Land and groundwater

PFAS site investigations

EPA can use its statutory powers under the Environment Protection Act 1970 to hold polluters and landholders to account, issuing remedial notices requiring sites to be investigated and cleaned up. It is EPA’s role to investigate potential environmental contamination from PFAS.

When EPA does not have regulatory authority. EPA will take regulatory action within its powers regarding any offsite pollution impacts.

Site investigations + Expand all Collapse all

  • CFA regional training centres

    EPA is continuing to regulate environmental impacts caused by Country Fire Authority's (CFA) historical training activities and use of firefighting chemicals at its regional training centres across Victoria. PFAS was a common ingredient of some firefighting foams in the past but has not been used by CFA since 2007.

    EPA established an initial working group from across government to oversee testing of the waterways, drains and groundwater that could be affected by contamination, particularly focusing beyond the boundary of training facilities. EPA now leads the regulation of CFA’s site rehabilitation and ongoing environmental monitoring.

    Environmental assessments have been conducted at seven of CFA’s regional training centres across Victoria. These are at:

    • Penshurst
    • Wangaratta
    • Longerenong (Horsham)
    • Huntly (Bendigo)
    • Fulham (Sale)
    • Bangholme (Dandenong/Carrum)
    • Fiskville.

    Please see our CFA regional training centres webpage for more information.

  • Department of Defence

    The Department of Defence has commenced a national program to review its estate and investigate and implement a comprehensive approach to manage the impacts of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances on and in the vicinity of some of its bases around Australia.

    EPA takes environmental investigations very seriously and is committed to supporting the Department of Defence with its obligations in accordance with the Environment Protection Act 1970.

    Investigation sites

    The Department of Defence is conducting detailed environmental reviews at the following sites:

    Royal Australian Air Force Base, East Sale

    More information:

    • RAAF Base East Sale environmental investigation.
    • The Preliminary Site Investigation Report, released in October 2016, the Detailed Site Investigation Report, released in June 2017 and the Interim Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment, released December 2017, are available on the East Sale Publications Page
    • Following preliminary testing of PFAS levels of plants and animals undertaken by the Department of Defence, EPA issued Precautionary Health Advice on 28 September 2017 to avoid consumption of ducks, fish and eels from the Heart Morass. A fact sheet is also available. This advice has since been extended to include Dowd’s Morass.

    HMAS Cerberus, Royal Australian Navy in Mornington Peninsula

    More information:

    Gaza Ridge Barracks, Australian Army, in Bandiana, Albury/Wodonga

    More information:

    More information

    Please refer to the PFAS Investigation and Management Program section of the Department of Defence website for information relating to the national review program commissioned by the Department. 

    For additional information or enquiries, please refer to the Contacts page on the Department of Defence website.

  • Other sites

    EPA is managing a number of industrial sites across Victoria that may have PFAS contamination issues. Some detail on selected sites is below. For information on other sites, please call EPA on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).

  • Airports

    For information on the Commonwealth PFAS management program for airports please visit the National PFAS Management Program page on the Airservices Australia website.

    The Commonwealth is the lead authority to ensure that federally leased airports take responsibility for onsite and offsite contamination. EPA is working with the Commonwealth to ensure that the duty holder is held accountable for ongoing management of any contamination that exists.

Page last updated on 10 Oct 2019