Callide PFAS monitoring
CS Energy is conducting an investigation into the potential environmental impact of our historical use of PFAS at Callide Power Station.
Callide's use of PFAS was infrequent and in small quantities for training, testing and emergency response purposes. We removed firefighting foams containing non-compliant levels of PFAS in 2019 as part of a Queensland Government policy to phase out their use.
Community information sessions
CS Energy is hosting community walk in sessions for the Biloela community about PFAS testing near Callide Power Station.
The sessions are designed so that interested community members can drop in at a time that suits them to ask questions and understand the work and sampling to date and next steps.
CS Energy will be joined by independent environmental firm Epic Environmental, Queensland Health, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and the Department of Environment and Science.
Venue: Hotel Settlers, function room
Date: Wednesday 22 June, 3pm to 7pm
Thursday 23 June 7am to 10am
There is no presentation, community members are invited to simply drop in during the time slots.
CS Energy is working with an independent environmental testing firm to understand the impact of our historical PFAS use at Callide Power Station. We are also working closely with the Department of Environment and Science and Queensland Health, and following their advice.
The health of the community and our employees is CS Energy’s key priority and will guide our actions throughout the monitoring program. We are speaking directly with affected landholders and proactively updating the broader Biloela community and our employees.
Working with DES
We are working cooperatively with the Department of Environment and Science (DES) on an Environmental Evaluation notice. An Environmental Evaluation is a compliance tool under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 that aims to evaluate and facilitate a solution for an event that has caused, or is likely to cause, environmental harm.
We have been working closely with DES, structuring our response to date as if we were already under an Environmental Evaluation framework.
It requires CS Energy to take certain action by specific timeframes. This includes appointing a suitably qualified person to carry out the requirements of the notice, along with a contaminated land auditor, which we have already done. We are also required to develop a Sampling Analysis and Quality Plan and undertake sampling, which is already under way.
Test results & Recent activities
15/06/2022 - HYDROGEOLOGICAL REVIEW AND UPDATED MAP
Since September 2021 CS Energy has been progressing several different activities as we continue to respond to the legacy use of PFAS at Callide Power Station.
These activities are:
- Hydrogeological modelling to further understand PFAS and its movement in groundwater and surface water.
- Resampling groundwater bores on landholder properties.
- Technical sampling in strategic locations on a quarterly basis.
- Planning for soil remediation at the power station.
This newsletter, emailed to landholders 15 June provides an update on these activities. Included in the newsletter was an updated map showing the inferred levels of PFOS and PFHxS (PDF 6.4MB).
CS Energy engaged two hydrogeologists to do some modelling to help us understand the geology of the aquifer and how water and PFAS are moving through it.
A report has been produced that summarises the finding of this work: Callide Power Station - PFAS Investigation - Hydrogeological Review (PDF 5.4MB)
21/12/2021 - Updated map reflecting resampling
Since September 2021 CS Energy has been working through re-sampling private landholder bores in our investigation area.
To date, re-sampling is showing results are largely consistent with sampling undertaken in early 2021.
We have been re-sampling chronologically, starting with zone 1.
We are 60 per cent through this plan with most landholders in zones 1 to 4 being resampled.
We expect to be able to finalise any outstanding sampling for zones 1 to 3 in January 2022 and move on to zones 4, 5 and 6 in February and March 2022.
In addition to landholder re-sampling, our technical experts have been doing some additional sampling. This will continue on a quarterly basis until at least April 2022.
In the new year we will continue with landholder and technical program sampling.
In addition, we expect to receive advice from two hydrogeologists that have been doing some modelling to further understand PFAS movement in the groundwater onsite and downstream of the site.
Their work will help give us insight to guide decision making about future sampling. We are not ruling sampling in other areas in, or out, at this stage.
And, on site at Callide Power Station, we will be engaging a specialist in soil remediation.
View the map (PDF 8.4MB)
03/09/2021 - Results for zones 1 to 6
CS Energy has a released an updated map summarising the results of its PFAS testing to date.
The map summarises the results from sampling conducted on 82 landholder properties this year. It includes about six months of testing in six zones near the Callide Power Station.
- 82 landholder properties were tested, and of this 82, 23 landholders had at least one sample point over drinking water guidelines. CS Energy is working with landholders on an individual basis to provide an alternative domestic water supply.
- The remaining 59 landholder properties returned results under the drinking water guidelines.
We’ve talked to landholders about their results and provided them with a lab report and advice from Qld Health and other government agencies.
View the map summarising results in zones 1 to 6 (PDF 1.7MB)
Over the next six months (to early 2022) CS Energy is undertaking a series of actions, including resampling landholder bores, ongoing monitoring, hydrogeological review and on-site (at the power station) remediation.
Read more about the next steps in the newsletter (PDF 210.8KB)
18/06/2021 – Results for zones 1 to 5
CS Energy has released a map summarising the latest results of its PFAS sampling program on landholder properties near Callide Power Station.
The map summarises results across five sampling zones – the results from zone 1 that were released on 31 March and new results released today covering zones 2 – 5.
- Of the 70 landholders in zones 1 to 5, 19 landholders had at least one sample point over drinking water guidelines, with four of those landholders using it for drinking water. CS Energy is working with landholders on an individual basis to provide an alternative drinking water supply.
- The remaining 51 landholder properties returned results under the drinking water guidelines.
View the map summarising zone 1 to 5 results. (PDF 8.1MB)
CS Energy has provided each landholder with their results, including their own laboratory report, relevant advice from Queensland Health and information from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries about using bore water for irrigating crops and for livestock.
