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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.
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]”.
||Borough of Queenscliff