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Draft PFAS guidelines
The EPA has begun consultation on 2 draft guidelines that deal with PFAS in South Australia.
As part of the EPA’s regulatory strategy for PFAS management, it has released the draft PFAS-contaminated waste disposal site suitability guideline and the draft PFAS in waste soils guideline.
Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, are manufactured chemicals that have been used in a range of industrial and consumer products since the 1950s.
They are of concern around the world because they have been purposefully manufactured to be resistant to high temperatures and weathering and to not break down in the environment. They can also accumulate in food chains and travel through groundwater.
The EPA has run two digital information sessions for interested members of the community. The draft guidelines and further information are available from the EPA’s Engage site.
The consultation period ends on 1 March 2023.
Dealing with the aftermath of River Murray flooding
One of the state’s biggest natural disaster clean-ups is under way as River Murray communities recover from significant flooding.
The State Government’s involvement in the waste management element is led by Green Industries SA (GISA) with advice and support from the EPA.
Free structural assessments are available to people with primary residences and holiday homes in the affected areas, as well as small businesses and not-for-profit organisations.
Material will be recycled wherever possible. This will include sand from sandbags, which can be used later in rebuilding flood-damaged roads.
Flood mud – the wet clay, soil and sand that settles on the ground after flood waters recedes – must not be placed into any waterways, including the River Murray.
Under the Environment Protection (Water Quality) Policy 2015, these substances are classed as pollutants that can affect the recovery of the river’s ecosystem. More information, including options for disposing of flood mud, can be found on the EPA website.
Information about property assessments and the clean-up process is available from GISA.
Property owners with flood-affected material and debris can get five free vouchers for drop-offs to any of the 11 transfer stations in the River Murray region. This program is jointly funded by the state and federal governments under disaster recovery funding arrangements.
The funding will help local government to extend transfer station opening hours, put on more staff, and cover the costs of recycling, where possible, and landfill.
People who have previously registered for flood relief or financial assistance will already have a client ID. This can be used to pick up the vouchers at any of the participating landfills.
Further information on the vouchers.
Flooding at Blanchetown
Extension of northern Adelaide groundwater prohibition area
The EPA will extend an existing groundwater prohibition area (GPA) at Edinburgh to parts of Waterloo Corner, Bolivar and St Kilda.
The EPA has completed a three-month community engagement process and property owners and residents in the area have been informed of the decision.
The GPA, to be known as Edinburgh Stage 2, will come into effect on 23 February and follows the establishment of the first stage in February 2022. Both are needed because of historic contamination by per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
Driver Road at Waterloo
Modernisation of radiation safety legislation
New legislation and regulations governing radiation safety in South Australia came into effect on 11 February, promoting national uniformity and replacing an Act that was 40 years old.
The Radiation Protection and Control Act 2021 and the Radiation Protection and Control Regulations 2022 adopt international and Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) codes and standards.
The commencement of the legislation was the culmination of several years’ work by branches across the EPA and members of the state’s Radiation Protection Committee, an expert advisory body appointed by the Governor.
The Act and regulations support the principles of sustainable development, enabling access by South Australians to the benefits of new radiation technologies, and providing a modern, risk-based approach that focuses on the important issues and removes unnecessary administrative burdens.
Guidance documents for a range of sectors, including radiology, dentistry, nuclear medicine, veterinary and accredited testers, are on the EPA website.