QUEENSLAND’S Environment Minister, Steven Miles, has urged the Turnbull Government to implement a nationwide ban on toxic firefighting foam at airports across the county following Qantas’ decision to ban the chemical.
Speaking after a meeting of Australia’s Environment Ministers on Friday, Mr Miles said Queensland was the first state to ban firefighting foams that contain PFOS and PFOA – also known as PFAS chemicals – in Australia.
“The Palaszczuk Government moved early to ban the use of these foams and at the meeting (yesterday) other states expressed a willingness to do the same,” Mr Miles said.
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“But I have consistently called on the Federal Government to implement a national ban to get this stuff off federally regulated sites like airports and defence bases.
“It’s great that Qantas has agreed to swap to firefighting foams that don’t contain PFAS but they’re just one airline, the Federal Government needs to take the ban across the board.”
Qantas has now submitted their final report on the spill of contaminated firefighting foam at the Brisbane Airport into the Brisbane River in April. It is available publicly on the Environment Department’s website.
Mr Miles said the State Environment Department had been working with companies in Queensland to assist them to switch to new types of foam.
“Since the ban last year, the Environment Department has contacted nearly 1000 companies which may have stocks of PFAS foam and is helping any companies that do to transition to foams without the chemical.”