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Colinton Rural Fire Station

What is the situation at Colinton Rural Fire Station?

PFAS investigations have commenced at the 4574 Monaro Highway, Colinton 2626.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (NSW EPA) is leading the NSW PFAS investigation program and is monitoring the progress of NSW RFS (RFS) PFAS investigations at the Colinton Rural Fire Station.

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.

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.

What testing is being undertaken?

The preliminary investigation included sampling of soil by independent environmental consultants on behalf of RFS.

A Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI), completed in June 2023, included soil from various locations on-site. The PSI confirmed the presence of PFAS in some samples. The preliminary testing was undertaken to verify anecdotal information on the potential use of PFAS containing foams used at the site.

What were the results?

Sampling has confirmed the presence of PFAS in some soil samples.

What happens now?

The next stage is to undertake a detailed site investigation to assess the extent of PFAS on-site.

More information

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

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Information updated March 2024