We learned from the RTI that the Dept of Environment & Science relaxed the guidelines regarding what is considered safe levels – levels that are already considered deficient by international standards.
We know that there is currently a standing committee investigating National PFAS Management to bring us into line with international standards – of which those standards are also under review. Link here and copied below.
The EIS was ‘apparently written to preconceived outcomes’ – and PFAS contamination was omitted from assessment. Why and how?
We know what’s happening here now will be outlawed very soon – maybe that explains the big rush, the omissions and the secrecy.
I STILL DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW ADDING TO THIS PROBLEM IS THE SOLUTION – I THOUGHT WE WERE PHASING OUT THE OLD ADAGE ‘THE SOLUTION TO POLLUTION IS DILUTION’
“Research suggests that the safety threshold for PFOA in drinking water may be as low as 0.1 parts per trillion. That’s 700 times lower than the safe level that has been cited by the Environmental Protection Agency in the US. Since 1951, over 50,000 Parkersburg residents have been affected by PFAO contamination in their drinking water.”
The PFAS Sub-committee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (JSCFADT) has asked ask the Department of Health about PFAS and its potential impacts on human health.
Chair of the PFAS Sub-committee the Hon Dr John McVeigh MP noted that the 2018 report of the JSCFADT had called on the Department to issue an updated health opinion, as research overseas progressed.
‘We learned last Parliament that communities affected by PFAS had concerns about the Expert Health Panel’s opinion that there was ‘no evidence’ of human health impacts from PFAS,’ Dr McVeigh said.
In the current review, the Australian National University’s PFAS Health Study reported progress in its research to clarify this health advice. The research is funded by the Department of Health with the results to be finalised at the end of this year.
At the hearing, the Office of Health Protection’s Principal Medical Adviser Dr Gary Lum briefed the Sub-committee about the Department’s current thinking on PFAS and its health opinion, as the regulatory framework for PFAS evolves.
‘We will want to know how the Department of Health is capturing knowledge on PFAS impacts,’ Dr McVeigh said.
‘That includes by supporting research and whether this work is informing its engagement with the Department of Defence and people in affected communities.’
The PFAS Sub-committee’s program of review will continue over the course of the Parliament with a further report to be presented later this year.
Public hearing details:
Date: Monday 24 February 2020
Time: ~4:10pm to 5:00pm
Location: Committee Room IR4, Parliament House, Canberra.
The hearing was audio streamed at aph.gov.au/live.
For background information:
For further details about the scrutiny process and the Committee’s public hearing program contact:
02 6277 2313
For more information about this Committee you can visit its website. You can also track the Committee and receive email updates by clicking on the blue ‘Track Committee’ button in the bottom right hand corner of the page.