CS Energy is informing local landholders about recent voluntary environmental monitoring results detecting PFAS in some locations near its Callide Power Station.
CS Energy commissioned independent environmental testing for PFAS in the area near the power station as part of a voluntary program to map and manage historical use of the chemicals in Queensland.
Brett Smith from Callide Power Station said CS Energy was taking a precautionary approach and working closely with Queensland Health and the Department of Environment and Science.
“The health of the community and our employees is CS Energy’s key priority and will guide our actions, which is why we are moving quickly to inform potentially affected landholders in the area,” Mr Smith said.
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 test results from some sample locations on Callide Creek were above guideline levels for drinking water and species protection.
Results from one groundwater monitoring location near the Linkes Road crossing detected PFAS levels less than two times over the drinking water guideline, and require CS Energy to work with Queensland Health.
While some results were above the government guidelines, they were significantly lower than at other sites in Queensland that had PFAS in their groundwater.
Mr Smith said CS Energy was talking to approximately 20 landholders along Callide Creek to inform them of these results and providing them with information about PFAS.
“We are working closely with the Department of Environment and Science, and Queensland Health, on the testing program and our response. We are also keeping all levels of government informed.
“Going forward we will continue monitoring and testing of water samples from the surrounding catchment in consultation with the local community. 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."
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.
For health advice about PFAS, please read Queensland Health's PFAS fact sheet (PDF 281.1KB).
Any landholders with questions about the testing program can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the Callide PFAS monitoring page to learn more about our voluntary PFAS investigation.