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Kemps Creek Training Facility

What is the situation at Kemps Creek?

A site management plan is currently being developed by NSW RFS for the Kemps Creek Training Facility, in consultation with Liverpool City Council. This plan will provide options for remediating the site and will take a few months to complete.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority is leading the NSW PFAS investigation program.  The EPA has been monitoring the progress of NSW RFS PFAS investigations at the Kemps Creek Training Facility.

Why was PFAS investigated?

NSW RFS identified PFAS containing firefighting foam was used as part of fire training until 2007 at the Kemps Creek Training Facility, located within Liverpool City Council’s Western Depot at 245 Devonshire Road, Kemps Creek.

What testing was undertaken?

A Detailed Site Investigation (DSI) and a Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment, completed in April 2018, included soil, groundwater, sediment and surface water sampling from various locations on and off-site, as well as produce grown on nearby properties. The DSI followed preliminary investigations which confirmed the presence of PFAS in some samples at and around the Kemps Creek Training Facility. The detailed testing was undertaken to verify earlier findings, to help determine the extent of any PFAS migration, and inform site management actions.

What were the results?

PFAS were detected in some soil, sediment, ground and surface water samples.  The EPA requested the NSW PFAS Taskforce undertake a review and assessment of the investigation report.  The NSW PFAS Taskforce comprises representatives from the EPA, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW Department of Primary Industries Biosecurity and Food Safety, NSW Food Authority, NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW Health, NSW Department of Industry Lands and Water, and NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer.

The EPA and NSW PFAS Taskforce recommended that, as a precaution, specific residents near Liverpool City Council’s Western Depot not use surface water for drinking, cooking or watering produce (fruit, vegetables, herbs and poultry). The potentially affected residents downstream of the Depot and upstream of Kemps Creek have been notified.  This advice does not apply to the wider Kemps Creek community.

Kemps Creek residents are connected to the town water supply which is safe to use.  The primary PFAS exposure pathways are through drinking water containing PFAS, or eating produce that was grown using water containing PFAS.

What happens now?

NSW RFS is committed to working closely with the NSW EPA, Liverpool City Council and residents to help reduce any potential exposure to PFAS.  Residents of properties near the site have been provided with tailored, precautionary dietary advice.

More information

  • Read more about the NSW EPA state-wide PFAS program and Kemps Creek PFAS investigation.
  • 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 NSWPFAS Taskforce is taking a precautionary approach to protecting human health.
  • You can read more about what the NSW RFS is doing by monitoring this site.

Our commitment to you

We will work to keep you up to date on investigations.

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

Information updated 14 December 2018