Standards, compliance and planning

Local council self-assessment tool for closed landfill environmental risk


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Closed landfills can pose a wide range of risks to the environment and human health. They should be considered during any land use planning decisions. The sources and levels of risk posed by closed landfills change over time.

The Local council self-assessment tool for closed landfill environmental risk (publication 1671) (‘the self-assessment tool’ or ‘the tool’) enables councils to conduct closed landfill environmental risk assessments in their municipalities.

Councils are encouraged to use the tool for closed landfills that don’t currently have an EPA licence or notice.

Download a copy of the tool.

Why has the tool been developed?

The Victorian Auditor-General's Office (VAGO) conducted a review of the management of landfills by councils and EPA.

The 2014 VAGO report on landfill management in Victoria, recommendation number 5, states:

Councils work with the Environment Protection Authority and the regional waste and resource recovery groups (WRRGs) to identify closed landfills, assess their risks and prioritise actions at a regional scale to address these”.

The self-assessment tool will help councils fulfil their legislative obligations to manage closed landfills. It has been developed in collaboration with local government, WRRGs and EPA.

How does the tool work?

Using the tool, local councils can identify the levels of risk – High, Medium, and Low – associated with each site within their municipality. They can work with EPA, if necessary, to address any issues.

The tool is a user-friendly, easy method of providing a basic assessment of the level of risk to public health and the environment from closed landfills. It is designed for assessing closed landfills that don't currently have regulatory instruments on them, e.g. Post Closure Pollution Abatement Notice (PCPAN) or other regulatory tools.

It is strongly suggested that councils take photos throughout each assessment, as these will be useful during further assessments and assist EPA to provide advice.

Local councils are under no obligation to use the tool and can choose to engage environmental consultants to assess risk.

How is the assessment data used?

The tool enables councils and WRRGs to collect data about closed landfills in their area. That data can be used to help assess risk levels and prioritise any works or risk mitigation activities.

The data is provided to EPA voluntarily and will be stored in a central location. The assessment data will help EPA to support local councils with addressing any issues identified during a risk assessment.

Need help?

Local government can contact their EPA regional office or regional WRRG to ask questions or discuss any concerns identified during a risk assessment.

To contact your EPA regional office, use the relevant email address in the table below or call 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC).

When emailing, please include in the subject: “[council] Closed Landfill Environmental Risk Assessment [site name/address]”. 

EPA region WRRGs Councils EPA contacts
North West LMWRRG

Mildura
Swan Hill
Loddon
Mount Alexander
Macedon Ranges
Greater Bendigo
Buloke
Gannawarra
Central Goldfields

northwest.mailbox@epa.vic.gov.au 
North West GCWWRRG

Golden Plains   
Hepburn
Hindmarsh
Horsham
Northern Grampians
West Wimmera
Yarriambiack

northwest.mailbox@epa.vic.gov.au
South West GCWWRRG Ballarat
Moorabool
Ararat
Pyrenees
southwestoffice@epa.vic.gov.au
South West BSWWRRG Borough of Queenscliff
Greater Geelong
Colac Otway
Corangamite
Glenelg
Moyne
Southern Grampians
Surf Coast
Warrnambool City
southwestoffice@epa.vic.gov.au
North East NEWRRG

Indigo
Wodonga
Towong
Alpine
Wangaratta
Mansfield

epa.northeast@epa.vic.gov.au
North East GVWRRG Campaspe
Moira
Greater Shepparton
Benalla
Strathbogie
Murrindindi
Mitchell
epa.northeast@epa.vic.gov.au
Gippsland GWRRG East Gippsland
Wellington
Latrobe
Baw Baw
South Gippsland
Bass Coast
epa.gippsland@epa.vic.gov.au
Southern Metro MWRRG Cardinia
Casey
Mornington Peninsula
Knox
Glen Eira
Monash
Kingston
Greater Dandenong
Frankston
Bayside
southmetro.planning@epa.vic.gov.au
Metro MWRRG Brimbank
Moonee Valley
Moreland
Darebin
Banyule
Manningham
Maribynong
Melbourne
Yarra
Boroondara
Whitehorse
Hobsons Bay
Port Phillip
Stonnington
Wyndham
Melton
Hume
Whittlesea
Nillumbik
Maroondah
Yarra Ranges
contact@epa.vic.gov.au

Page last updated on 7 Feb 2018