Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has approved an Environment Management Plan (EMP) for Cleanaway’s Ravenhall landfill as part of their application to receive tunnel boring machine spoil from the West Gate Tunnel Project, while also accepting a modification to the plan for Maddingley Brown Coal in Bacchus Marsh. 

The amendment to the MBC EMP upgrades the proposed design of the containment facility to match the acceptance criteria consistent with the other approved EMPs.  It does not change the nature of the material to be contained but adds additional controls.

EMPs for Maddingley Brown Coal and Hi Quality in Bulla were approved in September as part of their applications to receive tunnel boring machine spoil from the project. 

EPA assessed the plans for potential environmental impacts, such as runoff, odour, and potential land, surface water and ground water risks. The approval of an EMP does not mark the final decision on where the spoil will be sent. 

Under Government regulations the owner of a site bidding to receive TBM spoil must develop an Environment Management Plan (EMP) and comply with specific conditions including constructing an appropriate containment system and managing spoil appropriately so risks are controlled.

“The health of the local community and the environment is our first priority and these Environment Management Plans will ensure they are protected,” said EPA Executive Director of Regulatory Standards, Assessments and Permissioning Tim Eaton. 

“Each of the EMPs has been rigorously reviewed and approved on the basis they meet strict conditions designed to protect human health and the environment.  EPA will monitor any selected site closely to ensure it operates in accordance with its EMP.’’

EPA will continue to monitor the treatment and containment of this type of spoil to ensure that it meets rigorous public health and environmental standards to keep Victorians safe.  

View the EMPs and associated documents.

BACKGROUND 

New regulations under section 71 of the Environment Protection Act 1970 allow for the management and disposal of tunnel boring machine (TBM) spoil to protect human health and the environment.

Reviewed 12 October 2020