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Singleton area

What is the situation at Singleton?

Detailed PFAS investigations has been completed at five locations in the Singleton area:

The NSW Environment Protection Authority has been monitoring the progress of NSW RFS PFAS site investigations at these Singleton area locations.

Why is PFAS being investigated?

NSW RFS identified PFAS-containing firefighting foam might have been stored or used as part of fire training, or used in public firefighting demonstrations at these locations. As a precaution NSW RFS is undertaking investigations to determine if PFAS from firefighting foam might still be present in the environment.

The presence PFAS in the environment may not necessarily pose a risk to human health or the environment. It is important to assess if there are any potential ways in which people might have contact with these chemicals.

What testing is being undertaken?

The investigation included sampling of soil, groundwater, surface water and/or sediment by independent environmental consultants on behalf of NSW RFS, which has been completed.  Some neighbouring residents were asked to complete a water use survey as part of the investigation.

What were the results?

A review of detailed site investigation results found no off-site PFAS impacts. Those small areas on-site where PFAS were detected on-site were below the PFAS National Environmental Management Plan 2.0 industrial and commercial guidelines.

What happens now?

A site improvement options plan was developed by an independent environmental consultant and reviewed in consultation with the NSW RFS and NSW EPA.

Site improvement works were completed at Whittingham RFS on 12 December 2020.  This included the removal of 31.8 tonnes of soil from the site. The soil was sent to landfill, in accordance with NSW EPA waste classification guidelines, and replaced with clean fill.

More information

  • 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 Technical Advisory Group is taking a precautionary approach to protecting human health.
  • You can read more about what the NSW RFS PFAS investigations by monitoring this site.

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.auor contact Debra Thompson, NSW RFS on 02 8508 4040.

Information updated 16 Dec 2020.