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PFAS Investigation &
Management Program

RAAF Base Townsville

RAAF Base Townsville PFAS Investigation


Summary of the Investigation

RAAF Base Townsville
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 Townsville.

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.

There are three main stages to the investigation:

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. This stage involved sampling of soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater. A detailed report has been finalised and is available on the publications page.

The Detailed Site Investigation findings recommended that additional environmental sampling in the Investigation Area be conducted and reported in an addendum to the Detailed Site Investigation Report. Additional investigations include wet season groundwater, surface water and sediment monitoring. This report is expected to be complete and findings released in the third quarter of 2018 and will be made available to the public.

Human Health Risk Assessment and Ecological Risk Assessment
Based on the initial findings conducted for the DSI, a Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) and an Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) have commenced. These Assessments will evaluate potential exposure pathways to people, plants and animals and will be used to inform potential actions to reduce PFAS exposure. The HHRA and ERA are expected to be complete and findings released by the third quarter of 2018 and will be made available to the public.
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.