Christmas rules for Kealba landfill

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has issued a new regulatory notice to ensure minimum odour from underground hotspots among the waste in the Kealba landfill during the Christmas break.

EPA Western Metropolitan Regional Manager, Stephen Lansdell, says the notice gives landfill operator Barro Group a clear set of rules and offers the community the reassurance of continued air quality monitoring and EPA-supervised containment measures.

“Our continuing conversations with the community show that many nearby residents are being affected by the odours that the hotspots are causing and will be disappointed that remediation is continuing into the New Year,” Mr Lansdell said.

“This new Clean Up Notice will ensure that remediation continues as quickly and safely as possible towards the goal of cooling and eliminating the hotspots and the odour they cause,” he said.

The notice provides continued regulation of Kealba landfill hotspot remediation through to the end of February 2021 but can be withdrawn or modified if the task is completed before then.

The new notice requires landfill operator Barro Group to:

• continue air quality monitoring to detect any possible risks to local air quality

• apply the proper precautions and containment measures for the closure of the landfill from 23 December to when the landfill re-opens on 4 January

• produce a detailed Christmas Closure Contingency Plan, taking all practicable measures to reduce odour and smoke effects on the community

The EPA notice also requires Barro Group to deliver notifications to nearby residents in December and January to keep them informed on progress and the measures in place during the closure.

“The Kealba community can expect a reduction in odour from the landfill during the Christmas shutdown, with the final extinguishing of hotspots in the landfill expected early in the new year,” Mr Lansdell said.

EPA officers will inspect the landfill on the last day before work stops for Christmas to ensure every measure is in place to minimise odour, including the sealing of the landfill with a layer of earth.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The new regulatory notice continues EPA’s work of guiding remediation of the hotspot problems. It requires the landfill operator to ensure the hotspots and odour are addressed as quickly as possible, and plan to prevent future hotspots and prevent leakage from the landfill.

There is newly updated information on the EPA website at epa.vic.gov.au/kealba

You can find air quality monitoring results on the landfill operator’s website, sunshinelandfill.com.au

The final completion date still depends on how large and hot the waste hotspots are, but the process of excavating and cooling them is clearly working.

While odour is clearly still affecting nearby residents, air quality monitoring continues to show there are no issues of health concern.

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