CFA training facility under microscope

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UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: Wangaratta CFA training centre is one of six across the state to be investigated by the EPA for contamination. PHOTO: Luke Plummer

WANGARATTA’S CFA training centre in Shanley Street is being investigated by Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) for potential environmental contamination resulting from firefighting chemicals used in the past.

The local facility is one of six regional CFA training centres across Victoria to go under the microscope, particularly for evidence of perflurooctane sulfonate (PFOS), a common but toxic ingredient of firefighting foams in the past, which was found in unsafe quantities at the former Fiskville Training Centre that closed after a parliamentary inquiry.

The current EPA investigation will test the waterways, drains and groundwater that could be affected by contamination, which may have extended beyond the boundary of training facilities.

EPA executive director of regional services Damian Wells said the risk to people’s health and the environment from the contamination was very low and that reticulated drinking water supplies in surrounding communities tested by water corporations are safe to drink.

“However, EPA will ensure the delivery of a comprehensive testing program in order to clarify the nature and extent of any potential contamination that may have gone beyond the boundary of the training centres,” Mr Wells said.

“If any contamination is detected around training facilities, landholders who may be affected will be contacted directly.”

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