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Environment Protection Authority

Update on Tamworth Regional Airport PFAS investigations

Media release: 5 May 2017

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has reviewed the latest investigation results for PFAS* contamination at Tamworth Regional Airport, which is owned by Tamworth Regional Council, and requested more detailed testing of soil, groundwater, surface water and drainage lines in the area.

In the interim, Tamworth Regional Council and the EPA are speaking with a small number of individual landowners around the airport to identify ways they may have come into contact with PFAS, particularly through water use. This will be done through a water use survey. 

The survey will be used to provide tailored advice from the EPA to individual landowners, once their specific circumstances are known, including contaminated bore or surface water use and the level of contamination in that water. This advice will help landowners to reduce or eliminate their exposure to PFAS until further analysis is completed.

The EPA will continue to work collaboratively with Council to ensure an appropriate and risk-based approach is adopted throughout the investigations and in any subsequent clean-up of the site.

The EPA and Council are working to provide meaningful results to the community about any contamination in their area, and to ensure that the community receives information in a timely manner.

For more information on the state-wide PFAS investigation program go to www.epa.nsw.gov.au/MediaInformation/pfasinvestigation.htm.

* Per- and poly- fluoroalkyl substances (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: 05 May 2017