RUTHERFORD PFAS SPIKES REQUIRE EXPLANATION
Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison has called on Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton to explain what action the Government has taken to address several spikes in PFAS tests undertaken at in relation to the former Truegain site at Rutherford.
Ms Aitchison put Questions on Notice in Parliament to Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton which has prompted the Environment Protection Authority to publicly release the results after PFAS overflowed from the former Truegain factory during heavy rain in March this year.
The contamination of Stony, Fishery and Wallis Creek sparked precautionary advice for residents along the waterways to avoid consuming some produce if livestock and chickens have consumed water from the creeks.
The spikes in PFAS readings were detected in May and June during testing of a stormwater drain at two separate locations upstream of the Truegain site.
The May sample (2.81µg/L) was four times higher than the health based guidance values for PFAS 0.7µg/L in recreational water, yet the June figure (4.08µg/L) was almost six times the guidance level.
EPA sample results released are for the area from the Rutherford Industrial Estate along Stony Creek to Wollombi Road however don’t include the sections of Fishery Creek and Wallis Creek covered by the current health advice. Ms Aitchison has also queried why samples have not been taken at consistent locations (eg: 120m/200m).
Ms Aitchison has already asked the EPA to conduct further tests in the Rutherford area so local residents can better understand the impact the March incident has had on their local waterways, and to ensure the safety of residents, farmers and livestock in our community.
Quotes attributable to Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison MP
“The two high readings which have been detected upstream of Truegain are cause for concern and the EPA needs to explain to the community what action they have taken to address it.”
“Minister Upton must fully explain the extent of the Rutherford PFAS contamination. These figures are for part of the catchment but our community also wants results for Fishery and Wallis creeks.”
“Residents of Stony, Fishery and Wallis creeks continue to live with precautionary advice about livestock and chickens which drink from these waterways, so when will the State Government release the next round of test result?”
“The Premier was very keen to call on Defence to clean up its act on Friday, but when it comes to pollution as a result of her Government’s failure to regulate private operators, she has been mysteriously silent.”