Ellenbrook Advocate - - FRONT PAGE -

THE De­fence Depart­ment has started soil and wa­ter sam­pling around the RAAF Pearce site in Bullsbrook amid fears a chem­i­cal agent may have con­tam­i­nated ground­wa­ter.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion forms part of a wider probe of RAAF bases across Aus­tralia where the chem­i­cal foam was used.

Ear­lier this year, res­i­dents of 18 com­mu­ni­ties near air­fields across the coun­try – in­clud­ing Pearce – dis­cov­ered that toxic fire fight­ing chem­i­cals had poi­soned their land and wa­ter.

The De­fence Depart­ment put fly­ers in the let­ter­boxes of houses in Bullsbrook around March, ad­vis­ing them that bore wa­ter sam­pling on pri­vate land was un­der way close to RAAF Base Pearce.

Res­i­dents in some ar­eas have been warned against eat­ing lo­cal seafood and drink­ing wa­ter or even eat­ing eggs from chick­ens. The De­fence Depart­ment is test­ing bases for traces of per­flu­o­rooc­tane sul­fonate and per­flu­o­rooc­tanoic acid, which were used in fire fight­ing foam in the past.

The mil­i­tary used the chem­i­cal fire sup­pres­sant for about 50 years and ended its use only in 2008.

There have been claims De­fence was warned as early as 2003 that the fire sup­pres­sant was un­safe for use.

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