Hoxton Park RFS
What is the situation at Hoxton Park?
PFAS investigations are continuing at the Hoxton Park RFS at 8-10 First Avenue, Hoxton Park. The facility is no longer used for operational purposes.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (NSW EPA) is monitoring the progress of NSW RFS PFAS investigations at the Hoxton Park site.
Why is PFAS being investigated?
Foam containing PFAS was used in firefighting activities, such as fuel type fires and training, by some Rural Fire Brigades since 1975 for the protection of people and property.
The 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 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. There is currently no consistent evidence that exposure to PFOS and PFOA causes adverse human health effects (refer to NSW Health Site). It is important to assess if there are any potential ways in which people might have contact with these chemicals. The primary PFAS exposure pathways are through drinking water containing PFAS, or eating produce that was grown using water containing PFAS. Local residents are connected to the town water supply, which is safe to use.
What testing is being undertaken?
Investigations involve sampling of soil and groundwater on-site. RFS also sought the assistance of some residents near the Hoxton Park facility regarding the completion of a water use survey and off-site soil and home-grown produce sampling.
What were the results?
Preliminary investigations by independent environmental consultants confirmed the presence of PFAS.
On-site soil samples at the former RFS site were within the nationally adopted PFAS soil criteria for open space PFAS National Environmental Management Plan 2.0 (NEMP).
What happens now?
RFS and NSW EPA are currently reviewing the Detailed Site Investigation Report to then develop suitable improvement actions.
Findings of the previous on-site investigations are being validated, taking into consideration the weather events since 2021.
- Read more about the NSW EPA state-wide PFAS program including Frequently Asked Questions
- Questions about the NSW EPA’s state-wide 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 what the RFS PFAS investigations by monitoring this site.
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Information updated May 2023