EPA investigating fire-fighting foams

20 December 2017

A formal investigation is underway on fire-fighting foams manufactured using PFOS or PFOA are held or being used at airports and other locations.

Given there is significant public interest in this issue, and information is already in the public domain, the EPA considers it appropriate to let people know we are investigating.

All hazardous substances, including fire-fighting foams, that are imported, manufactured or used in New Zealand require approval by the EPA under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996.

Foams manufactured using PFOS or PFOA have not been legal for use in New Zealand since 2006.

The EPA’s initial priority has been to identify the types of foams held, whether they have been used or not, and how and where they are stored. If any do not have an appropriate approval the EPA will check that they are safely stored.

Provided these foams are appropriately stored, they pose no immediate risk to people or the environment.

The EPA will not comment further as the investigation proceeds. It will let people know the outcome of its inquiries as soon as practicable, and will work to ensure public safety.

Media enquiries:

Michael Pearson, Senior Communications Advisor, 021 966085