Aerial view of the city

Published on 25 February 2021

No PFAS for McLaren Vale

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has knocked back an application for PFAS-contaminated waste to be disposed of at McLaren Vale following council and community opposition.

A year ago Southern Waste ResourceCo (SWR) sought EPA approval to add per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the list of contaminated wastes it is licensed to receive at the McLaren Vale landfill.

Council and community opposition had centred on risks risks to health and food and wine production from the chemicals.

Today, the EPA said after a rigorous assessment process, it would not approve the application because the board considered “an unacceptable level of risk remained”.

“While Southern Waste ResourceCo had proposed best practice engineering measures in its application, the Board considered an unacceptable level of risk remained,” said EPA Chief Executive Tony Circelli.

“In addition the Board noted that the uncertainties about the nature of PFAS, and intergenerational considerations dictated the need for a precautionary approach.”

City of Onkaparinga Mayor Erin Thompson congratulated the community for the win.

“This is a great win for our communities and our world-class wine region, and a prime example of what we can achieve when we work together,” she said.

“Congratulations to the community. I’d like to thank everyone that attended a meeting, signed a petition and contacted the EPA, the Premier and council with your concerns.

“Thank you Leon Bignell MP for standing up for our community and environment. Thank you to the EPA for making the right decision.

“We’ll continue to fight hard for our communities and we’re grateful for everyone’s support in seeing this ill-conceived proposal get knocked back.”