Air­port foam re­port de­layed

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS - Jes­sica War­riner

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.

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.

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