Guidance on landfill risk assessment

Guidance to promote the consistent application of risk assessment techniques in relation to landfill sites has been issued by the Environment Agency for consultation.1

Landfill operators have to prepare numerous risk assessments in order to obtain a pollution prevention and control permit. In particular, assessments are required where operators wish to deviate from the site engineering standards stipulated in the EU landfill Directive, and they are needed to show that pollution pathways to ground and surface waters or human beings do not give rise to concern at any point in the proposed life cycle of the facility.

The document is intended to provide the overall structure for undertaking and reporting a risk assessment, allowing Agency staff to understand what is required from a submitted risk assessment. It should also allow operators to understand the required objectives and outcomes of the process.

The guidance covers five principal areas of risk assessment: accidents, hydrogeology, landfill gas, particulate matter and stability. It does not deal with the determination of best available techniques (BAT) for the treatment of leachate, separate guidance on which is being prepared. Similarly, separate guidance on landfill gas treatment is already in place.

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