Tip-off leads environmental officers to Gold Coast company

A company on the northern Gold Coast is being investigated, amid claims it has been illegally dumping firefighting foam.

The EHP Pollution Hotline received a tip-off on Friday, claiming a Stapylton business that refurbishes fire extinguishers was seen flushing the foam in to a pit that drained to stormwater.

Officers from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EPH) visited the site at 12.40pm.


They advised the business operator that any release of firefighting foam to the stormwater system is unacceptable.

Water samples were taken at the site and at accessible points within the stormwater drainage system, to determine whether any firefighting foam chemicals were released from the site.

As a precaution, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has advised key fishing sector stakeholders of the issue and is remaining in close contact with these organisations to relay information as it becomes available.

Fishers should also be aware and consider whether they should fish elsewhere for the time being.

It follows a major spill of firefighting foam from Qantas hangers at Brisbane Airport into waterways in March.

To protect waterways and groundwater, the Queensland Government banned the use of firefighting foams containing PFOS and PFOA, instructing the industry to appropriately dispose of these stocks and replace them with more sustainable alternatives.

Significant fines of more than $3,800,000 for a corporation and up to five years imprisonment depending on circumstances, can apply for wilfully causing serious environmental harm.

Pollution events can be reported to EHP on 1300 130 372.