The low levels of PFAS exposure found in groundwater near Rockingham’s Millar Road tip would be acceptable for drinking water, authorities say. The matter was raised at the October 17 council meeting by Safety Bay resident Tom Mannion, who questioned what councillors knew of the leaching contaminant and whether the source of any leak had been discovered and sealed. PFAS, or per- and polyfluorinated substances, are found in common household products including non-stick cookware, surface treatments for fabrics, furniture and carpet stain protection applications, and food packaging. They are also used for a range of industrial activities. Due to this, PFAS are commonly found in landfill leachate and in wastewater. A spokesperson for Environment Minister Reece Whitby confirmed the minister was aware of the prevalence of PFAS at the site, which dates back to at least 2016. “While traces of PFAS have been detected in groundwater bores down gradient from the landfill cells, levels are well below the drinking water quality guideline values published in the PFAS National Environmental Management Plan,” the spokesperson said. PFAS contaminated wastes have been accepted at the tip and disposed of within existing landfill cells since 2019, with groundwater monitoring carried out annually at the facility. “DWER’s risk assessment determined that the city’s control measures to mitigate dust and leachate emissions from the landfill were adequate to prevent impacts to public health and the environment,” the spokesperson said. DWER will continue to review PFAS monitoring results. The City of Rockingham will publish responses to Mr Mannion’s questions, which were not answered by council officials on the night, ahead of its November monthly meeting.