“The New Zealand Defence Force has been ordered to stop discharging harmful chemicals from firefighting foam at Ōhakea Air Force Base.

But one of the conditions of the order appears meaningless.

Horizons Regional Council issued the Defence Force an abatement notice over unauthorised discharge of stormwater containing “Aqueous Fire Fighting Foam” (AFFF) at the Manawatū base.

Horizons strategy and regulation group manager Dr Nic Peet said the Defence Force must stop the contamination going into the stormwater network, or on to land in situations it may enter the water.

It must also stop AAAF getting into the stormwater network associated with washing down and flushing fire truck foam system equipment, and stop it getting from the fire training area on to or into land where it may enter water.

Peet said the Defence Force must comply, and report to the council by July 1 about what measures it has put in place to do so.

‘In the meantime, Horizons’ investigation into the discharge of contaminants in and around Ōhakea airbase continues’…

Some AFFFs could contain PFAS chemicals, Matthews said. Those chemicals have contaminated water and land near Ōhakea and Woodburne air force bases, including the Bulls town water supply.

The Defence Force has been supplying water to residents near Ōhakea, as tests show the level of PFAS in the water is above recommended guidelines.”

Read the full article by Jono Galuszka