PFAS risk strategy for major airport

Client Name
Victoria, Australia
  • Land quality & remediation


The client, as an operator of a major commercial airport had numerous technical reports on contamination soil, groundwater and surface water, associated with tenant’s operations over many years, some of which recently addressed PFAS.

The client’s Board of Directors sought advice on the significance of such contamination in terms of potential risks of harm and the need for appropriate mitigation measures. This was particularly driven by recent concerns about PFAS at other airports and Defence bases.

A number of the recent technical reports had recommended a range of remedial actions and monitoring programs that required prioritization in terms of risk management, timing and funding. The client wished to appreciate the risks and liabilities due to the presence of PFAS from past uses and potential for current emissions from the site.


SLR provided a multi-disciplined team including PFAS specialists to evaluate numerous reports and databases from previous site contamination assessments and monitoring programs to identify the nature and extent of PFAS contamination at the site. SLR filled a critical data gap by sampling and testing surface water in the adjacent creek and its tributaries for 4km upstream and 1 km downstream.


The client was provided with a summary advisory report on the disposition of PFAS at their site and ambient levels in the adjacent creek, the risk-ranked potential for impacts (including reputational risk) and a set of prioritized actions for minimizing risk of harm to the maximum extent practicable.