“GROUNDWATER beneath Perth Airport is heavily contaminated with toxic chemicals from the use of old firefighting foams, documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws show.

The Sunday Times has obtained parts of a presentation by Airservices Australia to WA environment officials last October.

The presentation cited three main contaminated areas: the fire training ground, a former mechanical workshop and the airport’s former fire station. Levels of Perfluoroalkyls and Polyfluoroalkyls (PFAS) in groundwater were very high.

It also mentioned a ‘confirmed PFAS impact in soil, sediment, concrete and surface water’ at the workshop and former fire station.

PFAS contamination is extending offsite too. Some parcels of State-owned land west of Perth Airport, including the Northern and Southern Airport main drains, have been impacted.

And as previously revealed, PFAS was discovered in earth excavated from tunnelling of the Forrestfield Airport Link. Disposal of the contaminated spoil could add as much as $100 million to the project’s cost…

The Federal Government, which is also having to deal with massive PFAS clean-ups at defence bases and airports around the country – amid claims that neighbouring communities have suffered health impacts from toxic groundwater – will have to manage the remediation of Perth Airport land.

It is being sued by at least four communities in NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory and more communities are considering class actions over PFAS contamination, which has seeped into bores used for drinking and irrigation.

At Bullsbrook, north-east of Perth, the Defence Department is supplying bottled drinking water to 107 Bullsbrook properties. Impacted groundwater has been confirmed at seven local properties surrounding the local RAAF Pearce base.”

Read the full article by John Flint