Perth Airport foam report delayed

A plane takes off from Perth Airport. Stock image.
A plane takes off from Perth Airport. Stock image.

DELAYS are holding back a report into potential contamination at Perth Airport.

The airport is being assessed for the same toxic chemicals found in firefighting foam that leeched into groundwater around the RAAF Williamstown base in NSW, rendering farmland unusable.

The chemicals are perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).

While the government-owned organisation Airservices Australia phased out the chemicals in 2009 to 2010, management of the issue is ongoing.

In a letter to Federal Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, Airservices Australia, which is conducting the contamination assessment, admitted there was still no deadline for the report to be finalised, despite extending it from December last year to the first quarter of 2017.

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The letter cited the impact of circumstances beyond Airservices’ control.

Senator Siewert said she was concerned the drawn-out deadline would be to the detriment of the local community and the environment.

“We need answers on the level of contamination so that solutions can be explored,” she said.

“Providing prompt and clear answers to communities who may be affected by the contamination must be a priority.”

Airservices Australia said sampling works are currently in progress.

“When the report is… completed, it will be shared with relevant stakeholders and Commonwealth and State regulators,” a company offcial said.