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    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Palaszczuk Government steps up efforts to pinpoint Qld’s firefighting foam stocks

    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

    Palaszczuk Government steps up efforts to pinpoint Qld’s firefighting foam stocks

    The Palaszczuk Government has been contacting an average of 100 potential firefighting foam users a week since a survey began to identify stocks of contamination-causing per and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Queensland.

    Environment Minister Steven Miles said EHP had contacted more than 500 operators since early February.

    “EHP is conducting a survey of industries and other entities identified as potential firefighting foam users to provide data on potential stocks of foams containing per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS),” Mr Miles said.

    “The survey – which is being released in stages - has already been sent to more than 500 operators licenced by EHP to undertake activities such as chemical manufacturing, chemical storage, oil refining, bulk fuel storage, fuel burning, alcohol production, foundry operations and major hazard facilities.

    “Whilst not licenced by EHP, dangerous goods storage operators have also been surveyed.

    “Responses so far have been positive and demonstrate a state-wide cooperative approach between government and industry in response to the emerging PFAS issue,” he said.

    Mr Miles said the survey was building on the work undertaken last year where EHP directly engaged with the major industries and facilities in Queensland which historically had been primary users of the foams.

    “This survey is part of the government’s ongoing response to the issue of PFAS contamination,” he said.

    “Last July, we introduced a policy to ban new stocks of firefighting foam that may contain PFAS and have informed commerce and industry that any existing stocks must be withdrawn as soon as possible.

    “The Federal Government has ultimate responsibility for PFAS contamination at defence sites and civilian airports, and also off-site where contamination is likely to have extended beyond site boundaries, and it is our expectation that the Commonwealth will honour its responsibility and undertake any remedial action that is required,” he said.

    Mr Miles estimated EHP will eventually survey some 900 operators via email, or by post if required, to identify possible stocks of foam, the quantities and type of foam, and on-site storage methods.

    “In the second stage, to commence in the coming weeks, operators licensed by EHP for mining, petroleum and gas activities will be surveyed,” he said.

    “After the survey EHP will have more accurate information about where foam stocks are located and how the phasing out of PFAS foams is progressing”.

    For more information on PFAS go to:

    http://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/assets/documents/pollution/management/pfas-fact-sheet.pdf

    ENDS

    MEDIA 0412 393 909