Defence to answer questions

Katherine's town pool was found to be contaminated.
Katherine's town pool was found to be contaminated.

The Department of Defence will tell Katherine this afternoon its investigation has found more evidence of PFAS chemical contamination.

A meeting is being held at Knotts Crossing at 5pm.

The official probe began in March through environmental consultant, Coffey, after a preliminary report found PFAS chemicals used in fire fighting foams had escaped and were contaminating the town’s water supply.

The finished report is not expected to be released until after April next year.

The Federal Government yesterday pre-empted today’s “preliminary” announcement with the release of the same health supports as offered to Oakey in Queensland and Williamtown in NSW.

Free blood testing and counselling support are part of the new measures being offered.

Some details from the human health risk report, which is part of the wider study, are to be released in January.

“Defence recognises the desire of the Katherine community to understand the potential impact of PFAS as soon as possible, Defence will conduct an interim HHRA that will be available before the comprehensive HHRA to provide early information on potential ways PFAS may impact human health,” defence has said.

“The purpose of the interim HHRA is evaluate the potential human health risks to residents with the greatest exposure potential. The interim HHRA is intended to provide an estimate of the likely outcomes of the comprehensive HHRA, which will take longer to complete.”

This afternoon’s meeting in Katherine will be held at Knotts Crossing between 5-7pm.

The Coffey investigation has already taken almost 1000  samples across 530 locations, 100 of these have been at residential properties.

“A further 1210 samples are expected to be collected by the end of the investigation in early 2018,” defence said.

Defence is also opening a Community Shopfront at Shop 4, Katherine Shopping Centre on Tuesday and Wednesday to provide one-on-one information on the environmental investigation.