So far, the results indicate that the further downstream we go, higher levels of PFAS are generally found north of the Callide Creek. We want to get a more complete picture of what concentration is happening in the area by testing in a new zone south of the creek.
This new area (zone 6) is bound by Dawson Highway, Callide Creek, Tognolini Baldwin road and Jambin Dakenba Road. We completed sampling in early June and expect the results in the next few weeks.
Over the coming months, CS Energy also intends to conduct a hydrogeological review, sampling of aquatic organisms, and a human health and ecological risk assessment. This will give further insight into how water flows in the area, and any ongoing potential exposure for people and the environment.
CS Energy will continue to provide information to landholders and the community about the program of work going forward.
31/03/2021 - Results from testing on landholder properties in zone 1
CS Energy has divided the sampling area near Callide Power Station into four geographic zones so that the testing can be carried out as efficiently as possible. We’ve been receiving the results in batches and we how have all the results for zone 1.
In zone 1:
- Samples were collected from 21 landholders’ properties in the area downstream along Callide Creek to just past the Linkes Road creek crossing.
- Seven landholders had at least one sample point over drinking water guidelines, with four of those landholders using it for drinking water. CS Energy has organised an alternative drinking water supply for these four landholders.
- The remaining 14 landholder properties returned results under the drinking water guidelines.
CS Energy has provided each landholder with their results, including their own laboratory report, relevant advice from Queensland Health and the Department of Environment and Science, and information from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries about using bore water for irrigating crops and for livestock.
View a map summarising zone 1 results (PDF 7.6MB)
Further work is required to better understand the variable nature of the results and the influence of factors such as bore depth, age and volume of use; aquifer connectivity; and interaction between surface water and groundwater.
Testing is still under way for properties in the other sampling zones. As we continue to receive results for each zone we will periodically update the map on our website. We expect to release the results for zones 2 and 3 in May.
Our technical experts are also developing a longer term PFAS monitoring and management program in consultation with the Department of Environment and Science.
01/03/2021 - Sampling underway on landholder properties
In February 2021 we sampled on private landholder property in same section of Callide Creek as our January sampling program. We also did some extra sampling further downstream of Linkes Road at the request of some landholders.
The results are coming through in batches over February and March. Early results have shown a mix of PFAS levels above and below drinking water guidelines. Once we have all of the results, we’ll provide an update on the findings on this web page.
Our first priority is to talk through individual results with each landholder and provide them with their own lab report and the relevant advice from Queensland Health and the Department of Environment and Science.
In the meantime, we are continuing with our sampling program and will broaden the testing area to include properties between the Linkes Road creek crossing and the Dawson Highway.
22/02/2021 - Banana Shire Council tests of Biloela town water
Following CS Energy's detection of PFAS in some locations near Callide Power Station, the Banana Shire Council tested the Biloela town water supply.
The results of Council's tests found that the Biloela water supply is safe to drink. Read the Council's update on their Facebook page.
08/02/2021 - Initial findings from sampling in January 2021
In January 2021 CS Energy's independent environmental testing firm took samples on site, and off site in the area adjacent to the power station.
Samples were taken adjacent to the power station and various locations along Callide Creek between the station and approximately four kilometres downstream to the Linkes Road creek crossing. None of the sample sites were on private property.
- The tests found that at locations within and outside our site, there were levels of PFAS detected that were higher than the government guidelines for drinking water and species protection.
- While some results were above the government guidelines, they were significantly lower than at other sites in Queensland that had PFAS in their groundwater.
- We are working with the Department of Environment and Science (DES) and Queensland Health on these results.
- DES and Queensland Health have identified one location about 4km downstream (near Linkes Road) as the priority public health focus area given its proximity to private property and distance from the power station.
- The other locations that were above guidelines are either on, or very close to the power station site, and in the predicted flow path of PFAS.
Callide PFAS sampling area map (PDF 6.4MB)
Going forward, we'll be doing more monitoring and testing of water samples from the surrounding catchment. Over coming weeks and months we’ll be sampling on and off our site, and working with potentially affected landholders to test their bores they use for domestic purposes.
For more information, please read the CS Energy fact sheet for landholders (PDF 158.7KB)
Callide Power Station – PFAS Investigation – Hydrogeological Review (PDF 5.4MB)
Newsletter - June 2022 - Hydrogeological review and next steps (PDF 174.9KB)
Map summarising results of PFAS sampling - as at June 2022 (PDF 6.4MB)
Map summarising results of PFAS sampling - as at December 2021 (PDF 8.4MB)
Timeline - as at October 2021 (PDF 187.3KB)
Newsletter - October 2021 - Next steps - displayed at community walk-in session - October (PDF 210.8KB)
CS Energy - fact sheet - updated 18 June 2021 (PDF 10.4MB)
CS Energy - fact sheet - displayed at community walk-in session - April 2021 (PDF 6.5MB)
Qld Health fact sheet (PDF 281.1KB)
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries fact sheet for primary producers (PDF 169.5KB)
Everyone manages uncertainty and stress differently. A number of support services are available to you, including your GP. The Australian Government funds a range of services for people affected by PFAs, including Better Access and Head to Health. Find out more at health.gov.au
CS Energy is also offering landholders in the sampling zones near the Callide Power Station access to our Employee Assistance Program providers, Assure Program.
If you feel you need support, you’re invited to call Assure on 1800 808 374 (24 hours).
Assure will provide affected landholders with free, confidential support, with no GP referral required. This service will be available for at least the next six months.
Download Assure's FAQ document with more information here (PDF 230.3KB).
Frequently asked questions
CS Energy's testing program
Drinking water guidelines
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