Contamination at Butler Street Reserve

In partnership with the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), we are investigating per-and-poly fluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances associated with the Butler Street Reserve in Byron Bay.

The Butler Street Reserve was an unlicensed landfill up until the mid-1970s.

Investigations to date indicate that the PFAS in the groundwater is not a human health risk. However the level of PFAS detected underlying the reserve is comparatively high and further investigations are required.

The EPA have given approval for the Byron Farmers Market to return to a small, stable section of Butler Street Reserve with the first market scheduled for 2 December 2021.

What is PFAS?

PFAS is a group of chemicals that were widely used in some fire-fighting foams and other products including food packaging, non-stick cookware, fabric, furniture, clothing and shampoo.

The EPA said it was likely that the PFAS contamination was a result of general household rubbish put into the landfill but could also be due to past activities on the reserve. 

Testing unregistered bores

If property owners in the vicinity of Butler Street Reserve have unregistered bores on their property which they would like tested, please contact Council on majorprojects@byron.nsw.gov.au

More information from the EPA

The EPA is the lead organisation in PFAS investigations. They have produced a fact sheet and provide more information about PFAS on their website.