Airservices Australia today released the results of its Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI) into PFAS contamination at Hobart Airport. The PSI included a desktop review of available information and a limited environmental sampling program. The study was conducted by independent environmental consultants from SEMF Pty Ltd.
The PSI concluded that whilst historical PFAS contamination was found at the airport, the risk to residents on adjacent land and airport workers is low. TasWater has advised that it does not have any drinking water catchments near Hobart Airport and water from its reticulated system remains safe to drink. Targeted sampling at Five Mile Beach did not detect any PFAS in the wild oysters and indicated a low risk to recreational users such as swimmers.
Airservices has shared the results with Hobart Airport and the Tasmanian Environment Protection Authority.
While the testing results indicate low risk to the community surrounding the airport, Airservices will continue to work with Hobart Airport and relevant agencies to determine appropriate next steps.
As part of its national PFAS research and development program, this month Airservices started a trial to treat waste-water at Hobart Airport. The project aims to remove any historic PFAS contamination from waste water generated at the airport fire training ground.
Airservices stopped using fire fighting foam containing PFAS in 2010, including at Hobart Airport.
The Hobart Airport PSI and targeted sampling report is available on the site investigations table here.
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- Airservices National PFAS Management Program: https://www.airservicesaustralia.com/community/environment/pfas/
- Commonwealth Department of Health – Per- and Poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS): http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/ohp-pfas.htm
- Commonwealth PFAS website: https://www.pfas.gov.au/
- EPA Tasmania – PFAS Contamination: http://epa.tas.gov.au/regulation/contaminated-sites/identification-and-assessment-of-contaminated-land/contaminated-land-issues/pfas-contamination