Proactive PFAS testing conducted at Stanwell sites

8 April 2021

Stanwell has voluntarily and proactively conducted PFAS surface-level and groundwater testing at all its operational sites in recent weeks.

All of the results received to date, for all offsite releases into the environment, are within safe human health (drinking water) and environmental guidelines.

PFAS is a chemical compound commonly used in firefighting foam throughout the industry in emergency response training. It was historically used infrequently and in small quantities at Stanwell’s sites. Stanwell conducted a comprehensive program to remove firefighting foam containing PFAS in 2019, however as PFAS is slow to breakdown in the environment, it is not uncommon for traces to be found.

The results of Stanwell’s recent sampling are as follows:

  • Tarong power stations and Meandu Mine, near Kingaroy: Fourteen tests were conducted at various locations across both sites. All results were safely within human health and environmental guidelines.
  • Stanwell Power Station, near Rockhampton: Seventeen tests were conducted at various locations. Sixteen results were within human health and environmental guidelines. Trace levels were found in one location – however this was within a concrete structure at the site, which was a known location for previous use of firefighting foam. This concrete area is contained within the site and is not connected to any local waterways, so it poses a low risk of contamination. PFAS levels within the concrete structure are below ecological guidelines as stipulated in the PFAS National Environmental Management Plan 2.0. Stanwell is currently exploring removal options to safely eliminate PFAS from the concrete structure.
  • The decommissioned Mackay Gas Turbine: Five tests are scheduled to be collected in April. We will share our results when they are available.

  • The cold-stored Mica Creek Power Station, in Mount Isa: Three tests were conducted. Results are expected in late April. We will share our results when they are available.

This voluntary surface water and groundwater testing was undertaken to ensure historic runoff from our operating sites has not contaminated groundwater sources.

Stanwell’s PFAS testing results to date have shown that PFAS poses no danger to our local communities or our people .

As a further precautionary measure, Stanwell will continue to regularly test its sites for PFAS.

For health advice about PFAS, please read Queensland Health’s PFAS fact sheet


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