DRAFT Briefing Note - Development on closed sites (2)

DRAFT Briefing Note - Development on closed landfills
The Environment Agency supports the use of former landfills for appropriate development
particularly where those developments will have a positive environmental effect and may generate
an income that can be spent on site maintenance.
We have recently become aware of a number of developments on closed1 or partially closed
landfills that have compromised the operator’s ability to manage, maintain and monitor their sites.
Examples include:
Installation of solar panel farms
Installation of wind turbines and telecommunication masts
Construction of industrial units, housing or other solid surfaces
Application of organic soil improvers
Regulatory approach
The operator2 remains responsible for maintaining, monitoring and controlling activities in the
aftercare phase for as long as required by their permit. This means until the permit is surrendered.
Where developments are proposed on closed landfills, those developments must not compromise
the operator’s ability to manage and monitor their site in accordance with their permit. Contracts
should be in place with landowners that allow the operator appropriate access3. We expect to be
notified before installation through an amendment to the sites operational techniques, management
plans, working plan or closure report, if the development is likely to have an impact on:
The inspection, maintenance and/or integrity of the landfill cap
The restoration profile.
Landfill gas management, including
o Monitoring fugitive emissions
o Gas abstraction infrastructure, including replacement
o In-waste gas monitoring
Maintenance and monitoring of leachate infrastructure
Groundwater infrastructure
Surface water management and/or the quality of run off
Obtaining topographic surveys
Any monitoring to provide evidence that the waste is ‘stable’ for a surrender application
Site security
Amended procedures must ensure that operators continue to comply with permit conditions (and
Landfill Directive, article 13(c) requirements, where applicable). We will require a CQA plan where
an engineered cap is present.
We consider it likely that development on top of a closed landfill that accepted hazardous or nonhazardous wastes will normally compromise one or more of the above.
E&B Site Based Regulation
September 2014
DRAFT Version 2
Closed in this context means any permitted landfill that has ceased accepting waste, whether or not it has entered
As defined by the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010, regulation 7.
If necessary the operator may use the provisions of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations
2010, regulation 15 (and schedule 5, part 2)