Williamtown investigation area
19 November 2017
The Australian Government will extend blood testing, water connections and participation in the epidemiological study to newly defined management areas previously not part of the Investigation Area at Williamtown.
The Department of Defence has been working to finalise its Human Health Risk Assessment for the RAAF Base Williamtown environmental investigation in consultation with the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and the Williamtown Expert Panel. The information provided through the study has informed the Expert Panel and NSW EPA’s consideration of the health advisories regarding PFAS in the area around RAAF Base Williamtown.
Today, the NSW EPA announced new health advisories, consisting of the creation of management areas better reflecting the extent and concentration of PFAS identified in the Defence investigation. These management areas extend beyond the boundaries of the Investigation Area established by the NSW EPA in 2015 and are consistent with the findings from the Defence investigation.
Defence intends to continue its collaboration with the Hunter Water Corporation to connect residents to the town water network. This will now be extended to residents within the newly defined management areas where it is feasible to do so. Defence will be engaging with these community members to assess their circumstances and establish an appropriate response which minimises their exposure.
The Commonwealth Department of Health has also announced it will be extending its Voluntary Blood Testing Program, the associated epidemiological study and mental health support services to those residents who were not previously in the Investigation Area.
A community information session will be held at the Murrook Cultural Centre on 5 December 2017, and two community walk-in sessions will be held to present the finding of the final Environmental Site Assessment and Human Health Risk Assessment reports for Williamtown. These reports will be released prior to the walk-in sessions.