2021 February: CS Energy Callide Power Station (Queensland). PFAS

PFAS detected in groundwater near Callide Power Station in central Queensland

February 20 2021

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-09/toxic-chemicals-pfas-found-near-callide-power-station/13134952

CS Energy has detected toxic chemicals known as PFAS “above guideline levels” near its Callide Power Station in central Queensland.

A voluntary testing program found “levels less than two times over the drinking water guideline” at a groundwater monitoring location near the Linkes Road crossing.

The company said it is working with Queensland Health, the Department of Environment and Science and about 20 landholders along Callide Creek.

Callide Power Station chief executive Brett Smith said the health of the community and employees is a top priority.

He also said none of the sample sites were on private property.

“While some results were above the government guidelines, they were significantly lower than at other sites in Queensland that has PFAS in their groundwater,” he said.

“Going forward we will continue monitoring and testing of water samples from the surrounding catchment in consultation with the local community.

“Over coming weeks and months we’ll be sampling on and off our site, and working with potentially affected landholders to test their bores they use for domestic purposes.”

The company said the station’s use of PFAS had been “infrequent” and it stopped using the chemical when a nationwide ban was introduced in 2019.

Council ‘confident’ contamination is minimal

Banana Shire Council Mayor Nev Ferrier said the company briefed council on Saturday and begun notifying landholders on Sunday.

“We are just sitting back now waiting for the tests,” he said.

Cr Ferrier said the water supply for Biloela and Thangool was sourced from the Callide Dam and bore water.

But he said the contaminated bore, four kilometres from the power station, was not a council bore.

“We tested all our water for it back in 2018, and it was only a fraction there,” he said.

Council will test its bores, which the community draws drinking water from, this week.