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[其它国家] 【新西兰《Stuff》】消防泡沫构成新西兰空军基地周围的水风险

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发表于 2017-12-7 19:43:50 | 只看该作者 回帖奖励 |倒序浏览 |阅读模式
Firefighter foam poses water risk around NZ air bases
消防泡沫构成新西兰空军基地周围的水风险

【日期】2017年12月7日

【连接】https://www.stuff.co.nz/national ... around-nz-air-bases

【备注】66条评论   无需翻墙   无敏感词

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Air force firefighters blast a Devon with foam to prevent a fuel fire after a crash landing at Ohakea in 2006.

Drinking water at homes close to two New Zealand air bases is to be tested over concerns a firefighting spray foam may have contaminated supplies.

The foam was used in training by defence staff at Base Woodbourne, in Marlborough, and Ohakea, in Manawatū. Commercial airfields may also be affected.

Property owners around Woodbourne and Ohakea were told on Thursday defence staff wanted their consent to obtain water samples from wells, drains or streams on their properties for testing.


Rescue fire services spray foam over this Beech aircraft after a wheels-up landing at Base Woodbourne in 2007 (file photo).

Environment Minister David Parker said government agencies were investigating potential water contamination around Woodbourne and Ohakea air bases.

Parker said levels of two chemical compounds, PFOS and PFOA, found by the NZ Defence Force (NZDF), were above guidelines for groundwater at these sites. The compounds were banned from use under the Stockholm Convention in 2006.

"As a result, we wish to test the water of properties neighbouring the bases, to see if their water is contaminated," Parker said.

"The advice of health officials, based on what we know right now, is that there is no acute human health risk, but it is prudent to test drinking water," he said.

"PFOS and PFOA were historically used to fight and train for flammable liquid fires but can no longer be imported or manufactured here. Neither NZDF nor the Fire and Emergency Service routinely use foams containing these compounds any more.

"However, we are talking to other organisations whose firefighting activities may have used these compounds," Parker said.

About 60 properties near the Ohakea air base, mostly dairy farms, could be affected by the contamination, a Ministry for the Environment spokesperson said. About 90 properties near Woodbourne could be affected.

They would be offered an alternative water supply until the test results came in.

Tests for PFOS and PFOA on milk produced from farms neighbouring Ohakea had already been carried out, and none were detected above reporting limits.

The same foam had also been used at commercial airports. The ministry was not aware of any having undertaken testing for contamination, but it would be talking to airport owners in the coming months.

Parker said, as with many other contaminants, people were exposed to very small amounts of PFOS or PFOA in everyday life.

Results from the testing were expected in January.

A Manawatū dairy farmer who would not give his name said he was frustrated about the lack of open information.

"We have a farm [bordering] right on the base. They rang us up a while ago telling us they were going to get some water, but they didn't tell us what for – you'd think they'd let you know. But I guess they were wanting to keep it quiet."

Water for the farm comes from a bore on the property, but people do not drink from it, he said.

He wanted the agencies involved to front up at a community meeting where questions could be asked.

"Letting you know in a letter's pretty s.... If contaminants were found in the milk, that's money to us. We want to know what they are testing for, and what the results are.

"I'd like to know what's going on, but there's not a whole lot you can do – what are going to do, ring the police? It's all being done in-house."

Nearby, new mum Bonnie Wapp​, said a letter came in the mail on Thursday, and she felt the information provided was good.

"I haven't heard anything about it before this, but I'm not fazed.

"The ministry says the chemicals are in everyday products, so it doesn't really bother me."

Her family's drinking water is from rainwater, so their supply isn't affected, but she wasn't sure how the family sheep and beef farm close to Ohakea could be affected.

Scott Bishell grows grapes, cherries and vegetables and runs beef and sheep on 200 hectares adjacent to Base Woodbourne.

Bishell said on Thursday he had not received any notification from defence staff but had seen the news online.

"It's unusual we haven't heard. They've been really good neighbours. I'll have to get in touch with them and find out what it's about," Bishell said.

Christine Jordan manages a farm near Base Woodbourne with her brother Roger. They had not received a request from defence staff seeking access to the property to obtain water samples.

Jordan said they had wells on their property of several hundred hectares, which was also in a mix of stock and cropping.

"I haven't heard anything yet," Jordan said. "I suppose we should have been informed. We've been pretty busy."

Marlborough District Council operations engineer Stephen Rooney said defence staff were responsible for informing air base neighbours.

Rooney said the council was sampling its own water supplies to gather testing results, which would be completed in the New Year.

"We will work alongside NZDF and [the ministry] over the coming weeks and provide our knowledge of the aquifers, water bores and groundwater in the Woodbourne area," Rooney said.

A Ministry for the Environment spokesman said testing on milk samples had revealed PFOS and PFOA traces so low they would not usually be reported.

The spokesman said the two chemicals bound to proteins  such as those in milk, and the low levels found "was a good sign".

"It's unlikely to be an issue for Marlborough's wine, for example," he said.

Parker said he believed the previous Government knew about the foam contamination months ago.  

"My understanding is that this was reported by the Ministry of Defence to the ministers in August this year.

"They've known longer than I have."

Parker said he had learned about the foam in the past month.

It was unknown whether there were acute effects from short-term exposure but research from Australia suggested there had to be long-term exposure to be at risk, Parker said.

Parker's focus was to ensure the safety of the water drawn from bores close to Ohakea [and Woodbourne] air base, he said.

There were still many unanswered questions about how often the foam was used, where and who by.

"Whether it was used more widely by other departments of government, we don't know yet.

"We don't know how often the fire service used similar foams in their training purposes. It appears its most concentrated use is probably at airports."

Ministry for the Environment spokeswoman Laurie Edwards said the Defence Force had known about the toxins since June 2017 when it received technical advice that PFAS and PFOA were present at Ohakea above acceptable guidelines.

In July 2017 the Defence Force commissioned groundwater modelling to assess the potential for off-site migration of the toxins at Ohakea, she said.

This was completed in September and it indicated the potential for  PFOS or PFOA  to move beyond the Ohakea base boundary.

"The drinking water on Ohakea and Woodbourne bases has been tested and is safe to drink."

​The Defence Force hasn't received new supplies of the foam since 2002.
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