Proactive Management of Firefighting Foams containing PFAS

Posted on
March 14, 2019

“In line with our commitment to doing business in a safe and environmentally responsible manner,TasPorts is leading in its program to remove and replace stocks of firefighting foam containing perand poly-fluoralkyl substances (PFAS). We are now well advanced in replacing firefighting foam with fluorine free foam and disposing obsolete foams through an Environment Protection Authority (EPA) approved incineration process” -Paul Weedon, CEO TasPorts

Perand poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) materials are persistent organic pollutants used in firefighting foams and other man-made products. PFAS materials has been the target of public health concerns nationally and globally.

All PFAS firefighting foam have been successfully removed from Tasmanian Ports and destroyed. TasPorts is a leader in Tasmania’s approach to managing PFAS. TasPorts successfully implemented a rigorous management framework organisation wide that ensured the protection of users, port land and marine environments from pollution.

A key initiative of the program has been the removal of 11k L of PFOS containing foam from a harbour tug and destruction trial run by Cement Australia/Geocycle. TasPorts worked collaboratively with Cement Australia/Geocycle to obtain an approved and safe method of PFOS disposal. Additionally, in alignment with the Tasmanian Government, TasPorts has successfully:


- Audited and risk assessed all land owned by Tasports

- Tested all AFFF stocks and developed a register of all known PFAS containing foam

- Developed a fluorine free firefighting foam policy

- Proactively managed risks associated with PFAS contaminated bilge waters from harbour tugs including screening of new tugs, standard procedures for controlled transport, storage and disposal

- Obtained Regulation 12 from the EPA to establish a consolidated storage facility for PFAS contaminated bilge waters and PFAS firefighting foam

- Reduced and mitigated the risks of PFAS containing foams entering marine waters.

TasPorts has adopted a fluorine free firefighting foam policy, with the first fluorine free fire system upgrade scheduled for completion at Selfs Point, Hobart in 2019. Australian Ports are collectively working to safely destroy all remaining supplies of PFAS foam they may have onsite.

TasPort’s pro activity is a demonstration of United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals:

12- Responsible Consumption and Production

15- Life on Land

17- Partnerships for the Goals


Our Future Goals:

Be an industry driver in disaster management responses relevant to the environment surrounding the port and broader maritime sector

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