NSW Must Ban the Toxic PFAS Fire-Fighting Foam!
The NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton makes excuses on why NSW cannot ban this product BUT it is now time that NSW must ban the toxic PFAS fire-fighting foam! The only reason why I can see the Minister is reluctant to ban the product and to lay the responsibility on the Federal Government is because of concerns over any potential claim that may flow either from the injured parties or the businesses distributing or holding the product. She may also have concerns that it may weaken the Federal Governments defence against legal class action that they are prepared to fight out in the courts instead of seeking an out of court settlement.
The State government has the power and the right to ban the products and the only reason why they do not is because the Minister is afraid to act in an honorable way. As the Environment Minister she has the capacity to act and to give direction to every environmental officer of the State Government and all relevant councils to prosecute those who continue hold or to use the products. If the Minister will not act then the Parliament must act to force the minister to act. A motion from the floor of Parliament can and must force the Minister to have NSW ban the toxic PFAS from our state.
Other states have banned the PFAS and NSW must follow suit as many areas of the contamination are under the State Government direct management as the product has been used in fire-fighting training by the NSW fire-fighters and by the mine rescue crews who are also under the NSW Government’s management. There are 171 nations that have already banned the products containing the toxic PFAS toxins. Leadership is needed by Minister Upton as well as by the NSW Premier on this subject and if they cannot then they are proving that they are not involved for the Good Government For the People Of NSW (this is the oath they take on taking office). If they are not involved for the good government for the people of NSW they ought to resign their positions effectively immediately!
A buck minister should resign or do their job and the Minister’s job includes protecting the citizens of NSW from toxic pollutants. There is no reason to for the Minister to act and there is no impediment for the minister to act, the question is, will she? A serious call to the Federal Government would be made once the product is banned in NSW, until the any call for the Federal Government to act is very lame to say the least.
The Environment Minister has a responsibility to do her job well! If she will not will the parliament assist her by passing a motion that says NSW must ban the toxic PFAS fire-fighting foam!
But according to a regulation impact statement from the federal Department of Environment, released last year, responsibilities for regulation of chemicals are shared between jurisdictions.
‘‘The states and territories typically deal with on-ground risk management, control of use, and waste management and disposal,’’ the report said.
‘‘Matters covered by state and territory legislation could include requirements for the licensing of facilities and sites using PFOS, the storage, disposal and clean-up of PFOS wastes (including destruction) and bans on PFOS releases.’’
Asked yesterday whether she stood by the position, her office declined to comment. Instead, a spokesman for the Environment Protection Authority said the federal government was working on the issue.
‘‘The federal government notes that industry has phased out most non-essential uses of PFAS following the recognition of risks to the environment and potential risks to human health.’’
Note the areas on the map below where there is evidence of toxic pollution in NSW and this is where the NSW Environment Ministers direct responsibilities lay. It is time to ban this group of toxins now!
Just ban the toxic PFAS now please and stop the poisoning of the people of NSW!
This is a lot worse than many thought it was while many families saw their mothers, their fathers, their children, their brothers, and their sisters get sick and many died after a terrible cancer took hold of their bodies.
This must stop!
A government that fails to protect it’s people must be tossed out for one that will!