PFAS: Where to get the latest on Amberley investigation

CONCERNED citizens will have the chance to ask direct questions about the ongoing investigation into the use of PFAS chemicals at the RAAF Base Amberley.

Members of the community can speak directly with representatives from the Department of Defence, at a community information session next Tuesday.

The session has been organised as part of regular updates since the environmental impact of the use of firefighting foam containing per-and-poly fluoroalkyl substances began.

This is the second session in Ipswich this year.

Across Australia investigations are ongoing at 23 defence bases where the PFAS chemicals are believed to have been used.

For decades the chemicals were used in fire-fighting foam but the extent of environmental impacts have recently been revealed, by the ABC's Four Corners, along with allegations the Australian Government has not been forthcoming with information (read the Defence response here). 

There are four bases in Queensland, including at Oakey and Amberley, undergoing a detailed investigation.

At Amberley, the detailed investigation was launched in March 2017 and is expected to continue into the New Year.

The launch of the investigation followed a preliminary sampling program at 12 sites, including Amberley.

The Defence Department says based on the outcome of that program, it was decided the base would undergo a detailed environmental investigation.

A Defence spokesperson explained sampling at Amberley is still underway. 

"In March 2017, Defence commenced a detailed environmental investigation on and near RAAF Base Amberley," the spokesperon said. 

"The first stage of the investigation has been completed.

"This involved the historical review of legacy firefighting foam use and storage, how PFAS moves in the environment, and people, animals and the environment that may be exposed to PFAS.

"This information was used to develop a Sampling and Analysis Quality Plan (SAQP) which details the location, nature and extent of sampling activities to take place as part of the second stage of the environmental investigation, the Detailed Site Investigation (DSI).

"Sampling and testing for the DSI will involve the collection of soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater on and off the base. Sampling at RAAF Base Amberley has commenced, with off-base sampling activity to commence soon.

"Defence is committed to keeping the community informed of the progress of the PFAS environmental investigations." 

The last community information session regarding Amberley was held in March. 

Event details

When: Tuesday, November 28

Time: 12pm to 7pm (visit any time)

Where: Leichhardt, One Mile Community Centre

RSVP: Email or call the Amberley Project Team before November 25. 

Contact: 1800 817 751, 

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