Expansion of danger area re Amberley fire-fighting foam contamination

The Department of Defence has released expanded interim precautionary fish consumption advice further downstream of the Amberley Investigation Area, to the Cribb Park area. This follows the review of sampling results from the RAAF Base Amberley per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) Environmental Investigation, and is based on recommendations from the Queensland Department of Health.

FILE PHOTO: A RAAF Titan fire rescue vehicle responds to a practise fuel drum fire. Photo by Corporal Raymond Vance.

In June 2018, as a precautionary measure, the public was advised not to consume fish caught in the Bremer River and Warrill Creek, located in the RAAF Base Amberley Investigation Area. Based on further sampling outside of the Investigation Area, the advice not to consume fish has now been expanded to apply downstream to the Cribb Park area. Fishing can continue on a catch-and-release basis in these areas. 

The sampling results identified levels of types of PFAS – perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) – above the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) investigation trigger levels in fish caught from these locations downstream of the Investigation Area.

As one of the contributors of PFAS within the Bremer River and Warrill Creek, Defence will update the existing fish warning signs currently located along Bremer River and Warrill Creek within the Investigation Area and at the downstream locations.

Fish from the area should not be consumed, however, Queensland Health has noted that infrequent consumption (every few months) of a meal of fish from the area would not make a significant contribution to an individual’s overall exposure to PFAS.

Defence expects to release the Human Health Risk Assessment and Ecological Risk Assessment reports as part of the RAAF Base Amberley Environmental Investigation and conduct a community engagement event in the second quarter of 2019.

For more information on the precautionary advice please visit www.qld.gov.au/PFAS.

Anyone concerned about their health should consult their GP or call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).

Further information on the RAAF Amberley PFAS Environmental Investigation is available at:http://www.defence.gov.au/Environment/PFAS/Amberley/

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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