Lake Macquarie Fire Control Centre, Cameron Park
What is the situation at Cameron Park?
Detailed PFAS investigations have commenced at the Lake Macquarie Fire Control Centre, George Booth Drive, Cameron Park.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (NSW EPA) is monitoring the progress of NSW RFS (RFS) PFAS site investigations at Cameron Park.
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.
The 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. Local residents are connected to the town water supply, which is safe to use.
What testing is being undertaken?
The investigation included sampling of soil, concrete, surface water and ground water by independent environmental consultants on behalf of the RFS.
What were the results?
The detailed site investigation results found PFAS detections in soil samples above the PFAS National Environmental Management Plan 2.0 open space guidelines in a small area to the south of the site. This area was used for training purposes.
What happens now?
A detailed site investigation report was developed by an independent environmental consultant and will be reviewed in consultation with the RFS and NSW EPA. The review will determine the next steps in the investigation.
- Read more about the NSW EPA state-wide PFAS program including Frequently Asked Questions
- 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 Technical Advisory Group is taking a precautionary approach to protecting human health.
- You can read more about what the RFS PFAS investigations by monitoring this site.
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Information updated October 2023