EPA approves new leachate ponds for Hallam Road Landfill

Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has issued a Works Approval for the construction of new storage ponds and a treatment plant for leachate at the Hallam Road landfill.

EPA Executive Director Tim Eaton said the three new leachate ponds proposed by Suez Recycling and Recovery Pty Ltd would replace existing ponds, and along with other measures could help to reduce odour from the landfill.

“Leachate is something that requires management at any landfill. It is created when rain water soaks through the buried waste and collects decaying organic material on the way. The proposed ponds would hold it for treatment before it goes into the sewerage system for disposal,” Mr Eaton said.

“The Hallam Road Landfill has a history of problems with odour and this is not a complete solution, but adequate leachate management does enable landfill operators to better deal with landfill gas issues,” he said.

The leachate ponds are proposed to be built at a new location, next door to the existing landfill site on its southern side and as far as possible from existing residential areas around the landfill.

The Hallam Road Landfill serves 10 metropolitan councils and numerous commercial operators in the east and south east of Melbourne, disposing of over 580,000 tonnes of waste each year.

The three new ponds are proposed to be adjacent to the existing landfill and would hold up to 5 megalitres each. In 2018, the site processed approximately 40 megalitres of leachate.

The application for a Works Approval was advertised in local newspapers. EPA received four submissions from the public. The concerns raised were considered through the assessment process. The company also conducted two community drop in sessions, under instructions from EPA.

EPA Works Approvals are required under the Environment Protection Act 1970 for industrial and waste management activities that have the potential for significant environmental impact. Where a Works Approval is granted, it includes specific environmental conditions the company must meet for the project to go ahead.

EPA assessed the proposal against all relevant environmental policies and guidelines, and considered the potential environmental and human health impacts that could result from the proposed facility.

The EPA Works Approval is not the final step for the proposal, it also requires planning approval from the City of Casey.

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