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PFAS Investigation &
Management Program

RAAF Base Tindal

RAAF Base Tindal PFAS Investigation


Summary of the Investigation

RAAF Base Tindal
In March 2017, Defence commenced a detailed environmental investigation into the presence of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on and in the vicinity of RAAF Base Tindal.

The objective of this environmental investigation is to identify the nature and extent of PFAS in the environment from the use of legacy firefighting foam at the Base.

The three stages to the investigation are outlined below:

Preliminary Site Investigation
The first stage of the investigation, the Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI), has been completed.

Detailed Site Investigation
The Detailed Site Investigation (DSI) has been completed. The DSI involved sampling of soil, sediment, surface water, groundwater, fish, crustaceans, fruit and vegetables. A detailed report has been published and is available on the publications page. Given the tropical climate of the Northern Territory, additional water, soil, plant and animal sampling and analysis will occur during the first quarter of 2018 to predict how PFAS moves in the environment throughout the seasons. The results will be reported in a Supplementary DSI Report to be released in mid-2018.

Human Health Risk Assessment & Ecological Risk Assessment
In response to the DSI findings, Defence commenced a Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) and Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) to evaluate potential PFAS exposure pathways to people, plants and animals and inform potential actions to reduce PFAS exposure.

In January 2018 Defence published an Interim HHRA to provide the Katherine community with preliminary advice on potential exposure risks. In June 2018 Defence completed the final HHRA. The Interim and Final HHRA can be viewed on the publications page. The Ecological Risk Assessment is due to be published in mid 2018.
Further information on the investigation process can be found at the investigation process page.

The findings from the investigations will be used to identify and prioritise site specific management actions to address PFAS contamination.

Defence is committed to regularly updating the community throughout the investigation. As well as community engagement events, updates are provided through the project website, newsletters and factsheets as new information becomes available.