AITCHISON MAINTAINS PRESSURE OVER MAITLAND PFAS
Member for Maitland, Jenny Aitchison is using World Environment Day to maintain pressure on the State Government for answers about PFAS contamination in local waterways.
A Notice of Motion lodged in Parliament today demands Minister for the Environment, Gabrielle Upton to explain what her department had done to make downstream residents aware of the contamination prior to the advice being issued over the past two weeks.
The Environment Protection Authority claims heavy rainfall in March caused PFAS to overflow from the now closed Truegain factory at Rutherford and subsequently enter Stony, Fishery and Wallis creeks.
Two months later, the EPA has now issued precautionary advice about the presence of PFAS in the creeks including warning residents about eating home slaughtered livestock which has drunk water from the creeks.
The EPA will meet with affected landholders and residents at the Rutherford Community Centre on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning to discuss the presence of PFAS in the catchment.
Quotes attributable to Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison
“Two years after Truegain closed the site it remains a ticking environmental time-bomb for my electorate. First, it was the so-called ‘Rutherford Stink’ now farmers downstream are dealing with potential PFAS contamination issues. This government must act and properly clean up this site.”
“Throughout this process the government has failed to keep residents and farmers notified about potential risks.”
"The Minister must explain what information was made publicly available after PFAS leaked into the catchment in March and why it has taken two months for the consequences of this spill to be taken seriously by the government."
“The Minister must advise what testing has been done and when the site will be remediated to ensure no further spills.”
"I've demanded the Minister include Local Land Services and the Department of Primary Industries in this week's EPA briefings. Farmers are concerned about the impacts the contamination could have on livestock, crops and their farming businesses so agricultural experts must be included in the information sessions."