Hobart

Various entities have provided aviation rescue and fire fighting services at Hobart Airport since 1956. Airservices has provided these services at the airport since 1995.

PFAS and fire fighting foam

PFAS stands for per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, which are manufactured chemicals used in products that resist heat, oil, stains and water. They have been widely used since the 1950s in common household products, as well as commercial industrial applications such as fire fighting foams.

When Airservices became aware of the potential environmental impacts of PFAS in the early 2000s, we transitioned away from their use. We have used PFAS-free foam at Hobart Airport since 2010.

Site investigations

As part of the Airservices' National PFAS Management Program, we are undertaking site investigations to determine the nature and extent of PFAS at Hobart Airport. The site investigations have included sampling of soil, groundwater and surface water, using adopted criteria for ecological and human health to assess the levels of PFAS.

The Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI) in 2017 found PFAS at the fire station and the fire training ground. PFAS detections in soil at the fire training ground were above the adopted ecological criteria. All soil samples were below the adopted human health criteria. Surface water sampling locations downstream of the main fire station stormwater discharge point to Sinclair Creek exceeded the adopted ecological criteria. Groundwater concentrations exceeded the adopted ecological criteria at the fire training ground and main fire station. PFAS detections in surface water at Sinclair Creek and Five Mile Beach exceeded the adopted human health criteria for fish consumption.

As a result of the PSI findings, we initiated follow-on targeted biota and water quality sampling. The Targeted Site Investigation (TSI) of the Sinclair Creek and Five Mile Beach area did not detect any PFAS exceedances in biota, and water quality sampling indicated a low risk to recreational users, such as swimmers.

We are currently undertaking a Detailed Site investigation (DSI), and this is expected to be completed in 2023.

Management and remediation

We manage legacy PFAS through our National PFAS Management Program to ensure the safety of our people and the communities and environment in which we operate.

As part of field trials undertaken at Hobart Airport, we applied a concrete sealing treatment to the washdown bay at the fire station to reduce leaching of PFAS from the concrete surfaces. In addition, a wastewater treatment plant at the fire training ground removes PFAS from wastewater.

The information obtained from the DSI will inform next steps in the management or remediation of our sites at Hobart Airport.

We collaborate with relevant Australian and State Government environmental and health regulators and Hobart Airport as part of an evidence-led approach to the responsible management of PFAS.

Research and development

Airservices collaborates with leading industry and research institutions to better understand PFAS and support the development of solutions and technologies to manage PFAS. Hobart Airport is the field site location for a wastewater treatment trial and a concrete treatment trial. Read more about these trials here.

Various entities have provided aviation rescue and fire fighting services at Hobart Airport since 1956. Airservices has provided these services at the airport since 1995.

PFAS and fire fighting foam

PFAS stands for per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, which are manufactured chemicals used in products that resist heat, oil, stains and water. They have been widely used since the 1950s in common household products, as well as commercial industrial applications such as fire fighting foams.

When Airservices became aware of the potential environmental impacts of PFAS in the early 2000s, we transitioned away from their use. We have used PFAS-free foam at Hobart Airport since 2010.

Site investigations

As part of the Airservices' National PFAS Management Program, we are undertaking site investigations to determine the nature and extent of PFAS at Hobart Airport. The site investigations have included sampling of soil, groundwater and surface water, using adopted criteria for ecological and human health to assess the levels of PFAS.

The Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI) in 2017 found PFAS at the fire station and the fire training ground. PFAS detections in soil at the fire training ground were above the adopted ecological criteria. All soil samples were below the adopted human health criteria. Surface water sampling locations downstream of the main fire station stormwater discharge point to Sinclair Creek exceeded the adopted ecological criteria. Groundwater concentrations exceeded the adopted ecological criteria at the fire training ground and main fire station. PFAS detections in surface water at Sinclair Creek and Five Mile Beach exceeded the adopted human health criteria for fish consumption.

As a result of the PSI findings, we initiated follow-on targeted biota and water quality sampling. The Targeted Site Investigation (TSI) of the Sinclair Creek and Five Mile Beach area did not detect any PFAS exceedances in biota, and water quality sampling indicated a low risk to recreational users, such as swimmers.

We are currently undertaking a Detailed Site investigation (DSI), and this is expected to be completed in 2023.

Management and remediation

We manage legacy PFAS through our National PFAS Management Program to ensure the safety of our people and the communities and environment in which we operate.

As part of field trials undertaken at Hobart Airport, we applied a concrete sealing treatment to the washdown bay at the fire station to reduce leaching of PFAS from the concrete surfaces. In addition, a wastewater treatment plant at the fire training ground removes PFAS from wastewater.

The information obtained from the DSI will inform next steps in the management or remediation of our sites at Hobart Airport.

We collaborate with relevant Australian and State Government environmental and health regulators and Hobart Airport as part of an evidence-led approach to the responsible management of PFAS.

Research and development

Airservices collaborates with leading industry and research institutions to better understand PFAS and support the development of solutions and technologies to manage PFAS. Hobart Airport is the field site location for a wastewater treatment trial and a concrete treatment trial. Read more about these trials here.

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Page last updated: 13 Feb 2023, 10:08 AM