ExxonMobil could buy up contaminated farmland near the Longford gas plant.

Toxic PFAS chemicals have been discovered on the land, spreading from Esso’s Longford gas plant near Sale. The chemicals were used at the Esso plant for about 40 years until 2008.

Esso is a trading name for ExxonMobil and its related companies. 

The company has been ordered to complete a two-year audit to determine the extent of the contamination.

PFAs has already been discovered on at least five neighbouring farms, and seven dams have been fenced off to prevent livestock from drinking contaminated water.

ExxonMobil has revealed it is negotiating a buy up of affected farmland.

But landholders have been urged not to accept any early offers.

Law firm Slater and Gordon says any negotiations must include an accurate assessment of land value, cover for business losses and compensation for the cost of buying a replacement property.

“They did not choose to be in this position and it would be unfair to short-change them by trying to assess property values before the full extent of contamination is known,” lawyer, Manisha Blencowe said at a recent community meeting.

“It is likely that landholders will only get one chance to get this right, because those selling to Esso are likely to be required to sign releases barring future claims.”