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PFAS sample results (FOI)

PFAS sample results (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 11 September 2020.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


With reference to the previous Freedom of Information request:
PFAS meetings and attendees (FOI)
The revised Action Items list provided unfortunately has very few dates - only one action item has a "Timeline for Completion" (#14 Updating leaflets).
My request relates to Item 1 action 4:
" ALS now offer a suite of PFAS analysis of 16 separate PFAS determinants.
Cost is £300 per sample (exc shipping). Meeting agreed to sample 10 of the highest PFOS and PFOA private drinking water boreholes to assess where we are with respect to the sum of all PFAS and the current/proposed limit. "
Please will you provide me with the following information:
Have the results from these 10 boreholes been received, if not when are they expected?
When, or will, the samples be taken?
What are the results for each of the 10 boreholes, broken down by individual PFAS?
Which were, or will be, the boreholes?
What is the “proposed limit”, by determinant, if that is how it is expressed, referred to in this item?
The unnumbered action item for recommendation 1 is: ” New sampling strategy received from Arcadis
A copy of this new sampling strategy
A copy of the previous sampling strategy


Yes, the results have been received.
The samples were collected between 5 and 6 March 2020.
C and D
The information you have requested is exempt under Article 36 (Future Publication) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
The Government of Jersey have committed to publish the PFAS update report containing a summary of the results for the seven boreholes and three surface water samples in the Report section on
States Reports
The unnumbered action item for recommendation 1 is: ” New sampling strategy received from Arcadis.
The limits referred to in this item are the UK Drinking Water Inspectorate PFOS/PFOA limits that were included in the interim report as well as any future proposed limits for the sum of PFAS which may be adopted by the UK/EU or as a best practice guide. 
The interim report can be found on using the following link.
PFAS Interim Report
The information you have requested is exempt under Article 35 (Formulation and development of policies) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 because an Island-wide monitoring programme is being developed, which will be shared in due course.
However, we have provided a copy of the current sampling protocol provided by Arcadis. Personal information has been redacted in accordance with Article 25 (Personal Information) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
Arcadis sampling protocol
Arcadis guidance declaration
Information regarding this sampling strategy is included in the Interim Report referred to in question E.

Articles applied

Article 35 - Formulation and development of policies

Information is qualified exempt information if it relates to the formulation or development of any proposed policy by a public authority.

We are withholding the release of certain parts of the information you have requested as it relates to the formulation and development of policy and procedure.
Article 35 is a qualified exemption, which means that a public interest test is required. 

The following considerations were taken into account:
Public interest considerations favouring disclosure
• Disclosure of the information would support transparency and promote accountability to the general public, providing confirmation that the necessary discussions have taken place.
• Disclosure to the public fulfils an educative role about the early stages in policy development and illustrates how the department engages with parties for this purpose. 
Public interest considerations favouring withholding the information
• In order to best develop policy and provide advice to Ministers, officials need a safe space in which free and frank discussion can take place – discussion of how documentation is presented and provided is considered as integral to policy development as iterations of documents are demonstrative of the policy development process.
• The need for this safe space is considered at its greatest during the live stages of a policy.
• Release of the information at this stage might generate misinformed debate in. This would affect the ability of officials to consider and develop policy away from external pressures, and to advise Ministers appropriately.
• Premature disclosure of this information may limit the willingness of parties to provide their honest views and feedback. This would hamper and harm the policy–making process not only in relation to this subject area but in respect of future policy development across wider Departmental business.

Following assessment we have decided that, on balance, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information

Article 36 - Information intended for future publication

(1) Information is qualified exempt information if, at the time when the request for the information is made, the information is being held by a public authority with a view to its being published within 12 weeks of the date of the request.
(2)     A scheduled public authority that refuses an application for information on this ground must make reasonable efforts to inform the applicant –
(a)     of the date when the information will be published;
(b)     of the manner in which it will be published; and
(c)     by whom it will be published.
(3)     In this Article, “published” means published –
(a)     by a public authority; or
(b)     by any other person.

Article 36 is also a qualified exemption requiring a public interest test  

In the interest of transparency and accountability etc the results could be released, however it is intended that the future report will contain additional information which will provide the requester with a fuller picture regarding this subject.
Therefore, we consider that it is in the public’s interest for the information to be exempted and provided in the published report within 12 weeks.

Article 25      Personal information

(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018.
(2)     Information is absolutely exempt information if –
(a)     it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018; and
(b)     its supply to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles, as defined in that Law.
(3)     In determining for the purposes of this Article whether the lawfulness principle in Article 8(1)(a) of the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 would be contravened by the disclosure of information, paragraph 5(1) of Schedule 2 to that Law (legitimate interests) is to be read as if sub-paragraph (b) (which disapplies the provision where the controller is a public authority) were omitted.

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