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PFAS Investigation &
Management Program

Lavarack Barracks

Lavarack Barracks PFAS Investigation


Summary of the Investigation

Lavarack Barracks
In October 2017, Defence commenced a detailed environmental investigation into the presence of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on and in the vicinity of Lavarack Barracks.

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), is in progress.

The PSI involves the historical review of legacy firefighting use and storage to identify where and when legacy firefighting foam was used (sources), how PFAS moves in the environment (migration pathways) and people, animals and the environment that may be exposed to PFAS (receptors).

The findings of the PSI will be used to develop a conceptual site model, to guide understanding of sources of PFAS and their potential pathways to people, animals and the environment and to prioritise works for stage two of the investigation, the Detailed Site Investigation (DSI).

Detailed Site Investigation
Defence will commence a Detailed Site Investigation (DSI) in early 2018. The DSI will involve sampling of ground water, surface water, soil and sediment within the Investigation Area. A detailed report will be prepared and shared with relevant government and regulatory bodies and the Lavarack community.

Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment
The DSI findings will be used to inform the requirement to conduct a Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessments (HHERA). If required, the HHERA will evaluate potential exposure pathways to people, plants and animals and will be used to inform potential actions to reduce PFAS exposure.
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.