Kemps Creek Training Facility
What is the situation at the Kemps Creek Training Facility?
A site improvement options plan has been prepared for the Kemps Creek Training Facility, in consultation with Liverpool City Council and NSW RFS, which provides management options for the site.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority has been monitoring the progress of NSW RFS PFAS investigations at the Kemps Creek Training Facility.
Why was PFAS 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.
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 NSW EPA requested the NSW PFAS Taskforce undertake a review and assessment of the investigation report. The Taskforce comprises representatives from the NSW 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 NSW 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 were 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?
Liverpool City Council, as the site owner, will lead the implementation of the site improvement options plan in consultation with, the NSW EPA, NSW RFS and residents. A stormwater management plan, as recommended by the site improvement options plan, to manage run-off from the site will help to reduce any potential exposure to PFAS.
- Read more about the NSW EPA state-wide PFAS program.
- 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 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 email@example.com or contact Debra Thompson, NSW RFS on 02 8508 4040.
Information updated 03 Jun 2020.