Per- and poly- fluoroalkyl substances on Norfolk Island
Elevated levels of per- and poly- fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been detected in water samples from three sites on public land within the headwaters of the Mission Creek catchment directly below the aviation fire services training drill ground, adjacent to Norfolk Island International Airport.
Following these initial sample results from the three sites (collected by the CSIRO as part of the Norfolk Island Water Resource Assessment project), the department is commencing a detailed environmental investigation, which will include a Human Health Risk Assessment for Norfolk Island to identify the nature and extent of PFAS in the local environment (including soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater) related to the historical use of firefighting foams at Norfolk Island International Airport, and any potential exposure risks to people or the environment.
The department has adopted a precautionary approach and is providing alternative sources of drinking water to eligible residents located in close proximity to the initial investigation area.
Residents are welcome to contact the department’s on-Island team on 23315 or NIPFAS@infrastructure.gov.au to discuss eligibility for water assistance. Each household’s drinking water requirements will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Keeping the community informed
The department is committed to regularly updating the community throughout the investigation. The department website will be updated as the investigation progresses. Community information sessions, direct mail and information sheets will occur as needed. Enquiries or requests relating to individual properties will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
For additional information
- Departmental fact sheet 1 PDF: 291 KB
- Departmental fact sheet 2 PDF: 372 KB
- Departmental fact sheet 3—15 January 2020 PDF: 561 KB
- Department of Health fact sheet PDF: 144 KB
- Media Release - Response to PFAS detection on Norfolk Island
- Media Release - Update on PFAS detection on Norfolk Island
- Media Release - Community engagement on Norfolk Island PFAS environmental investigation
- Media Release - Progress on Norfolk Island PFAS Environmental Investigation