If you have an operating licence for a landfill, you may need a financial assurance. This is because it’s expensive to maintain, cap and monitor landfills.

Having a financial assurance also helps lessen some of the cost risks if something unexpected happens. A financial assurance covers the cost of:

  • unexpected events
  • closing the landfill and aftercare
  • auditing
  • long-term monitoring of the site

Landfill estimate auditor assessments

As part of your financial assurance proposal, you or your consultant need to prepare a financial assurance cost estimate. The estimate is then assessed by an EPA-appointed environmental auditor.

An auditor assessment is a key input to EPA’s decision-making process, but EPA is responsible for deciding the final amount.

How auditor assessments are done

Auditors assess landfill financial assurance proposals against the method and standards set out in Calculation of financial assurance for landfills, reportable priority waste (RPW) management and waste and resource recovery facilities (publication 2003).

Auditors don’t need to do on-site investigations. Their role is to provide cost estimates for known requirements, not to identify further regulatory requirements at a landfill.

The auditor should form their view on unit costs for each activity based on:

  1. evidence from the duty holder that unit costs are realistic. For example similar costs or rates have been achieved on previous rehabilitation works on that or similar sites
  2. their understanding of industry rates using sources of information such as landfill rehabilitation tender documentation or Rawlinsons Construction Cost Guide.

Auditors will complete the Landfill financial assurance calculation assessment form (form F1014). This form includes a declaration that in their independent expertise, the activities and associated costs set out in the proposal are appropriate. An auditor can exclude an activity from their declaration if they don’t agree with the method or criteria used in the calculation.

You’ll need to submit the completed Auditor assessment form with your proposal.

Auditor independence

EPA applies a general principle of independence across all environmental auditor activities. If an Auditor or their company has worked on a financial assurance proposal for a duty holder, they cannot assess that proposal. Auditors should also be conscious of potential conflicts of interest with other work they may have conducted at the site.

Landfills operated by public entities and local government

Landfills and waste and resource recovery facilities that are operated by public entities or local government may require financial assurance.

For public entity or local government landfill operators, EPA will accept internal provision of funds to cover the costs of:

  • decommissioning
  • rehabilitation
  • long-term costs.

Operators must provide EPA with evidence proving that they’ve evaluated and provided for the anticipated costs in their financial statements.

Read more about financial assurances

Financial assurance for permissions and contaminated land management (publication 2002)

Calculation of financial assurance for landfills, reportable priority waste (RPW) management and waste and resource recovery facilities (publication 2003)

Financial assurances

Amending or releasing financial assurances

Financial assurances and waste and resource recovery facilities

Risk assessment criteria for financial assurance

Reviewed 7 September 2021