EPA's role is to reduce harm to human health and the environment from pollution and waste. We hold polluters to account by enforcing the Environment Protection Act 1970.
EPA's enforcement activities at Hallam Road landfill
EPA can take enforcement action against licence holders if they don't meet the conditions of their licence. Enforcement has two key aspects:
- Remedy - fixing the problem or 'making good'. We are requiring SUEZ to take urgent steps to address the problems they are having with leachate.
- Sanction - applying a penalty or punishment through the law. We cannot issue 'on-the-spot' fines for incidents. Instead, we need to investigate the issue before we issue a sanction. We must follow the steps and principles set out in our Enforcement Policy.
We received odour reports about the SUEZ landfill in 2019. We investigated and identified a problem with the way they manage landfill gas at the site. We issued SUEZ with a pollution abatement notice (PAN). The notice required SUEZ to make changes to the way the landfill operates. They completed the work, and now the site is capturing more landfill gas.
We continued to receive odour reports. We issued a infringement notice to SUEZ for breaching their licence conditions and causing offsite odour impacts.
Building new leachate ponds
Leachate is a liquid formed from rainwater and waste that is breaking down.
In August 2019, EPA issued a works approval to SUEZ. The approval will allow them to build new leachate ponds south of the landfill.
The new ponds will store and manage leachate collected within the landfill. The new ponds will be as far away from residents as possible. A new method for treating the leachate aims to reduce the risk of odour offsite.
New leachate technology trial
SUEZ is trialing a new system called BeneVap to manage leachate at the landfill. We issued the Research Development and Demonstration (RD&D) approval in February 2020. We issued the RD&D approval after assessing environmental and human health impacts. The BeneVap system prevents odour from the site. We have approved the trial until November 2020.
If you live near the landfill, you may notice steam coming from the BeneVap system. You should not notice any odour from the system when it is operating.
Reviewed 12 November 2020