In 2016, the Queensland Government introduced a policy phasing out the use of firefighting foams containing per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS.
This process is due to be completed by July 2019.
PFAS has been widely used since the 1950s in a range of consumer and industrial products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease and water.
The compounds were also contained in firefighting foam that was used for firefighting and firefighting training at various Australian sites, including civil airports, military air bases, large fuel storage terminals and refineries and ports.
The use and storage of the product is no longer permitted in the Port precinct, and GPC has undertaken voluntary groundwater testing at its three Ports.
Some elevated concentrations of PFAS were detected on site at Port Central, Gladstone and the Port of Bundaberg during the preliminary testing process.
There have been no exceedances against national guidelines observed in samples taken at the Port of Rockhampton.
The Corporation’s priority is to conduct further sampling and modelling to understand the nature and extent of PFAS, within the Port precinct.
GPC is working closely with independent experts as well as the State Government’s PFAS Technical Working Group, the Department of Environment and Science and Queensland Health.
GPC is committed to keeping the community informed as investigations progress.
We wish to assure residents that these results do not relate to water connected to town supplies, which are used by Gladstone and Bundaberg residents for drinking.
No groundwater at the Ports is used for human consumption.
Bore water can be contaminated by minerals, chemicals, bacteria and viruses through natural processes and human activities.
Testing is required to confirm the quality of the water before it is used for domestic purposes such as watering gardens or filling swimming pools.
GPC has offered nearby residents the opportunity to have their bores tested.
Further information on PFAS in Queensland is available on the State Government website: www.qld.gov.au/environment/pollution/management/investigation-pfas/about