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Armidale Site - Environmental investigation

In June 2016, FRNSW commenced the investigation works at the Armidale training site to better understand the presence of PFAS on and around the site.

The main objective of this environmental investigation is to identify the presence, nature and extent of PFAS in the environment from the use of legacy firefighting foam at the site. The findings from the investigations are used to identify site-specific management actions to address potential PFAS impacts.

The following stages of the investigation have been completed to date for the Armidale training site, with the reports available under Documentation:

Preliminary Investigation, August 2016

The Preliminary Investigation of the site was completed in August 2016 and included a review of site history for AFFF use and identification of potential sources of PFAS.

Download: Preliminary Site Investigation and Sampling & Analysis Quality Plan, August 2016 (PDF, 20MB)

Environmental Site Assessment, April 2017

An Environmental Assessment of the Armidale site and surrounding area was completed in April 2017 and included onsite and offsite sampling and laboratory analysis of groundwater, surface water, soils and sediments to further understand the pathways for potential migration of PFAS from the site.

Download: Environmental Site Assessment - PFAS, April 2017 (PDF, 31MB)

Environmental Site Assessment, October 2017

A more detailed Environmental Assessment of the Armidale site and surrounding area was completed in October 2017 with additional onsite and offsite sampling being conducted to allow

further understanding of the pathways for potential migration of PFAS from the site.

As part of this assessment, the community was asked to assist these investigations by completing a water survey to help us identify how potentially contaminated water is being used. The water use survey was distributed to 28 people and a fact sheet was also distributed to residents within a 2km radius of the Armidale site.

Download: Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment - PFAS, October 2017 (PDF, 31MB)

PFAS Management Options Assessment, December 2017

In December 2017, a PFAS Management Options Assessment was prepared to provide a better understanding of the potential management options to address onsite and offsite impacts in soil, groundwater and surface water from the use of legacy firefighting foam at the site.

Download: PFAS Management Options Assessment, December 2017 (PDF)

Armidale Tourist Park - Private Bore Sampling Results, May 2018

Download: Armidale Tourist Park - Private Bore Sampling Results, May 2018 (PDF)

Site Improvement Plan, February 2019

A Site Improvement Plan was developed to address the management of contamination issues associated with the presence of PFAS at the Armidale training facility and its main objectives were to: provide a strategy to manage or mitigate the potential risks posed by the presence of PFAS contamination remaining within the sediments and water in the on-site retention basin adjacent to the former fire training area; and, provide recommendations to manage potential long term risk posed by residual PFAS contamination remaining at the site following completion of the remediation (if any) and detail ongoing monitoring requirements.

Download: Site Improvement Plan, Armidale - Retention Pond, February 2019 (PDF, 22MB)

Additional Monitoring, January 2020

Following review of the previous reports by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), a series of data gaps were identified. It was also recommended by the NSW EPA that further investigation works be completed within the potential onsite source areas to better inform management actions.

FRNSW engaged environmental consultants Arcadis to undertake additional site works in January 2020 to address two main objectives: address data gaps identified in the previous investigation phases and provide a better understanding of PFAS impacts within potential onsite source areas to inform site specific remedial criteria.

Next Steps

FRNSW is currently procuring a NSW EPA accredited Site Auditor to provide an independent technical review of the additional investigations (currently in progress) and implementation of the Site Improvement Plan. They will commence during Q1 of 2020.

Armidale - Documentation

The following is a list of reports relevant to this project which have been prepared by independent consultants engaged by FRNSW. Reports are provided in full.