Defence to reveal latests on HMAS Albatross environmental testing

An aerial view of HMAS Albatross.
An aerial view of HMAS Albatross.

The latest community information session into environmental investigation into PFAS, from the historical use of fire fighting foams, at HMAS Albatross will be held this Thursday (November 16).

The investigation is part of defence’s review of a number of sites around Australia to determine what impact historical use of fire fighting foams containing perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) or perfluorooctanoic acid (PDFOA) may have had on the soil, groundwater and surface water.

Department of Defence representative, Luke McLeod, the assistant secretary PFAS Investigation and Management Program, will provide information on the environmental investigation into PFAS that started in May 2016 at HMAS Albatross and nearby areas.

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The session will include a presentation on information gathered during the detailed site investigation to date, and the human health and ecological risk assessment.

There will also be an opportunity for the community to ask questions one-on-one about the environmental investigation with defence, contracted experts, and other key government department representatives in attendance.

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HMAS Albatross is one of 18 bases around the country that investigations into PFAS is being carried out.

At the last community information session in April this year, contractors Aurecon revealed 75 per cent of the on-site testing had been completed at the Nowra Hill naval base.

At that time project director Adam Anderson said while the detailed site inspection was well underway, additional works were needed in the next couple of months in relation to groundwater and surface water sampling.

Mr Anderson said interim findings were as expected, that the primary sources of PFAS were in areas of historic use of the products, like the fire fighting training area to the west of the base, the sewerage treatment plant and sewerage treatment plant irrigation areas.

The information session will be held at Nowra Hill Public School, 382 Btu Road, Nowra Hill.

Doors to the community session will open at 5:30pm, the presentation will be from 6pm until 8pm.