Cougar fined over Kingaroy UCG trial

COUGAR Energy has been fined $75,000 for releasing a cancer-causing chemical into groundwater at Kingaroy.

The release was done during the company's $550-million underground coal gasification (UCG) trial.

It was shut down in January 2011 after cancer-causing chemical benzene was found in bores nearby.

A Cougar Energy spokesman said the company had pleaded guilty despite the fact it did not result in environmental harm.

"And the (Department of Environment) conceded to that," he said.

"There was no permanent harm done to the groundwater, including its potential to be used for drinking water.

"We pleaded guilty to close the case."

Cougar Energy is in discussion with the department to rehabilitate and decommission the Kingaroy site.

The company was also ordered to pay an additional $40,000 in costs.

South Burnett

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