Wagga Wagga RAAF Base

The Department of Defence has undertaken detailed investigations into PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) contamination stemming from the historical use of fire-fighting foams at Wagga RAAF Base.

These investigations have included an Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) and a Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment (HHERA) to assess potential risks to human health and the environment. This included sampling of surface water, groundwater, sediment, soil and produce both on and off the Base.

These investigations have determined that PFAS is present in both on and off-site locations, and the pathways through which PFAS is migrating.  The detection of PFAS is not unexpected due to the historical use of PFAS-containing fire-fighting foams at the site.

Finding PFAS in the environment does not mean there is a human health risk. It is important to assess if there are exposure pathways through which people might ingest PFAS.

Defence has used information gathered during the investigation to develop a PFAS Management Area Plan (PMAP). The PMAP will inform any remedial or management works that Defence will undertake to reduce the risks of PFAS exposure both on and off-site.

The EPA will continue to work collaboratively with the Department of Defence to ensure an appropriate risk-based approach is adopted through the investigations and will provide further information on the RAAF Base Wagga investigations as it becomes available.

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