ANOTHER community walk in session about the PFAS Investigation and Management Program at HMAS Albatross will be held later this month.
The Department of Defence will host the community walk in session at the Quest Nowra, 130 Kinghorne Street on Thursday, June 21 from 3pm to 7.30pm.
The session is to provide the local community an update on the detailed environmental investigation into per- and poly- fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at the Nowra air station.
Per- and poly- fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of chemicals that include perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS).
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As they have heat, water and stain repelling properties, PFAS have been widely used in a range of industrial and consumer products both in Australia and internationally, including in fire retardants, water proofing, food preparation, food packaging, furnishings, clothing and recreational equipment.
They were traditionally used by Defence in fire fighting foams, locally at HMAS Albatross and the Jervis Bay Range area, which also takes in HMAS Creswell.
There is no consistent evidence of any human health effects related to PFAS exposure. However, based on the evidence from animal studies potential adverse health effects cannot be ruled out.
Members of the investigation team will be available to discuss the progress of the investigation and answer questions about the Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment at the June 21 session.
A presentation will be delivered at 4pm and 6pm.
Light refreshments will be provided and all are welcome.
To RSVP email or call the HMAS Albatross Environmental Investigation project team by June 19.
Phone 1800 856 491 or email HMASD.Albatross@aurecongroup.com. Website - www.defence.gov.au/environment/pfas/Albatross.
Last month the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) attributed elevated levels of PFAS substances in the Shoalhaven River to the Albatross base.
It is the first time since elevated levels in the river and precautionary dietary advice to restrict weekly servings of five river fish species was revealed last November that it has been confirmed the base was a source.
The news came just a day after the EPA released similar precautionary dietary advice for six fish species caught in the Currambene Creek, with the source of the contamination also “likely to be HMAS Albatross.”
Numerous studies and investigations have been conducted at the base, the Jervis Bay Range Facility and HMAS Creswell into contamination from the historical use of firefighting foam.
A community information session at Nowra Hill last November where results from detailed site investigations (DSI) and the human health and ecological risk assessment (HHERA) at Albatross and its surrounds were revealed, investigators could also not rule out a possible link between the contamination at the naval base and recent higher PFAS levels in certain fish species in the Shoalhaven River.