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PFAS Investigation &
Management Program

RAAF Base Darwin

RAAF Base Darwin PFAS Investigation

Summary of the Investigation

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

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. The DSI involved sampling of soil, sediment, surface water, groundwater, small fish and edible produce. The DSI report has been finalised 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.

The Human Health Risk Assessment is now complete and 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.