Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) will next month host a summit of international experts and regulators on the environmental regulation of per-and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS).
EPA Executive Director of Knowledge Standards and Assessment, Tim Eaton said EPA Victoria was taking a lead role in the development of a nationally-consistent approach to the environmental regulation of PFAS.
“EPA is coordinating the summit on behalf of the Heads of EPAs Australia and New Zealand (HEPA) and the Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy. We’ll also be leading the development of a PFAS National Management Plan,” Mr Eaton said.
“Such a plan will help provide national consistency on how to ensure good environmental practices are applied to all PFAS contaminated sites across Australia,” he said.
“PFAS are of emerging global concern because they are persistent in the environment and resistant to normal environmental breakdown. A nationally-consistent approach to regulation will increase certainty for government, community and industry.”
Mr Eaton said the summit, from 4–5 April in Melbourne, aimed to establish a series of recommendations to inform the development of the National Management Plan.
“Summit attendees will include experts in the technical aspects of PFAS from Australian and international environmental and health regulators,” he said.
Mr Eaton said that following the summit HEPA would consider its outcomes and make recommendations for future work, including how to progress the PFAS National Management Plan.
A representative from the United States Environmental Protection Agency will be amongst the guest speakers, and EPA is in the final stages of securing other international guests.
“EPA has sought to reach a wider audience by ensuring members of the community, industry, media and business can watch a live stream of the keynote speeches on the first day of the summit,” Mr Eaton said.
Mr Eaton said the live stream would be available at www.epa.vic.gov.au/pfas on Tuesday, 4 April, from 9am–12.30pm (AEST). A limited number of places are also available for people with an interest in PFAS to watch the keynote speeches in person at Melbourne Museum.
People who would like to attend in person should express their interest via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, 24 March 2017.
The rest of the summit will consist of a series of workshops involving technical experts in the environmental and health regulation of PFAS from Australian regulators and international jurisdictions.
Options for further stakeholder involvement will be considered by Australian environmental regulators following the summit.