“Elevated levels of PFAS (per and poly fluoroalkyl) substances in the Shoalhaven River have come from HMAS Albatross, according to the Environment Protection Authority.
It is the first time since elevated levels in the river and precautionary dietary advice to restrict weekly servings of five river fish species was revealed last November that it has been confirmed the base was the source.
Numerous studies and investigations have been conducted at the base, the Jervis Bay Range Facility and HMAS Creswell into contamination from the historical use of firefighting foam.
At a community information session at Nowra Hill last November at which results from detailed site investigations (DSI) and the human health and ecological risk assessment (HHERA) at Albatross and its surrounds were revealed, investigators could not rule out a possible link between the contamination at the naval base and recent higher PFAS levels in certain fish species in the Shoalhaven River.
The EPA spokesperson said it was likely PFAS had migrated from HMAS Albatross to the Shoalhaven River through surface and groundwater.
‘It is unlikely that HMAS Albatross is the only source of PFAS in the Shoalhaven River. There are a number of other potential sources of PFAS in the Nowra area,’ the spokesperson said.
‘The EPA continues to investigate HMAS Albatross as part of the NSW PFAS Investigation Program.’
The precautionary dietary advice is still in place for luderick (blackfish), sea mullet, sand whiting, dusky flathead and silver biddy both up and downstream of the Shoalhaven River Bridge and the EPA continues to work with relevant stakeholders to monitor this issue.
The news comes just a day after the EPA released similar precautionary dietary advice for six fish species caught in the Currambene Creek.”
Read the full article by Robert Crawford