CS Energy is talking with landholders near Callide Power Station about the results from recent water sampling on their properties, as part of an ongoing voluntary program to manage historical use of PFAS in Queensland.
Following an initial offsite sampling program on public land in January 2021, CS Energy has tested on private properties in the same area and additional properties identified during consultation with landholders.
Brett Smith from Callide Power Station said the test results were coming through in batches over the next two weeks and that CS Energy’s priority was informing landholders first about the results for their property.
“The health of the community and our employees continues to guide our actions,” Mr Smith said.
“Early results have shown a mix of PFAS levels above and below drinking water guidelines. Once we have all of the results back in mid-March, we’ll provide an update on the findings.
“We are talking through individual results with each landholder and providing them with their own lab report and the relevant advice from Queensland Health and the Department of Environment and Science.”
Mr Smith said CS Energy recognised that landholders are concerned about PFAS.
“The way each landholder uses their water is different. For landholders where PFAS levels on their bores are above drinking water guidelines we are working with them to provide an alternative safe water supply while we continue to understand the extent of PFAS in the area.
“We’re also providing them with information from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries about using bore water for irrigating crops and for livestock.”
After all landholders have been informed about the results for their properties, a map will be prepared and made available to landholders, and on our website, showing indicative PFAS levels for the sampling area (Note: the map will not identify individual private property).
"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,” Mr Smith said.
“We will be progressively contacting landholders in this area in the coming week to provide them with information on PFAS and ask their permission to sample their water bores.”
An independent environmental testing firm is carrying out the sampling and testing on behalf of CS Energy.
Banana Shire Council conducted PFAS testing on the Biloela town water supply in February 2021 and it was found to be within drinking water guidelines.
PFAS (per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) are a group of manufactured chemicals present in firefighting foams that were historically used at various Australian sites including civil airports, defence bases, ports and large industrial sites. PFAS is also found in common products such as non-stick cooking pans, fabric, furniture and food packaging.
Health experts are still working to fully understand PFAS. There is currently no consistent evidence that PFAS exposure causes adverse human health effects.
Callide Power Station’s use of PFAS over the years was infrequent, and in small quantities for training, testing and emergency response purposes. CS Energy removed firefighting foams containing non-compliant levels of PFAS in 2019 as part of a Queensland Government policy to phase out their use.
Visit the Callide PFAS monitoring page to learn more about our voluntary PFAS investigation.