The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has released precautionary advice and is directly contacting residents after testing found per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in three Hunter Valley creeks after heavy rainfall earlier in 2018.
The Federal Government’s PFAS Expert Health Panel has concluded that there is no current evidence to suggest an increase in overall human health risk related to PFAS exposure, but has not ruled it out.
Until more information becomes available, a precautionary advice to minimise exposure to PFAS remains in place across the state.
Residents living on Stony, Fishery and Wallis creeks near Rutherford in the Hunter Valley have been issued with the following precautionary advice:
Where chickens and livestock have been watered with or have access to creek water, avoid consuming eggs, milk and home-slaughtered livestock.
Fishery Creek (downstream of the confluence with Stony Creek) and Wallis Creek (downstream of the confluence with Fishery Creek)
Where livestock have been watered with or have access to creek water, avoid eating home-slaughtered livestock.
The EPA will oversee a process to ensure the Truegain waste oil processing facility at Rutherford is cleaned up and contamination at the site is contained, after the company went into liquidation.
Truegain’s Environment Protection Licence was suspended by the EPA in 2016, following poor environmental performance.
The EPA is also investigating other potential sources of PFAS contamination in the Stony Creek catchment, including a number of premises with the Rutherford Industrial Estate.
The EPA is contacting residents who this advice applies to via a letterbox drop.