The Local council self-assessment tool for closed landfill environmental risk (publication 1671) provides a consistent statewide approach to identifying the risks of closed landfills. Councils are encouraged to use the tool for sites that don’t currently have an EPA licence or notice. 

Q&A on the closed landfill self-assessment tool

  • Who is running the self-assessment tool project?

    Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA), the waste and resource recovery groups (WRRGs) and councils are joint partners in the closed landfill self-assessment tool project. The Metropolitan WRRG (MWRRG) is providing active support to regional WRRGs and EPA to ensure that the recommendations of the 2014 Victorian Auditor-General’s Office report on managing landfills are acted upon.
  • How was the tool tested?

    The tool was developed in conjunction with the WRRGs, EPA and local government. It has been successfully trialled in a regional setting. 

    The Metropolitan WRRG (MWRRG) worked with a pilot group of five councils to review the tool to improve its usability. 

  • Why is it important to assess a closed landfill?

    Closed landfills, unless fully rehabilitated, can pose risks to the environment and human health. Assessing the risk is essential for good decision making about the ongoing management of the site to protect public health, safety and the environment. Councils, as duty holders, also have a duty to comply with legislation. 

    Using the tool can be part of a staged approach to risk management. It can help you develop a greater awareness of the risks your closed landfills pose and plan risk mitigation activities.

  • What are our obligations to assess the risk of closed landfills?

    Councils have legislative obligations under the Environment Protection Act 1970 to manage closed landfills. Using the self-assessment tool will help councils fulfil those obligations.

    Over time the level of risk posed by closed landfills may change. The tool can help determine the current risk and alert councils to sites that may need closer monitoring.

  • What are the benefits of using the tool?

    The self-assessment tool provides individual councils with opportunities to identify and plan management strategies for medium to high risk sites. It also provides a common, statewide approach to post closure landfill assessment. This will help councils fulfil their obligations, under the Environment Protection Act 1970, to manage closed landfills in a responsible way.
  • How will EPA use the assessment results and data?

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

    The tool is aimed at non-regulated landfills, meaning landfills that don’t have existing Post Closure Pollution Abatement Notices (PC PANs). Using the tool will provide council with the information they need when talking to EPA about ongoing management of recognised higher risk sites.

  • Is the tool intended as an enforcement tool?

    No, the tool is not intended as an enforcement mechanism. If you have a landfill that the tool rates as medium to high risk we recommend contacting your local EPA office to discuss ongoing site management.
  • Is this the same reporting we've already done for our pollution abatement notices?

    The tool is intended to be used for closed landfills that currently have no notices on them.
  • What if we've already risk assessed our closed landfills? Do we have to use the tool?

    The use of the tool is voluntary. You can choose to engage environmental consultants or use your own risk assessment methods. 

    If you have already assessed your closed landfills that are not regulated, using the self-assessment tool can help you gather information about your higher risk sites. The tool provides a consistent statewide approach to identifying the risks of closed landfills.

Read next

Landfill pollution guidance – overview

Local council self-assessment tool

Local council self-assessment tool: instructions

This page was copied from EPA’s old website. It was last updated on 7 February 2018. 

Reviewed 21 August 2020