The former Kingaroy Caltex Depot site where levels of PFAS were identified.
The former Kingaroy Caltex Depot site where levels of PFAS were identified.

CONTAMINATED: Why Kingaroy was named on list

EARLIER this week Kingaroy was named as one of 60 sites across Queensland that had been allegedly contaminated by PFAS chemicals.

The ABC reported the former Caltex Depot in Kingaroy as one of the sixty places identified by authorities to be contaminated by the chemical, in information obtained from the Department of Environment and science under the Right to Information Act.

A Caltex spokesperson said decision to close the depot was not linked with any environmental concerns.

"Caltex historically used firefighting foams on the former Caltex fuel depot at Kingaroy for the control and prevention of fire risks," the spokesperson said.

"The depot was decommissioned in 2015 as it was no longer required to support our business operations."

As part of decommissioning works, in 2015 Caltex undertook assessments of environmental impacts at the site which first identified the presence of PFAS chemicals at levels well below public safety thresholds.

"We have continued to undertake further assessment, monitoring and remediation work since this time."

"This has included notifying and engaging the DES, appointing an independent consultant and site auditor to oversee monitoring and testing.

"It also included engaging and communicating with community stakeholders about the findings and results of our investigations," they said.

A DES spokesperson said they were advised that there are no immediate threats to the public at the former Caltext Depot in Kingaroy.

They said on February 6 2018, Caltex advised DES that PFAS substances were detected in six groundwater bores at the Stolzenberg Street site.

"Caltex engaged specialists to commence PFAS contamination investigations in 2018," said the spokesperson.

"This investigation found that it was likely the contamination is the result of historical emergency response, testing and/or training, using aqueous film-forming foam firefighting foam.

In 2016 the Queensland Government was the first jurisdiction in Australia to ban the future use of PFOS and PFOA firefighting foams, with a three-year phase out by June 2019.

Fire-fighting foam containing perfluorinated substances such as perfluorooctane sulfonate known as PFOS and perfluorooctanoic acid known as PFOA were used in firefighting and firefighting training from the 1970s to the mid-2000s.

The use of the foams occurred at various Australian sites including civil airports, military air bases, large fuel storage terminals, refineries and ports.

The Caltex spokesperson said they would continue to engage with the DES and community stakeholders to manage the low level PFAS contamination at the site at Kingaroy.

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