Heavy industry contaminants have not been detected in drinking water or hangi pit soils around Whareroa Marae following initial sampling, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council said today.
Last month the council confirmed it was investigating reports PFAS compounds had been recorded in groundwater in Mount Maunganui's industrial area, on a site near the marae. It became aware of this following receipt of a consent application where PFAS was identified as part of the supporting contaminated land assessment.
PFAS are a large group of man-made compounds that are widely used globally in a range of consumer and industrial applications.
Initial sampling for a number of contaminants, including PFAS compounds, in the area surrounding Whareroa Marae has been completed, the council said in a statement today.
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"The first round of results showed PFAS compounds were not detected in drinking water or the hangi pit soils.
"PFAS compounds were also not detected in surface water and sediments next to the boat ramp and sediment along the shoreline. Small traces of PFAS which did not exceed recreational human health guidelines were found in the open drain next to the airport," the statement said.
General manager of regulatory services Sarah Omundsen said the first results were "promising so far but Regional Council is waiting for the second round of sampling results due next week, before a full picture can be established".
"Regional Council is taking a proactive approach by undertaking sampling around the industrial area to understand the extent of potential contamination. The health of the local community and environment are top of mind in everything we are doing."
She said working with the Whareroa community and keeping it up to date was a priority throughout the investigation.
The second stage of the investigation, following the initial sampling results, included a wider risk assessment and review of the potential sources of PFAS contamination within the broader Mount Maunganui Industrial Area.
"Regional Council has been and continues to act quickly to assess the situation while seeking advice from Toi Te Ora Public Health, working with Tauranga City Council and working closely with the Whareroa community," the statement said.