2018/09—Update on Defence’s ongoing PFAS investigation

12 September 2018

2018/09—Update on Defence’s ongoing PFAS investigation
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The Department of Defence (Defence) is conducting an investigation for per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on and around the Jervis Bay Range Facility in the Jervis Bay Territory (JBT).

There is no detectable PFAS contamination in the JBT’s drinking water.

Recent testing as part of the Defence investigation identified elevated levels of PFAS in seafood taken from:

  • Summercloud Creek
  • Captains Lagoon
  • Flatrock Creek

ACT Health has advised the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (the Department) that as a precaution, while Defence’s investigation is ongoing, collecting and eating fish or shellfish from the locations listed above should be avoided.

Please also note that advice issued in 2016 that Mary Creek is closed remains current at this time.

The Department will work with land managers in the JBT (including Defence, the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council and Booderee National Park) to erect appropriate signage at or near the sites identified above as a precautionary measure until the results of Defence’s Detailed Site Investigation (DSI) and Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) for the Jervis Bay Range Facility have been finalised. Defence expects to complete the DSI and HHRA reports by the end of 2018.

The Department will also work with Defence to coordinate a community meeting in the near future to provide further information on Defence’s ongoing investigation in the JBT.

For further information on Defence’s ongoing Jervis Bay Range Facility PFAS Investigation, please contact the Jervis Bay Range Facility PFAS Investigation Information Line on 1800 987 618, or see the Department of Defence’s website at www.defence.gov.au/environment/pfas/JervisBay

For general information on PFAS health effects and exposure pathways contact the Commonwealth Department of Health on 1800 941 180, or see the fact sheet which is available from: www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/44CB8059934695D6CA25802800245F06/$File/Health-Effects-Exposure-Pathways-factsheet.pdf

Ruth Wall
A/g Executive Director
Territories Division