News Item

Airservices to start seafood sampling program

24 Jan 2017

Airservices today announced it will begin conducting a seafood sampling program this week in the Cobaki Broadwater adjacent to the Gold Coast Airport.

The project is focused on examining if there is any potential historical per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination affecting local seafood species.

The work follows a preliminary site investigation conducted at Gold Coast Airport in July 2016 which showed that although low levels of PFOS and PFOA were detected at the airport boundary in soil and groundwater samples, surface water samples taken from the Cobaki Broadwater were below the detection limit for PFAS, i.e. were not detected.

Airservices is conducting the seafood sampling program to better understand if there is any impact which could be attributed to the historical use of PFAS containing fire fighting foam.

The sampling which starts today, takes several days and will investigate sediment, surface water and seafood species within the Cobaki Broadwater area, adjacent to the airport.

The sampling will include five sediment samples, five surface water samples and collection of six seafood species for testing.

Independent environmental consultant, GHD Pty Ltd will manage the project in consultation with New South Wales Environment Protection Authority and Department of Primary Industries – Fisheries.

Airservices will share the results, which are expected to be available from March, with relevant Commonwealth and State environmental and health regulators and Gold Coast Airport Pty Ltd as part of our ongoing work with these stakeholders in taking a risk-based approach to responsibly managing PFAS concerns at the Gold Coast Airport.

Airservices will then coordinate with relevant Commonwealth and state agencies to consider the most appropriate approach to keeping the community informed.

For more information:

Airservices Australia – http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/environment/firefightingfoam/

Local residents seeking specific health advice should talk to their GP. Further information on PFAS related issues can be found at:

Queensland: https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/pollution/management/investigation-pfas/ or call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84).

New South Wales http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/MediaInformation/pfcinvestigation.htm or the Environment Line on 131 555.