Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

UPDATE on Gold Coast PFAS investigations – Seafood testing in the Cobaki Broadwater

Media release: 24 January 2017

The NSW Government welcomes advice that Airservices Australia (Airservices) will today commence a seafood sampling program in the Cobaki Broadwater south of the Gold Coast Airport.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and DPI Fisheries have worked with Airservices to develop a scope of works for the sampling program, which will assess PFAS* concentrations in harvested, edible seafood species.

The sampling of seafood, surface water and sediment in the Cobaki Broadwater will assist in determining any potential impacts to commercial and recreational fishing, and to the surrounding areas and local community.  

Further sampling of the surface water, groundwater, sediments and soils around the site will also be undertaken by Airservices in the coming months to determine the nature and extent of any PFAS contamination in the area.

The upcoming sampling follows preliminary sampling by Airservices and Gold Coast Airport Pty Ltd in mid-2016, which found PFAS in onsite water and soil samples.

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 the protection of the environment and community is a priority.

Further information is available from the EPA at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/MediaInformation/pfasinvestigation.htm or the Environment Line on 131 555.

* 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: 24 January 2017