“As Wodonga waits to learn the extent of PFAS contamination from the Bandiana military base, the NSW government has requested further action in Deniliquin.
In our region, PFAS levels are being monitored at the Wangaratta Regional Training Facility, Thales in Mulwala and the Fire and Rescue NSW training facility at the Deniliquin Airport.
At the latter, consultants GHD have found elevated levels of PFAS on-site ‘unlikely to represent an unacceptable risk’ to human health, but recommended it be determined if nearby properties were used for agriculture.
On-site groundwater tested in June 2017 contained 10.7 micrograms of PFOS per litre, 82 times the recommended level (of 0.13 ug/L).
The consultants identified this water could ‘possibly’ discharge to Aljoes Creek or Edward River, both within three kilometres of the site, but due to concentration decreasing at distance it was deemed ‘unlikely’ to present a risk to either waterway.
There was no PFAS detected in one sample from the nearby Mulwala Canal, and in soil samples concentration of chemicals was ‘less than the nominated human health assessment criteria’.
A NSW EPA spokeswoman said investigations had determined ‘that potential agricultural impacts from PFAS contamination are unlikely’.
‘However, the NSW Government is taking a precautionary approach and FRNSW are currently in the process of planning further investigations,’ she said…
The spokeswoman said the EPA had ‘requested Thales to undertake further PFAS assessment’ at their site.
Elevated concentrations of PFAS in soil and shallow groundwater have been found at the Thales Munitions Plant in Mulwala, likely as a result of the automatic fire fighting system being activated in the past.
The EPA states PFAS detects are ‘contained on site and there is no risk to the wider community’.
At Wangaratta, where like Deniliquin fire-fighting foam containing PFAS was historically used, a ‘very low’ level of PFOS was detected in an observation bore near the site, not currently in use.
EPA Victoria states PFAS has not been found in Three Milk Creek or in drinking water for surrounding areas, and testing around the site continues.
Wangaratta is one of seven CFA regional training centres being investigated, and Deniliquin is one of six FRNSW sites across NSW in focus.”
Read the full article by Ellen Ebsary