Wagga City Council has removed 3000 tonnes of PFAS-contaminated soil from the airport.
During Monday night's meeting budget report, it was explained that the federal government have council excavate Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) contaminated soils from Taxiway A North at Wagga Airport and transport the soil to Gregadoo Waste Management Centre.
General manager Peter Thompson said the lease for the airport between council and the Department of Defence was taken on a long time ago.
"Many decades ago, no-one was aware of the PFAS issue," he said. "In fact, they were probably still using PFAS foam [at the time] which are now known to create a problem."
Mr Thompson said the federal government told the council about the issue a few months ago, and the contaminated soil, which had "quite low levels", has already been removed.
"It's been disposed of at Gregadoo [Waste Management Centre]," he said. "There was some of the soil though that had asbestos fragments in it where clearly someone in the past has buried some fibro or something similar.
"That's been sent to a different class of landfill that's licensed to accept that particular asbestos."
Mr Thompson said the federal government had agreed to reimburse the council, but it was yet to receive the money.
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"I don't expect to find any more [PFAS], but we didn't expect to find this either, and we didn't expect to find the asbestos," Mr Thompson said.
The Federal Government will reimburse council for the $936,000 in costs associated with the PFAS removal.
A Defence spokesperson said in the department commenced an environmental investigation into the presence of PFAS on and in the vicinity of RAAF Base Wagga in 2016.
"Wagga City Council was included as part of the project control group and as such was provided with all investigation results prior to publication," they said.
"[The investigation] identified the Former Fire Training Area as one of the four key PFAS source areas due to historical Defence firefighting training practices. The findings of the DSI were presented to the community on June 7, 2018, and published on the Defence website."
The spokesperson said Defence is working with Wagga City Council to manage contaminated soils excavated during the upgrade of the airport's taxiways, including reimbursement of costs for management of contaminated soils.
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