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Calls for expressions of interest for foam seminar
Published:  05 December, 2016

The Department of Environment and Heritage of Queensland, Australia is seeking expressions of interest for a seminar that aims to  provide fire-fighting foam end users and their direct service providers with information and guidance on the requirements of the operational policy, implementation issues, options and timelines.

The Minister for Environment Dr Steven Miles released the Queensland Operational Policy for the Environmental Management of Firefighting Foam on 7 July 2016. The Policy has come about from the emerging identification of large-scale site contamination at legacy foam use sites and emerging evidence of long-term adverse health and environmental effects from some chemicals.

To address these emerging issues the Policy requires fire-fighting foam end users to implement best-practice management practices for foam handling, use, and disposal to comply with the provisions of the Queensland Environmental Protection Act 1994 within the Policy timelines.

The three-day seminar, which would be held in Brisbane 21 to 23 February 2017, plans to cover:

• Policy content, regulatory framework and obligations under environmental legislation.

• Key short-term and long-term environmental issues associated with foam use.

• Baseline information and methods for assessment of risks associated with foam use.

• The behaviour and effects of persistent organic pollutants.

• Practicalities for transitioning systems to best practice.

• Assessing, managing and minimising risks and liabilities associated with foam.

• The responsibilities of foam users and the relationship with emergency services.

• Emergency services and environmental agencies expectations for management of foam.

• Contingency planning for incidents at industrial facilities.

• Legal responsibilities and liabilities for foam users for on-site and off-site effects.

• Insurance cover and the need for “environmental pollution insurance”.

• Industry specific issues, e.g. ports, mining, fuel terminals.

• System clean-out, assessing effectiveness and foam waste disposal requirements.

• Analytical methods for determining fluorinated organics compound content.

• Site contamination assessment, management and remediation challenges.

• Current technologies for remediation of impacted soils and groundwater.

Seminar presenters include subject experts across government regulators, fire systems engineers, analytical laboratories, legal counsel, risk assessors, contaminated sites assessment and remediation consultants.

The seminar would be strictly limited in numbers to end users and direct service providers such as foam end users, fire engineers and contaminated sites consultants. The Department is seeking expressions of interest from fire-fighting foam end users and their direct advisors. The cost of the seminar for the three days would be about $350 per attendee inclusive of venue and catering.

Expressions of interest should be sent by 19 December 2016 to: nigel.holmes@ehp.qld.gov.au