2018/20: Hoxton Park Rural Fire Service (NSW) – Sediment

Hoxton Park Rural Fire Service

https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/news-and-media/pfas-environmental-investigation/hoxton-park-rfs

What is the situation at Hoxton Park?

PFAS investigations are continuing at the Hoxton Park RFS at 8-10 First Avenue, Hoxton Park. The facility is no longer used for operational purposes.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority is monitoring the progress of NSW RFS PFAS investigations at the Hoxton Park site.

Why is PFAS being investigated?

Foam containing PFAS was used in firefighting activities, such as fuel type fires and training, by some Rural Fire Brigades since 1975 for the protection of people and property.

What testing is being undertaken?

Investigations involve sampling of soil and groundwater on-site. NSW RFS also sought the assistance of some residents near the Hoxton Park facility regarding the completion of a water use survey and off-site soil and home-grown produce sampling.

What were the results?

The presence of PFAS in the environment may not necessarily pose a risk to human health or the environment. It is important to assess if there are any potential ways in which people might come into contact with these chemicals. The primary PFAS exposure pathways are through:

  • drinking water containing PFAS, and/or
  • ingestion of produce that was grown in PFAS affected soil, or irrigated with water containing PFAS.

Hoxton Park residents are connected to the town water supply which is safe to use.

Preliminary investigations by independent environmental consultants confirmed the presence of some PFAS. On-site soil samples at the former RFS site were within the nationally adopted PFAS soil criteria for open space (PFAS National Environmental Management Plan [PFAS NEMP 2018]). Off-site soil samples near the former RFS facility were under the nationally adopted PFAS criteria applicable to residential properties with garden/accessible soil (PFAS NEMP 2018).