Water modelling performed by the Gladstone Ports Corporation has identified that PFAS flows away from residential areas towards Ship Creek.
Two rounds of groundwater sampling at Ship Creek show no elevated levels of PFAS
Earlier this year, Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) identified elevated levels of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS, at Port Central in Gladstone.
GPC’s priority was to confirm the initial groundwater sampling results against the Department of Health’s Recreational Water Guidelines (Commonwealth).
During this process, the development of a groundwater model was commissioned by GPC to assist in determining the nature and extent of the issue.
GPC CEO Peter O’Sullivan said the model has now been received.
“The groundwater modelling indicates that the groundwater’s preferential flow is away from residential areas and towards Ship Creek,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
“We have assessed the situation at Ship Creek through two rounds of groundwater sampling, with no elevated levels recorded.”
There are no current restrictions to recreational activities such as swimming, boating or fishing, around the Port Central area.
GPC is now reviewing the latest information available before determining whether further work is required.
“We remain committed to keeping the community and our stakeholders informed throughout this process,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
“We are also continuing to work closely with the Queensland Government in ensuring our response puts the health and safety of our community and our environment first.”
Further information on PFAS in Queensland can be found at the Queensland Government website:
In 2016, the Queensland Government introduced a policy phasing out the use of firefighting foams containing 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.
GPC is taking action to proactively ban the use and storage of firefighting foams containing PFAS in its port precincts, to support implementation of the Department of Environment and Sciences firefighting foam policy.