.

The DoEE commissioned CSIRO to conduct additional research on what happens to chemicals that are left underground after hydraulic fracturing operations. The Department will release that research at the same time as the Assessment.

CSIRO has also developed web-based interactive software for the calculation of Predicted Environmental Concentrations (PECs) in soil, groundwater and surface water receptors only. CSIRO will make three additional reports available on hydraulic fracturing and geogenics.

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