EPA considers proposal for landfilling at cells 10 and 11, Copping landfill

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded its assessment of a proposal by Southern Waste Solutions for disposal of waste (landfilling) into cells 10 and 11 at the Copping Category B landfill at Blue Hills Road, Copping, in the Sorell municipality.

The proposal is for the permanent disposal of inert and putrescible waste into two engineered landfill cells, designated as cells 10 and 11, to a maximum height of 90 metres (AHD), at a rate of up to 200,000 tonnes per annum. The existing authorised section of the Copping Category B landfill (cells 1 to 9) will shortly reach capacity, and the opening up of cells 10 and 11 will allow continued waste disposal. The Copping landfill receives waste from the Break O'Day, Brighton, Clarence, Glamorgan Spring Bay, Glenorchy, Hobart, Huon Valley, Kingborough, Sorell, Southern Midlands, and Tasman municipalities.

The Executive Director, Environmental Assessments, Martin Read, who made the determination under delegation from the EPA Board, concluded the proposed development can be managed in an environmentally sustainable and acceptable manner, with certain conditions. The Board requires these conditions to be included in any permit subsequently granted by Sorell Council.

“Various environmental issues were considered by the Board in its assessment, particularly the potential for impacts on groundwater and surface waters from leachate emanating from waste and from stormwaters coming in contact with deposited waste," Dr Read said.

“A suite of conditions have been imposed requiring Southern Waste Solutions to undertake measures to ensure leachate and contaminated stormwater does not pollute groundwater and surface waters through discharge to the surrounding environment.

“Requirements are also imposed to maintain a minimal landfill face area, and to undertake daily covering of deposited waste, to assist in reducing odours, litter generation, and attracting of scavenging birds and mammals.

“Operations at the landfill will remain largely unchanged compared to current processes, with the opening up of cells 10 and 11 to receive waste. The proposal will ensure that municipal and other waste from Southern Tasmania can continue to be disposed of at this key strategic location for waste management in Tasmania, in a manner which protects the environment and public health."

No representations were received in relation to the permit application. Public consultation was open for a 14 day period from 22 July 2023.

The proposal was considered by the Executive Director in the context of the sustainable development objectives of the Resource Management and Planning System of Tasmania (RMPS), and in the context of the objectives of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control System (EMPCS) established by the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA).

The functions of the EPA are to administer and enforce the provisions of EMPCA, to further the RMPS and EMPCS objectives and, in particular, to use its best endeavours to protect the environment of Tasmania.

The Executive Director undertook the assessment of the proposal in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Principles defined in Section 74 of the Act.

The Executive Director's environmental assessment report, including the environmental conditions, has been issued to the applicant Southern Waste Solutions, and to Sorell Council.

The decision by the EPA Executive Director can be viewed at Southern Waste Solutions, Copping Landfill, Blue Hills Road, Copping Waste Disposal, Cells 10 and 11.

Published on: 7/09/2023