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Progress on Norfolk Island PFAS Environmental Investigation

The first stage of the preliminary site investigations on Norfolk Island following the detection of elevated per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) levels in the Mission Creek catchment area will conclude tomorrow.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development’s environmental investigation being undertaken by Senversa is assessing the nature and extent of PFAS in the environment and potential exposure pathways for people and the environment. The investigation will result in a human health risk assessment which will inform future management plans.

Senversa has spent the past fortnight on Norfolk Island, taking samples from a range of sources across the Island to determine the source areas of PFAS and how far it extends.

Testing has included bore, ground water and surface water sampling along with soil and sediment sampling from around the airport, the Mission Creek catchment area and surrounding catchments, focusing on human and stock drinking water sources.

The expert PFAS team, which includes Defence, Health and Environment representatives also returned to the Island from 14-17 January, with public information sessions taking place on 15 and 16 January.

The public information sessions provided the community and key stakeholders with the opportunity to again meet with the experts, and Senversa’s project team, to learn more about the detailed environmental investigation and to ask any questions they have about the PFAS detection.

The Department thanks the community for the excellent engagement with Senversa and for sharing knowledge of the island and information about water sources. This engagement and assistance is invaluable for the investigations and greatly appreciated by the Australian Government and Senversa.

Senversa and the expert team also had targeted meetings with Council, Councillors, the agriculture sector and fire fighters.

The Department, Senversa and expert team will continue to work closely with Norfolk Island Regional Council and other stakeholders to ensure people have a good understanding of the response.

The results of the testing by CSIRO of a number of properties in the Mission Creek catchment conducted in late December are now being assessed and analysed so updated advice can be provided to property owners in the catchment. This information will be available as soon as the analysis process is complete.

If you have questions or would like further information, we encourage you to attend an information session or contact NIPFAS@infrastructure.gov.au. Community members can also contact the Department on 23315. For further information on PFAS, please go to www.pfas.gov.au. For health information, go to www.health.gov.au/pfas or 1800 941 180.

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