Bathurst Airport - PFAS Investigation

Bathurst Regional Council is continuing to work closely with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) following testing that indicated the presence presence of per- and poly- fluoralkyl substances (PFAS) in some soil and water on Council land at Bathurst Airport.

Preliminary sampling conducted by Bathurst Regional Council in 2017 found elevated levels of PFAS at Bathurst Regional Airport. PFAS was introduced to the site due to the historical use of fire-fighting foams containing PFAS. As such, Council has been undertaking an investigation to understand the extent of PFAS on and off site.

This investigation has included the sampling of surface water, groundwater and sediment to the north of the runway, where surface water flows from the airport. A water-use survey of nearby residents was also undertaken.

The responses from the sampling and resident survey indicated water use in this area is very complex. The EPA and Council is gathering more detailed information about how residents use water on their properties.

The results of the investigations will be referred to the NSW PFAS Taskforce, which is made up of technical experts from the NSW Food Authority, Department of Health, Department of Primary Industry, Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer as well as independent experts.

Once the investigation results are reviewed by the Taskforce, any tailored advice that might be required by residents about their water use and home consumption of produce will be provided to them.

Typically, PFAS investigations take some months. The EPA will continue to work collaboratively with Council to ensure an appropriate, scientific and risk-based approach is used throughout the investigation, and that the community receives information in a timely manner.

The assessment of the field work and other material is expected to take up to six months.

For more information on the Bathurst Airport – PFAS investigation click here

To read the media release issued by Bathurst Regional Council click here 

For more information on PFAS http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/working-together/community-engagement/pfas-investigation-program

A factsheet providing more information on PFAS and human health is available from the Commonwealth Department of Human Health website at www.health.gov.au

The findings of an Expert Panel for PFAS established by the Australian Government on the potential health impacts associated with PFAS exposure and to identify priority areas for further research can be read here:

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/ohp-pfas-expert-panel.htm

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