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Central Coast Fire Control Centre, Charmhaven

What is the situation at Charmhaven?

Detailed PFAS investigations have commenced at the Central Coast Fire Control Centre, Charmhaven.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority is monitoring the progress of NSW RFS PFAS investigations at Charmhaven.

Why is PFAS being investigated?

The NSW RFS identified PFAS-containing firefighting foam might have been stored or used as part of fire training and operations at this location. As a precaution, the NSW RFS is undertaking investigations to determine if PFAS from firefighting foam might still be present in the environment.

The presence of PFAS in the environment may not necessarily pose a risk to human health or the environment. It is important to assess if there are any potential ways in which people might have contact with these chemicals.

What testing is being undertaken?

The investigation included sampling of soil, concrete and surface water by independent environmental consultants on behalf of the NSW RFS.

What were the results?

The detailed site investigation report found PFAS detections in some soil samples in the immediate vicinity of the Central Coast FCC firefighting training area which were above the PFAS National Environmental Management Plan 2.0 open space guidelines.

What happens now?

A site improvement options plan has been developed by an independent environmental consultant and reviewed in consultation with the NSW RFS and NSW EPA.

Stage 1 site improvement works, which included additional sampling to further delineate PFAS, have been completed. Following a review of Stage 1 works, Stage 2 works will commence. This will include the removal of PFAS affected soil and concrete. The soil will be sent to landfill, in accordance with NSW EPA waste classification guidelines, and replaced with clean fill.

More information

  • Read more about the NSW EPA statewide PFAS program.
  • Questions about the NSW EPA’s statewide PFAS investigation program can be directed to the NSW Environment Line on 131 555.
  • NSW Health has a range of information available about PFAS.
  • The Commonwealth Department of Health’s Expert Health Panel provided advice on the health impacts of PFAS (May 2018). While there is no consistent evidence of any human health effects related to PFAS exposure, the NSW PFAS Technical Advisory Group is taking a precautionary approach to protecting human health.
  • You can read more about the NSW RFS PFAS investigations by monitoring this site.

Our commitment to you

We will work to ensure you are kept up to date on the situation and investigations.

You can ask questions by emailing pfas@rfs.nsw.gov.au or contact Debra Thompson, NSW RFS on 02 8508 4040.

Information updated 25 August 2022