Alcoa’s toxic pipeline needs to be cleared

US bauxite miner Alcoa has been ordered to urgently clean up a pipeline he illegally built over a southwestern drinking water dam likely filled with toxic chemicals.

Pollution from the pipeline is likely, according to a Prevention Notice issued to Alcoa by the Department of Water and Environment Regulation Thursday.

The PFAS pipeline traverses the Water Corporation's Samson Dam.

The PFAS pipeline traverses the Water Corporation’s Samson Dam.Credit:Anonymous.

Last month Today revealed that Alcoa built the 10-kilometer pipeline across the Water Corporations’ Samson Dam east of Waroona to transport water contaminated with the toxic fire-fighting chemical PFAS to a treatment plant.

The company later applied for regulatory approval in August 2022, but its filing made no mention that the pipeline and ponds to contain the contaminated water had already been constructed.

When that legal notice revealed that state government agencies had called the pipeline plan “an alarming prospect,” Alcoa issued a lengthy media statement, but didn’t say it had already completed much of the construction and utilized the pipeline.


Read WAtoday’s exclusive Alcoa research here

PFAS are known as “Forever Chemicals” because of how long they remain in the environment. They have been shown to be poisonous to some animals.

The pipeline, which was used for two weeks in 2022, likely contains PFAS-contaminated water, according to the regulator’s preliminary investigation, making any leak near the dam a threat to southwest Washington’s drinking water supply system. Alcoa’s toxic pipeline needs to be cleared

Brian Lowry

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