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, Byron Bay.

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

Investigations have found PFAS in groundwater at Butler Street Reserve and within the adjacent Byron Drain, also referred to as Union Drain.

The next phase of investigation involves surveying and sampling water from 11 registered bores near Butler Street Reserve to determine whether ground water contamination has moved off site.

Finding PFAS in the environment does not mean there is a human health risk. It is important to assess if there are exposure pathways through which people might ingest PFAS, such as drinking contaminated groundwater or consuming food products watered with contaminated groundwater.

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.

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 this matter. They have produced a fact sheet on the Butler Street Reserve PFAS investigations and provide more information about PFAS on their website.