EPA reviewed landfill licence – without visiting site

A REVIEW of the Bottlehill landfill licence was conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over six months of this year – without any EPA officials actually visiting the site.

Bottlehill Environmental Alliance (BEA) said they were “very surprised” by the authority’s failure to physically inspect the site.

The review was initiated as part of the county council’s efforts to make up to 60 changes to the landfill’s licence, including removing the requirement to bale the waste before it’s transferred to the landfill.

The review was initiated last December and published in late July. The main change sought was the removal of the requirement that the waste be baled before being dumped at the €40 million landfill.

“The baling was always very important to us as it meant that there would be no liquids or water amongst the waste, and this in return reduces the amount of potential leachate that can get into the ground water or soil,” Mr John O’Riordan said.

Leachate is a liquid solution that forms in a landfill after suspended solids or contaminants are leached out of the solid waste and mix with available liquids.

“We were very surprised that nobody saw fit to inspect the site. There were over 60 changes made to the licence but nobody saw any need to visit or inspect the site,” he said.

In the review published in July, the EPA inspectors examined a sizeable number of technical documents to ascertain whether there was a greater environmental risk from the unbaled waste.

They concluded that “there is no indication in any of the documents that there is an additional environmental risk posed by the deposition of unbaled waste over baled waste”.


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