Redcliffe Station: PTA confirms toxic firefighting foams detected in groundwater at site

Stock image.
Stock image.

TOXIC firefighting foams have been found in the groundwater during investigations by the Public Transport Authority (PTA) for the construction of the Redcliffe Station.

The WA Department of Health has advised that the perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) levels found within the station construction site and its immediate surrounds do not pose a health risk to members of the public.

The PTA has reported the results from the project’s environmental testing to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER), the state regulatory agency.

It said the presence of PFAS at the site had not been caused by the Forrestfield-Airport Link project and a strict management and monitoring regime would be in place to ensure PFAS is not spread.

City of Belmont chief executive John Christie said the council was regularly briefed by the PTA and this included advice from the Department of Health regarding the detection of PFAS at the site.

He said the Department had advised the City that the PFAS levels found within the station site and its immediate surrounds did not pose a health risk to members of the public.

PFAS are manufactured compounds that have been used in certain types of firefighting foams and a range of consumer products, including non-stick cookware, fabric treatments, furniture and carpet stain protection, and food packaging since the 1950s.

Environmental contamination by PFAS is an emerging challenge worldwide, and in WA has been reported at various sites including Perth Airport, Forrestfield Airport Link site and Pearce Air Base.

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