EPA has been investigating and managing contamination at Country Fire Authority (CFA) training centres since 2012. Our early investigations were focused on CFA's Fiskville training centre.

EPA’s role at Fiskville

EPA issued initial clean up notices in 2013 that required CFA to:

The s.53V environmental audit identified the extent of contamination, site cleanup and monitoring requirements. The audit was completed in 2014. It included extensive testing at the training centre and on surrounding land. CFA used the audit findings and recommendations to develop the site cleanup plan.

The s.53X environmental audit will confirm whether CFA has cleaned up the site.

You can access environmental audit reports using our online tool.

CFA has been working to clean up their Fiskville training centre in line with their plan.

We most recently amended CFA's clean up notice to extend the amount of time they had to complete the work. This was because  there was:

  • above average rainfall
  • additional cleanup work needed.

We are now requiring CFA to complete:

  • site rehabilitation and cleanup works by 30 November 2020
  • A s.53X environmental audit by 30 March 2021.

On 30 November 2020, CFA and their environmental auditor submitted reports confirming that they had completed the required onsite cleanup works for contaminated soils and treatment of stored contaminated water.

We have also recently issued a notice for CFA to conduct more offsite testing and risk assessment, to determine the extent and levels of offsite PFAS contamination. This will help determine what monitoring, management and cleanup CFA will need to do in the future.

EPA’s role at other CFA training centres

In 2015, EPA issued initial clean up notices to CFA for its training centres at:

  • Penshurst
  • Wangaratta
  • Longerenong
  • Huntly
  • Fulham (Sale)
  • Bangholme.

The notices required CFA to assess soil, groundwater and surface water contamination from their past use of the sites. PFAS was a key contaminant of focus. CFA also had to develop and implement environment management plans for wastewater from fire training.

CFA have completed two s.53V environmental audits for Penshurst training centre. You can access environmental audits using our online tool.

After reviewing the completed assessments and environmental audits, we have issued CFA with further notices. They require extensive upgrades at their training facilities. Improved practices and infrastructure at the training facilities will prevent contamination in the future and protect human health and the environment.

Read next

CFA training sites

CFA training sites: environmental monitoring

Reviewed 21 December 2020