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Further information can be found on the Wyndham landfill works approval application archive page.
VCAT has ordered EPA to reissue the works approval with an amendment
An application was brought to VCAT by the Western Region Environment Centre (WREC) to review EPA's decision to issue a works approval to enlarge the West Road Werribee landfill.
VCAT reviewed the decision, and on 27 July 2018 VCAT issued an order (Word 68KB) in relation to this matter (VCAT reference no: P2475/2017).
VCAT ordered EPA to reissue the works approval subject to the inclusion in the works approval of the following additional condition:
- In order to minimise the potential for odour issues at the adjacent dwellings to the east and the new residential development to the north, the area of the tipping face in cells 5A, 5B and 5C shall be no greater than 900 square metres.
EPA reissued works approval 148798 (PDF 3.4MB) with the additional condition, as directed by VCAT, on 13 August 2018.
VCAT to review the works approval decision
An appeal of EPA's decision to grant works approval 148798 to Wyndham City Council has been lodged with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). Now that this application to review the decision has been lodged with VCAT the decision is suspended until the application is withdrawn or the review is determined.
EPA notes the VCAT hearing process is established and controlled by VCAT – EPA does not set timeframes or requirements for VCAT reviews. Information about the process is on VCAT’s website:
What happens when VCAT opens a case.
Participating in VCAT proceedings.
Common VCAT procedures. (PDF 375KB)
As the matter is now before VCAT, EPA cannot comment on the works approval.
A works approval has been granted
Read the original works approval (PDF 2MB) and the full assessment report (PDF 21MB – very large file).
The approved works include:
- construction of four new landfill areas, which will each be made up of multiple sub-cells
- cells constructed to a maximum height of around 22 metres above the average ground level.
These new works are all contained within the current landfill site boundary (which covers an area of 212 hectares), and the landfill will continue to receive the same types of wastes as it currently receives.
The Wyndham landfill site includes four existing cells (1 to 4) and four proposed areas (cells 5 to 8).
EPA’s assessment of the works approval application determined that the proposed landfill expansion:
- is not expected to negatively impact the health of those living or working near the landfill
- is suitably located
- meets international landfill best practice standards
- is not expected to cause pollution
- complies with the relevant government landfill and environmental guidelines and policies, such as:
Through the assessment and consultation process, improvements were made to the landfill design
EPA consulted with stakeholders throughout the assessment process and received around 170 submissions about the works approval application. EPA also requested further information from WCC including design information. As a result, WCC made a number of revisions to the proposed landfills during the assessment period. These revisions included the following:
- Scrapping proposed ‘piggyback’ cells. Piggyback cells are new cells constructed on top of old cells. The withdrawal of the piggyback cells shortens the life of the proposed works by around seven years. This shorter time frame now sits within the planning timeframes of the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan (MWRRIP) and the State-wide Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan (SWRRIP).
- Improving protection of groundwater and alignment with the Waste Management Policy. This includes design and management measures (of an additional liner and a groundwater drainage layer) to further protect groundwater and also protect the integrity of the clay liner from a buildup of groundwater pressure.
- Improving the filling schedule. This will reduce the time that parts of cells will remain only partially rehabilitated with an interim cap rather than a final cap.
- Earlier rehabilitation of existing cell areas than would have otherwise occurred under the current operation.
Detail of the works approval assessment
Should WCC wish to construct subsequent cells or a leachate pond at the landfill, the following steps must occur:
- The relevant conditions in the works approval must be met before and during the construction of each landfill cell and leachate pond.
- The construction of each cell and/or leachate pond must be verified by an EPA-appointed environmental auditor to ensure that the construction complies with approved design documents.
- On completion of construction, WCC must submit a licence amendment application. An EPA auditor report must verify that the cells’ construction complies with the approved plans.
- WCC must obtain an EPA licence to begin disposing of waste into the proposed cells. A new licence or licence amendment is needed before filling a new cell or if changes to any aspect of the operations is proposed.
- WCC will need to provide the necessary Financial Assurance sum before they can dispose of any waste into the new cells.
How can stakeholders stay informed?
WCC has established a community reference group for the refuse disposal facility (the landfill). The aim is that the independently facilitated group will:
- enable information exchange between residents, community groups, government agencies, WCC and other stakeholders in relation to the facility, and waste management and resource recovery in general
- facilitate community awareness of the strategic planning, operations, environmental performance, and any short-, medium- and long-term development of the facility
- foster understanding and cooperation between community members and WCC staff in minimising the impact of the landfill on the local community
- provide input to WCC’s community engagement and education activities in relation to the landfill, and waste management and resource recovery in general.
Documents from the community reference group, including minutes, will be uploaded to a dedicated page on WCC’s website.
Current and future statutory documents (such as licences) and any regulatory activities (such as Annual Performance Statements) relating to the Wyndham landfill will be made available on EPA’s website. If WCC applies for a licence amendment or a works approval in the future, EPA will publicise the applications and consult with stakeholders.
Please feel free to contact EPA on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need interpreter assistance or want this page translated, please call 131 450 and ask to speak with Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA).