The face of Maitland’s fresh food movement, Amorelle Dempster, has called on the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to come clean about the affect of PFAS contamination on the city’s farm land.
The EPA revealed last week that the chemical had been found in Stony Creek, Fishery Creek and Wallis Creek and the water should not be used for stock or domestic purposes.
There are several farms along the creeks. The water ways are also close to residential homes.
The chemical found its way into the creeks in March after heavy rain caused it to move from a containment system at the Truegain oil refinery site in Rutherford, which closed in 2016.
The chemical level is up to 22 times higher than the drinking water guideline.
The EPA said residents along the creeks were notified at the time and it would contact landholders down stream this week.
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Ms Dempster said Wallis Creek met the Hunter River at East Maitland and the farmers had no idea about the affect on the river system or irrigation.
She said farmers depended on clean water for their agriculture pursuits, especially now as they were battling drought, and they needed more information than a press release.
We need the government authority to be firm and give us really good information, not just give us a press release about it,Ms Dempster said.
“It’s been a long time between when the contamination took place and now and we are only just finding out about this.
“We need the correct information about how this has impacted our farm land and how it will impact our farm land in the future.
“We really need to know this information now and the EPA are the only ones who can tell us that conclusively.”
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