PFOS and PFAS contamination (FOI)
PFOS and PFAS contamination (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 26 February 2021.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
My questions are in regard to the presence of PFOS and PFAS in our water supply. Could you please tell me:
Given that the dangers presented by the presence of PFAS in the water supply, both private and public, have been known for some years, as evidenced by previous remedial action taken by Governments in both Guernsey and Jersey, why is it only now, at this very late stage, that properly-financed hydrogeological surveys are even being applied for, let alone actually carried out?
Has a time scale been agreed for this work to be carried out and, if so, please give details as to when and who by?
Considering that the Government in Guernsey, presumably based on the same scientific evidence that was equally available to their counterparts in Jersey, felt that the problems presented by PFAS soil contamination were so dangerous as to warrant considerable expenditure in the removal and subsequent storage of such soil, on what evidence do the authorities in Jersey believe that the health and well-being of their own citizens are less important?
Prior to and following the remediation at Jersey Airport’s Fire Training Ground in 2003/04, Jersey Airport undertook sampling within the main St Ouen’s Bay plume area, commissioned various summary monitoring reports on the status of the plume and arranged for the connection of users in the plume area to mains water.
The situation has been monitored since 2003, during which time the science and understanding of PFAS chemicals has increased. The need for current comprehensive hydrogeological surveys was identified as a key recommendation by the PFAS Technical Officer Group in its first interim report. This work will provide a further current understanding of the status of the main plume in St Ouen’s Bay and the Pont Marquet catchment and will inform whether any future management / treatment can be undertaken to address these issues.
A timescale has not been agreed at this stage as officers are currently commencing the procurement process for this work. The hydrogeological survey work is being funded through the 2021 to 2024 Government Plan and needs to be delivered by the end of 2022.
Once the survey work is complete further information with regard to how the problem will be tackled will be set out in the 2021 interim report issued by the Officer Technical Group.
The health, safety and wellbeing of Islanders is of paramount importance to the Government of Jersey. Pollution incidents vary greatly, and the steps taken in Jersey were seen as being appropriate to the specific circumstances and contamination levels recorded in Jersey.