Gladstone Ports Corpoation CEO Peter O'Sullivan speaks to media about the discovery of elevated levels of PFAS in Gladstone's port.
Gladstone Ports Corpoation CEO Peter O'Sullivan speaks to media about the discovery of elevated levels of PFAS in Gladstone's port. Matt Taylor GLA070618PFAS

'We're keeping an eye on it': PFAS high across port precinct

GLADSTONE Ports Corporation is continuing to monitor groundwater across its port precincts after recently finding elevated levels of PFAS.

Speaking at a media conference yesterday, GPC CEO Peter O'Sullivan said the corporation was continuing to monitor the situation, which he said posed no risk to the community.

"As we've indicated to the community we're undertaking voluntary groundwater assessments at all of our ports, to assess any risks around PFAS," he said

"At the Port of Gladstone we have undertaken some validation testing, or a second round of testing, and under that testing we've tested 20 bore holes and 14 of those have shown some elevation of PFAS.

"Again we re-iterate that these are groundwater environmental monitoring bores, they are not part of the town's drinking water supply, so the town's water is safe."

 

Gladstone Ports Corpoation CEO Peter O'Sullivan speaks to media about the discovery of elevated levels of PFAS in Gladstone's port.
Gladstone Ports Corpoation CEO Peter O'Sullivan speaks to media about the discovery of elevated levels of PFAS in Gladstone's port. Matt Taylor GLA070618PFAS

GPC reported early last month that high levels of the chemical poly-fluoroalkyl had been found in water at Gladstone Port.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of manufactured chemicals that have been widely used globally in the manufacture of household and industrial products, including firefighting foam.

PFASs are being gradually phased out ahead of a statewide ban to start July, 2019.

An expert health panel set up in 2017 found the scientific evidence on the relationship between PFAS exposure and health effects was limited, but although links to health effects was "weak and inconsistent" it couldn't be ruled out.

Mr O'Sullivan said the corporation would continue to work through the issue.

"The next stage is to develop a groundwater model that will assist us in understanding the groundwater, how it ebbs and flows, and from there we'll look at an action plan," he said.

"We're still waiting to get the full lab details back and obviously some of the levels are just over and some vary a little bit.

 

Gladstone Ports Corpoation CEO Peter O'Sullivan speaks to media about the discovery of elevated levels of PFAS in Gladstone's port.
Gladstone Ports Corpoation CEO Peter O'Sullivan speaks to media about the discovery of elevated levels of PFAS in Gladstone's port. Matt Taylor GLA070618PFAS

"We're trying to understand with the groundwater model what the sources are, how the groundwater is moving around and we think that's the next step in understanding the issue."

GPC confirmed there had been incidences and exercises where firefighting foam was used.

Results for the Ship Creek and East Shores areas have come back below the guidelines.

Anyone with bore water on their property is reminded to contact GPC to have it tested.