Defence continues to work closely with the NSW Government over the discovery of PFAS (per and poly fluoroalkyl) substances in both the Shoalhaven River and Currambene Creek.
Earlier this month the government released precautionary dietary advice for six fish species caught in the Currambene Creek after testing found levels of PFAS substances.
The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) named HMAS Albatross as a likely source of the contamination in Currambene Creek and for the first time said the local navy base was also one, of a number of sources, of PFAS contamination in the Shoalhaven River.
A Defence spokesperson said throughout the investigation it has provided the NSW EPA with all sample results.
“As part of the ongoing HMAS Albatross PFAS Investigation, Defence has tested samples from Currambene Creek and the Shoalhaven River - PFAS was detected in some of these samples,” the spokesperson said.
“The findings of the investigation indicate Albatross is the likely source of PFAS contamination in Currambene Creek and a likely, but not sole, contributor to PFAS contamination in the Shoalhaven River.”
The next step for the investigation is to complete an addendum to the Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment, which will assess the risks to fishers in Currambene Creek.
That addendum is due to be released in mid-2018.
Albatross is the likely source of PFAS contamination in Currambene Creek and a likely, but not sole, contributor to PFAS contamination in the Shoalhaven River.Defence
“Defence is committed to keeping the community around Albatross informed and has been in regular contact with the community to communicate the latest investigation findings,” the spokesperson said.
“The next community information session will be held in mid-2018 to present the findings of the addendum to the Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment.
Defence has also started developing a PFAS Management Area Plan which will use the findings of the investigation to tailor management activities for the unique conditions around Albatross.
The PFAS Management Area Plan is expected to be complete in late 2018.