In line with best regulatory practice, Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) is currently reviewing 65 landfill licences to ensure all current and former landfills comply with Victorian environmental guidelines.
EPA Development Assessments Manger Tim Faragher said EPA began the review in 2015 and had been in consultation with landfill operators since the process began.
“EPA has now begun issuing draft amended licences to landfill operators who can provide feedback on proposed amendments. Final licences will not be issued until operators provide EPA with final feedback,” Mr Faragher said.
Mr Faragher said during the initial phase of consultation the strongest feedback had come from two main areas: landfill cell rehabilitation costs and new hydrogeological assessment requirements.
“Operators have raised concerns with EPA about the cost of capping and rehabilitating full landfill cells within two years. However, this is a requirement of best practice environmental management guidelines,” Mr Faragher said.
“EPA is also proposing to include hydrogeological assessment requirements in licences as data collected through annual performance statements and audits has shown that over 50 per cent of landfills are not complying with landfill gas management, groundwater protection, progressive rehabilitation and odour management licence conditions.
“Hydrogeological assessments are already required for closed landfills and EPA is now looking to move this requirement forward to the operational phase of a landfill as well.”
Mr Faragher said once final licences were issued holders could appeal any amendments to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) within 21 days.
For further information, please visit EPA’s landfill improvement program website: www.epa.vic.gov.au/our-work/programs/landfills-improvement-program