Questions and Answers

Q1. What has the Airport done about the issue to date?

A1. When the contamination occurred, Jersey Airport put in place a suite of measures to ensure any property in the Plume Area that might have been affected had access to safe drinking water.  This included installing and connecting almost every property to a mains supply and, as an interim measure whilst the testing of groundwater was on-going, paying water rates of connected properties in the Plume Area. This was irrespective of whether the property was affected by the historic contamination or not.

Ports of Jersey have been continually monitoring the groundwater of the Plume Area, and now have a long history of readings.  Accordingly, Ports of Jersey are now able to ascertain those properties that have and continue to be affected by the historic contamination. 

Ports of Jersey on incorporation assumed responsibility for reviewing the issues arising out of the historic contamination and have been carefully working through each property to determine a fair and reasonable course of action.

 

Q2. Why has this taken so long to resolve?

A2. At the time of the contamination there was a high degree of uncertainty as to the extent of the historic contamination and which properties were affected. The former Harbours & Airport Committee and subsequently the Ministers for Economic Development took a conservative and immediate precautionary approach of addressing this issue in terms of ensuring that all properties in the Plume Area had the opportunity to access mains water whilst monitoring the overall situation by taking regular groundwater samples.

This matter has a long and complicated history involving many individual properties and property owners, which has resulted in the interim arrangements continuing for a considerable time and without a conclusion having been reached. Ports of Jersey are keen to move matters forward and will now attempt to reach a settlement (on a case by case basis) with those property owners in the Plume Area which it considers have been affected by the historic contamination.

 

 

Q3. How many properties were affected and how many still are?

A3. 78 properties (both residential & commercial) were identified in the Plume Area. The groundwater at only 36 properties have tested positive for PFOS above the recognised wholesomeness threshold (see Background Summary). Some of these properties which previously tested positive are now below the threshold. To date, the groundwater at the remaining 42 Properties have either had no PFOS readings, or PFOS readings which are below the recognised wholesomeness threshold (see Background Summary).

To date, 67 properties in the Plume Area have been connected to a mains water supply and 11 properties remain unconnected, although they can be connected at any time.

 

Q4. When and how is this going to be resolved?

A4.The historic contamination issue has a long and complicated history involving many States Departments, individual properties and property owners.  The circumstances relating to each property in the Plume Area vary and therefore it is not appropriate or achievable to treat all property owners the same.  It is fair and reasonable that Ports of Jersey does not overcompensate or compensate those who have not suffered any loss and have no nexus with the historic contamination. Ports of Jersey are keen to bring matters to a conclusion.  Where it is reasonable, Ports of Jersey will attempt to reach a settlement (on a case by case basis) with those property owners in the Plume Area which it considers have been affected by the historic contamination. 

 

 

Q5. Is it a fact that that Port of Jersey are reneging on the settlement previously agreed by the States to compensate those affected?

A5. No. Whilst discussions have previously taken place with various property owners within the Plume Area, no agreement or settlement has been reached to date. Ports of Jersey are now seeking to move this process on and finally bring matters to a conclusion.

 

Q6. Have there been any reported instances of illness as a result of the contamination?

A6. Not to the knowledge of Ports of Jersey.

 

Q7. Has any tax payer's money been spent on this?

A7. No. Funds were previously allocated from Jersey Airport Trading Fund and subsequently financial responsibility has now been passed to Ports of Jersey Limited.

 

Q8. How much has been spent dealing with this issue?

A8. Costs associated with PFOS contamination have totalled circa £7.4m which can be broken down as follows:

Expenditure TypeTotal - £
​Investigation -
includes engineering costs of installing & monitoring boreholes, ongoing sampling and Analytical

    990,279

​Connection to water supplies​    144,491
​Payments of Water Rates to Jersey Water​    363,166
​Remedial Works associated tol Old Fire Training Ground​    309,982
​Professional Fees​    549,397
​Finance Costs​      84,849
​Jersey Water Mains Connection Costs​    560,863
​Capital Works - Fire Training Ground​  4,366.137
​  7,369,165