EPA is managing a number of industrial sites across Victoria that may have PFAS contamination issues. Some detail on selected sites is below. For information on other sites, please call EPA on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).
Through a Major Industries Assessment of the Esso Longford Gas Facility in 2016, EPA required Esso to undertake an environmental site assessment for contamination, including PFAS (per- and poly-fluorinated alkyl substances). Onsite assessment detected PFAS from old training grounds and a large fire event in 1998. Onsite water supplies have been cleared as safe with relevant water corporations and WorkSafe involved.
The investigation also revealed offsite surface water with PFAS levels in excess of drinking water guidelines in a number of stock watering dams on properties leased from Esso for farming purposes, as well as private farming properties.
EPA has issued a number of statutory notices to Esso regarding identification and cleanup of PFAS contamination.
As of March 2018, Esso is required to undertake a full environmental audit in accordance with section 53V of the Environment Protection Act 1970. They are also required to implement an approved Interim Clean Up Plan. For more information please see the Esso Longford website.
If you experience pollution in the area, you can report it to EPA by contacting us on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).
June 2016 – Pollution abatement notice (90007100) issued requiring Esso to undertake an environmental site assessment to investigate PFAS contamination on and around its Longford site. This site assessment was completed May 2017.
February 2017 – Esso notified EPA that initial testing had detected PFAS above drinking water guideline levels in a neighbouring farm dam.
March 2017 – Clean-up notice (90007632) issued to Esso requiring them to implement controls preventing access of stock and humans to PFAS-contaminated water after proper investigation.
May 2017 – Esso submitted environmental site assessment to EPA.
May 2017 – Esso held community open house information session, EPA and DHHS staff in attendance.
July 2017 – Clean-up notice (90007860) issued to Esso requiring them to appoint an EPA approved Environmental Auditor by August 2017 to develop a scope for a full environmental audit in accordance with the Environment Protection Act 1970, section 53V, and capable of developing an Interim Clean Up Plan.
October 2017 – Clean-up notice (90008215/90008394) issued to Esso requiring them to prepare an Interim Clean Up Plan.
Jan 2018 – Esso submitted an auditor approved Interim Clean Up Plan and approved scope for a full environmental audit to EPA. EPA reviewed both documents.
Feb 2018 – Esso issued with two notices. Clean-up notice (90008551) issued to Esso requiring implementation of the approved Interim Clean Up Plan and issued another clean-up notice (90008496) requiring Esso to undertake a full environmental audit in accordance with the scope submitted earlier.
Feb 2018 – Esso held a community information open house. Staff from EPA, AGVic in attendance.
Into the future
Clean-up notice 90008496 requiring a 53V environmental audit of the Esso Longford Gas Facility is due for completion by 30 November 2020.
Clean-up Notice 90008551 requiring implementation of the Interim Clean Up Plan is also due by November 2020.
Esso is required to submit to EPA annual reports regarding the status of the 53V environmental audit and the Interim Clean Up Plan in November of each year until 2020.