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Kemps Creek Training Facility

What is the situation at Kemps Creek?

A Detailed Site Investigation (DSI) for per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and a human health risk assessment was completed in April 2018 at the Kemps Creek Rural Fire Service (RFS) training site located within Liverpool City Council’s Western Depot.  The DSI followed preliminary investigations which confirmed the presence of PFAS at and around the facility. The detailed testing was undertaken to verify earlier findings, to help determine the extent of PFAS migration, and inform management actions for the site.

The DSI included sampling soil, groundwater, sediment and surface water from various locations on and off-site, as well as produce grown on nearby properties.

The EPA requested the NSW PFAS Taskforce undertake a review and assessment of the investigation report.  The NSW PFAS Taskforce comprises representatives from 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.

What should you do in the meantime?

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

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

In May 2018, the Commonwealth Department of Health’s Expert Health Panel has provided advice on the health impacts of PFAS. While there is no consistent evidence of any human health effects related to PFAS exposure, the NSW PFAS Taskforce is taking a precautionary approach to protecting human health.  

What Happens Now?

The NSW RFS is committed to working closely with the NSW EPA, the Liverpool City Council and the residents to help reduce exposure to PFAS.  To this end, a Site Remediation Plan is being currently developed. This study will provide options for remediating the site to mitigate the  contamination identified in the detailed site investigation. This report will take a few months to complete and will be analyzed to inform the implementation of remediation program.  

The EPA is working collaboratively with stakeholders and government agencies to ensure an appropriate, scientific and risk-based approach is adopted throughout the investigation, and that the community receives timely information.

  • Questions about the investigations underway at Kemps Creek can be directed to the RFS at (02) 8741 5555
  • Questions about the NSW EPA’s state-wide PFAS investigation program can be directed to the NSW EPA Environment Line on 131 555

Our commitment to you

  • We will work to ensure you are kept up to date on the situation and investigations.  
  • You can register for updates or ask questions by emailing pfas@rfs.nsw.gov.au

Information updated 16 July 2018