Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

UPDATE on Gold Coast PFAS investigations

Media release: 16 November 2016

The NSW Government has reviewed the results from Airservices Australia’s (ASA) Preliminary Site Investigation for PFAS* at Gold Coast Airport, noting the report confirms the presence of PFAS onsite. The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has requested ASA conduct further testing, to determine any potential risks to the environment and human health.

Further testing of surface water, groundwater, seafood, sediments, and soils on and around the site should be undertaken by Airservices Australia as a priority to help identify potential human exposure pathways, including commercial and recreational use of Cobaki Broadwater.

Determining the extent of contamination into the Cobaki Broadwater and in any seafood will assist to identify potential exposure risks for the surrounding areas and local community.

The EPA will coordinate seafood testing in the Cobaki if Airservices Australia is unable to conduct these investigations in an acceptable timeframe.

The EPA does not regulate Gold Coast Airport but is committed to working with the site’s regulator, the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, and the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, to ensure an appropriate, scientific and risk-based resolution is adopted throughout the investigation, and to prioritise the protection of the environment and community.

 * PFAS are a group of chemicals that include perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS). As they have heat, water and stain repelling properties, PFAS have been widely used in a range of industrial and consumer products both in Australia and internationally, including in fire retardants, water proofing, food preparation, food packaging, furnishings, clothing and recreational equipment.

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 16 November 2016