Development next to landfills

Information for landowners and permit applicants seeking to develop land within the buffer zones of current or former landfill sites within the Mornington Peninsula Shire.

Each closed or active landfill in Victoria has a buffer zone of up to 500 metres around buried waste. The size of the buffer zone depends on the type of waste accepted.

Any development within these buffer zones requires consideration of potential landfill gas risk as part of the planning permit application process. This is to comply with EPA Victoria Publication 1642 ‘Assessing Planning Proposals Within the Buffer of a Landfill’. A copy of the publication can be found here:

epa.vic.gov.au/about-epa/publications/1642.

What is landfill gas risk?

The decomposition of putrescible waste produces landfill gas, comprised of methane, carbon dioxide and other gases. Landfill gas has the potential to spread along underground channels, and its accumulation can impact upon the safety of buildings and also the health and amenity of their occupants located within buffer areas.

Do I need a landfill gas risk assessment?

If your development requires a planning permit and you are located within the buffer zone of a landfill, then it is likely that a landfill gas risk assessment will be required as part of the planning permit application. (With the exception of minor, non-intrusive works identified in Section 6.1.1 of the EPA Publication 1642.)

Development includes dwelling extensions, new dwellings and subdivisions.

The purpose of the landfill gas risk assessment is to identify potential impact of landfill gas migration on the development and ensure that any mitigation measures, if required, are included in the proposed design response.

How do I get a landfill gas risk assessment?

A suitably qualified environmental consultant with demonstrated experience in landfill gas risk needs to be engaged to complete the landfill gas risk assessment. It is recommended you obtain a number of quotes and ensure the assessment addresses all of the requirements of this factsheet and EPA Victoria requirements.

What has to be in the landfill gas risk assessment?

The landfill gas risk assessment should include as a minimum the following:

  1. site history review
  2. review of current land use
  3. review of potential for site-sourced contamination
  4. review of available information for the landfill
  5. overview of the proposed development
  6. review of the site setting and potential landfill gas migration pathways.

If no existing landfill gas data is available from nearby completed Environmental Audits, or other applicable landfill gas risk assessments, then an intrusive landfill gas investigation will be required.

This investigation will need to include details of any underground services and subsurface geology gas monitoring.

What happens after the landfill gas risk assessment is completed?

Once completed the landfill gas risk assessment will confirm one of the following:

  1. There is a low risk of landfill gas migration to the property, and no gas mitigation measures or future investigation is required.
  2. There is a risk of landfill gas migration to the property. In this instance, the assessment should detail what mitigation measures are to be included in the development design to manage any potential gas risk.
  3. Due to the type of development or nature of a nearby landfill, a Section 53V Environmental Audit will be required. Further information can be found in the following link: https://ref.epa.vic.gov.au/our-work/environmental-auditing/types-of-environmental-audit/53v-audit-process

Any planning permit in support of a development will include relevant permit conditions to address any identified risks.

Please contact the planning support  5950 1010 if you have any questions.