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Environmental Management of Firefighting Foam Policy

Implementation Seminar (21-23 February 2017)

Do you work for a business, or are you part of an industry, that stocks firefighting foam for use in emergencies?

Firefighting foams containing legacy per and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are being phased out in Queensland, with businesses required to transition to more sustainable foam products and practices.

The Queensland Government is hosting the Environmental Management of Firefighting Foam Policy—Implementation Seminar in Brisbane (21-23 February 2017) to provide end users of firefighting foam, their service providers and consultants with information and guidance on best-practice foam use and meeting state-wide regulatory obligations.

The program will cover environmental management, foam types and use, risk assessment, site contamination, sampling and assessment, remediation technologies, regulation and policy, waste management, case studies and more. There will be subject-expert speakers from around Australia, the United States, United Kingdom and Germany.



Tuesday 21 February to Thursday 23 February 2017


Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre Cnr Merivale and Glenelg Streets South Bank, Brisbane Queensland, Australia


The registration fee is A$450, which will cover the three days including lunch and refreshments.


The program content provides guidance for those transitioning from older foam formulations to best-practice modern or fluorine-free products. It is also useful to those needing to establish and verify their current foam risk profile and status, or better understand the challenges of legacy site contamination by fluorinated organics of soils and groundwater.

Day 1

  • Regulatory and policy framework
  • World-wide drivers and trends in environmental considerations
  • Meeting the challenges of fire systems transition and cleanout
  • Risk assessment, contingency planning and insurance for incidents
  • Legal obligations and liabilities.

Day 2

  • Fire service expectations
  • Sampling and analysing for PFCs and interpretation of results
  • Maritime issues, ports and fire-fighting tugs
  • Risk to downstream environmental, social and economic values
  • Worldwide perspective on site contamination
  • Policy implementation discussion panel.

Day 3

  • Contaminated sites assessment and management
  • Waste management and disposal
  • Regulators’ satellite forum (closed session).

Check back here for the full program (which may change without notice) closer to the date.

Registrations will open 8:00am Tuesday 21 February, and the event will close around 3.00pm on Thursday 23 February, followed by a closed discussion forum for regulators until 5.00pm.

See full program (PDF, 958K).


Keynote speakers include:

  • His Honour Justice Brian Preston, Chief Judge of the New South Wales Land & Environment Court, a world authority on the jurisprudence associated with the application of the Precautionary Principle to environmental decision making within the framework of Environmentally Sustainable Development;
  • Dr. Erika Houtz now of Arcadis USA but formerly of the University of California at Berkeley, the developer of the TOPA (total oxidisable precursor assay) method together with Dr David Sedlak.  This method reveals the previously hidden fluorinated organics content of foams, wastes and contaminated materials allowing more accurate characterisation and risk assessment.
  • Martin Cornelsen, MD of Cornlesen Umwelttechnologie GmbH, Essen, Germany, a leading expert in the chemical engineering of groundwater and soil remediation technology including mobile treatment systems for water purification and soil vapour extraction.
  • Axel Meßling and Ingo Valentin, Environment Agency, City of Düsseldorf, Germany, experienced in regulatory issues involved in assessing and remediating PFC contamination caused by firefighting foam and wastes use across a wide range of sectors including airports, industry and agriculture.

Other speakers include representatives from the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, other State environmental regulators, the Fire Service, plus fire engineering consultants, leading legal counsel specialised in environmental issues, the Insurance Council of Australia, Maritime Safety Queensland, Biosecurity Queensland, the petrochemical industry, as well as remediation, analytical and waste disposal specialists.


The registration fee is A$450, which will cover the three days including lunch and refreshments.

Accommodation, transport and parking

There are a range of accommodation options available both sides of the Brisbane River within walking distance or a short taxi ride to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Further information

For further information or questions, contact Nigel Holmes from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection at .

Resources and information

Last updated
17 February 2017