PFAS Update - 4 Jan 2021
You may recall that I wrote to you on 21 July of last year regarding the ongoing investigation and testing for the presence of PFAS in the school grounds, particularly those areas adjoining the former fire station and a smaller area located closer to the school building. I have attached that letter here in case it is of interest.
The first priority of the school and of Catholic Education has and continues to be ensuring that any risk for students, staff and families from the presence of PFAS is managed according to the best available scientific and health advice.
A recent media report has quoted an academic who called for the closure of the school until the presence of PFAS is remediated. This opinion is not consistent with the detailed testing, investigation and advice provided by ACT authorities.
We have and continue to work closely with ACT Government authorities. This has included advice, and direction as appropriate, from Dr Kerryn Coleman, ACT Chief Health Officer; Narelle Sargent, Head of the Environment Protection Authority, and Geoffrey Rutledge, Deputy Director-General, Sustainability and the Built Environment at the ACT Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate.
We will continue to take all measures required to ensure the safety of students, staff and families. The ACT Chief Health Officer has previously indicated she has fully supported our actions to manage the presence of PFAS from a health perspective.
The school and Catholic Education are working with the relevant ACT Government authorities to expedite appropriate remediation of the affected areas of the school. I am hopeful this will be resolved in the near future and I can then advise that full use of the school grounds will be restored for students with all risks remediated. I hope I can provide further information as the start of the school year approaches.
Please email me at Leah.Taylor@cg.catholic.edu.au if you have any questions at this time.
St Thomas Aquinas West Belconnen
02 6258 4077