Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

PFAS investigation underway at Kemps Creek

Media release: 5 April 2017

Further testing is underway at Kemps Creek Rural Fire Service (RFS) training site, as part of the state-wide PFAS* investigation program being led by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

Preliminary sampling undertaken by the Rural Fire Service (RFS) at the site, which is owned by Liverpool City Council, shows the presence of PFAS in some of the groundwater, surface water and sediment samples taken offsite.

EPA Executive Director Hazardous Incidents and Environmental Health Sarah Gardner said contamination in the environment is often found where PFAS containing fire-fighting foams have been used for training.

“Importantly, there is no consistent evidence of any human health effects related to PFAS exposure,” Mrs Gardner said.

“At Kemps Creek what we need to assess is if there are any pathways through which people might be exposed to PFAS contamination.

“We will do this using the new Food Standards Australia New Zealand guidelines for PFAS, to determine what levels the community might be exposed to.

“We know that residents are connected to town water, which is safe to use in the home, but Liverpool City Council is undertaking a local water use survey to determine if residents use bore or dam water on their property, which is one of the ways they might to be exposed to PFAS. 

“We will continue to work collaboratively with RFS and Liverpool City Council to ensure an appropriate, scientific and risk-based approach is adopted throughout the investigation, and that the community receives information in a timely manner.”

More information on PFAS is available at investigation.htm or by calling the NSW Environment Line on 131 555.

* Per- and poly- fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of chemicals that include perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS). As they have heat, water and stain repelling properties, PFAS have been widely used in a range of industrial and consumer products both in Australia and internationally, including in fire retardants, water proofing, food preparation, food packaging, furnishings, clothing and recreational equipment.

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 05 April 2017