Callide Power Station at Biloela.
Callide Power Station at Biloela.

PFAS explained at CS Energy Biloela info sessions

Callide Power Station owner CS Energy will hold public information sessions to inform the community in the wake of testing results revealing PFAS chemical detections in groundwater near its Biloela facility.

The sessions follow last month’s revelation PFAS chemicals above public health guidelines were found at seven of 21 properties along Callide Creek, downstream of the power station.

The Queensland Government owned energy company will be joined by independent environmental firm Epic Environmental, Queensland Health, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and the Department of Environment and Science at the “walk-in sessions”.

Water rushed down this gully, from CS Energy's Callide Power Station, into Callide Creek. Photo Cameron McCrohon / Central Telegraph
Water rushed down this gully, from CS Energy's Callide Power Station, into Callide Creek. Photo Cameron McCrohon / Central Telegraph

PFAS chemicals are found in common products such as non-stick cooking pans, fabric, furniture, food packaging and firefighting foams.

The Federal Health Department states PFAS chemicals were developed in the 1950s to make products that resist heat, stains, grease and water.

Testing of Biloela drinking water supplies by Banana Shire Council recently revealed it is safe.

A CS Energy spokeswoman said the potential impact of the PFAS detections was being explored.

“CS Energy is working with an independent environmental testing firm to understand the potential impacts associated with the historical use of firefighting foams containing PFAS at Callide Power Station,” the spokeswoman said.

“Sampling on private landholder property near the power station started in early 2021, and is continuing.

“To date, the results show a mix of PFAS levels above and below drinking water guidelines.

“CS Energy has published a map summarising the results from the first zone of PFAS sampling between the Callide Power Station and just past the Linkes Road Creek crossing.

“Further work is required to better understand the variable nature of the results and the influence of factors such as bore depth, age and volume of use; aquifer connectivity; and interaction between surface water and groundwater.”

Testing is still being undertaken on other properties.

“We will continue to periodically publish maps on CS Energy’s website showing indicative PFAS levels for the sampling areas,” the spokeswoman said.

Callide Power Station.
Callide Power Station.

As a result, CS Energy is hosting community walk in sessions for the Biloela community about the recent PFAS testing near Callide Power Station.

“The sessions are designed so that interested community members can drop in at a time that suits them to ask questions and understand the testing to date and plans for ongoing monitoring,” the spokeswoman said.

“The sessions are at Hotel Settlers, Thursday April 29, 3pm to 7pm and Friday April 30, 7am to 10am.

“There is no presentation, community members are invited to simply drop in during the timeslots.”

Further walk-in sessions will be held in the future.

For more information about CS Energy’s PFAS monitoring visit the website.

CS Energy Biloela PFAS Information sessions

Hotel Settlers, 58 Dawson Highway, Biloela.

Thursday, April 29 – 3pm to 7pm.

Friday, April 30 – 7am to 10am.

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