Kemps Creek Training Facility
What is the situation at Kemps Creek?
The NSW RFS has identified locations where PFAS foam has been used in significant quantities as part of training or firefighting activities. One of these locations is the Kemps Creek training site.
The site is owned by Liverpool City Council and used by the NSW RFS. The site has been used as a training facility for many years by NSW RFS members. It has also been used as a depot by Liverpool City Council staff. The site remains closed.
The NSW RFS has engaged an environmental consultant to test for the presence of PFAS substances around the facility.
Preliminary screening tests have been completed.
PFAS compounds have been detected in some samples of surface water on and around the site, so further testing is required.
The presence of PFAS in the environment does not necessarily mean there is a human health risk. It is also important to assess if there are pathways through which people might come into contact with the chemicals.
A preliminary site investigation by the consultant has identified pathways through which NSW RFS members and local residents may come into contact with these chemicals.
What happens now?
The NSW RFS is working with the Environment Protection Authority and Liverpool City Council to investigate the extent of PFAS compounds in the surrounding area and any health risk to NSW RFS members and local residents.
Over the coming months, there will be detailed testing in and around the training area of:
- surface water and sediment in drains, ponds and dams, and Kemps Creek
- groundwater from extraction bores
- produce that may have been sprayed by contaminated water, including vegetables, fruit and eggs; and
- fauna from Kemps Creek such as fish and yabbies.
What should you do in the meantime?
Wait for the results of the detailed investigation and human health risk assessment. The detailed testing and human health risk assessment will assist in determining the extent of the contamination, and any effects on RFS personnel and volunteers, and local residents who might come into contact with these chemicals.
You can read about the statewide PFAS program at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/MediaInformation/pfasinvestigation.htm
You can also learn more about PFAS. There is a range of fact sheets available on the NSW Health website.
You can also read more about what the NSW RFS is doing by monitoring this site.
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