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Investigation of chemicals around Williamtown

September 11, 2015
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NSW Environment Protection Authority advises:

The NSW Government has been mad/e aware by the Department of Defence that legacy fire-fighting chemicals have been found in some surface water, groundwaters and in small numbers of fish around the Williamtown RAAF Base and Newcastle Airport.

While at this stage any risk to human health appears to be low, the NSW Government is taking a precautionary approach to this preliminary advice and is working with the Department of Defence to determine the extent and potential impact of these offsite chemicals.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is working with the Department of Defence as well as NSW Health, the Department of Primary Industries, NSW Food Authority and Hunter Water to assess and confirm the nature of any potential risk of the contamination and to develop an appropriate response.

In keeping with this precautionary a//proach the NSW Government is advising potentially impacted residents to –

  • not drink bore water
  • not eat fish caught in the nearby area
  • not eat eggs from backyard chickens that have been drinking bore water in the area.

NSW DPI and the Food Authority will commence sampling of fish and oysters for testing tomorrow (Friday).

As a precaution, there will be a closure of commercial and recreational fisheries and oyster harvest for up to one month in both Fullerton Cove and the Upper Tilligerry Creek.

Published by NSW Food Authority, 09/09/2015