Airservices PFAS investigation at Alice Springs Airport

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Airservices Australia (Airservices) has completed a Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI) for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination at Alice Springs Airport.

The PSI is part of Airservices’ National PFAS Management Program and was conducted by independent consultants GHD. The PSI relates to the historical use by Airservices of Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFFs) for Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting Services (ARFFS). Airservices has not used PFAS-containing fire fighting foam at any civilian airport, including Alice Springs Airport, since 2010.

The PSI identified the main PFAS source areas as the Fire Training Ground (FTG), including surrounding soil piles, and the Main Fire Station (MFS). There were some elevated PFAS detections in soils at the FTG. The PSI recommends a management strategy for these soils.

The PSI also detected PFAS in the surface water. Airservices notes however, there is limited potential for surface water to migrate offsite.

Airservices will continue to monitor PFAS at its sites on-airport, in liaison with NT Airports and the environmental regulators. Airservices is developing a soil management strategy to manage the elevated PFAS levels in soils at ARFFS sites.

Airservices is also researching practical management solutions for legacy PFAS contamination. Various treatment and technology trials are underway at sites nationwide. Airservices intends to implement successful technologies, where effective, practical and appropriate.

Airservices is continuing to engage with airport operator Northern Territory Airports (NTA) Pty Ltd; the onsite regulator, the federal Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (DIRDC), and the offsite regulator, the NT Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

More information

For media enquiries, please call 1300 619 341 or e-mail media@airservicesaustralia.com
For PFAS enquiries please e-mail the Airservices project team: pfascomms@airservicesaustralia.com
For PFAS health related enquiries, please consult the Commonwealth Department of Health website: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/ohp-pfas.htm
For more information about how the Northern Territory government is managing PFAS, please visit the NT EPA website: https://ntepa.nt.gov.au/your-environment/pfas

Posted on: July 11, 2019

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