Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Community engagement on Norfolk Island PFAS environmental investigation

Community members will have the opportunity to learn more about the detailed environmental investigation into the detection of elevated per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) levels in the Mission Creek catchment area, with consultants Senversa commencing their work on Island on Monday.

There will be community information sessions on Wednesday, 15 and Thursday, 16 January where people can again speak with the PFAS expert team from Defence, Health and Environment along with Senversa's Norfolk Island project team who have been engaged to undertake the environmental investigation and prepare the human health risk assessment as required.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development's environmental investigation being undertaken by Senversa will assess the nature and extent of PFAS in the environment and potential exposure pathways for people and the environment. These investigations will inform future management plans and responses.

Senversa is experienced in undertaking PFAS preliminary and detailed site investigations and has worked on numerous Defence and airport sites across Australia. The Senversa on-island investigation team will consist of Christopher Sandiford (Project Lead), Katie Richardson (Risk Assessor / Communication), Lucinda Williams (Field Manager) and Carlyn Williams (Field Engineer).

During the drop-in briefings, the community can hear about the national process and guidelines for PFAS investigations and what they can expect to see the Senversa team doing during their time on island over the next fortnight.

The expert team and Senversa will also be briefing the Mayor, Councillors, Norfolk Island Regional Council and other key stakeholders about the next stage of the investigation, which will include sampling from a range of sources across the Island including surface water and groundwater along with soil and sediment, followed by analysis and interpretation.

The community information sessions will take place at 11 Quality Row from 1–7pm on 15 January and 8am-12pm on 16 January. We again urge community members to use this opportunity to stay informed on the process and for property owners to work with us and Senversa in this comprehensive sampling process.

It is still anticipated that the findings of the testing by CSIRO of a number of properties in the Mission Creek catchment conducted in late December will be available before the end of January. The CSIRO's Norfolk Island Water Resource Assessment project will now return to an exclusive focus on an assessment of hydrology and hydrogeology and the community's options for water security.

If you have questions or would like further information, we encourage you to attend an information session or contact NIPFAS@infrastructure.gov.au. For further information on PFAS, please go to www.pfas.gov.au and www.health.gov.au/pfas.

Contact: media@infrastructure.gov.au | 1300 732 749