Landfill operators get in shape to meet deadline for site Conditioning plans
By July 2002 operators of landfill sites will have to submit a Site Conditioning Plan to the Environment Agency to meet the requirements of the Landfill Directive and to avoid the risk of committing a criminal offence. The Agency is assisting landfill operators through a Conditioning Plan Pack and a series of workshops around the country
The Conditioning Plan Pack published by the Environment Agency is aimed at
assisting landfill operators in complying with the Landfill Directive.
The conditioning plan must include details of the site and of any corrective
measures that the operator is intending to provide to meet the requirements
of the Directive. The Agency sees the issuing of the Plan Pack as focusing the
operators’attention on what they may have to do.
The Agency will assess and evaluate the completed plans and sites will be ranked,
with a high priority for sites dealing with hazardous waste or posing a potential
risk to the habitat.
Under the draft Regulations, the Agency’s review of the completed Conditioning
Plans, will be used to decide several main issues:
- whether the landfill should close as soon as possible under its current authorisation,
because there is no realistic prospect that it will meet the prescribed standards
- whether the landfill may continue operating provided that a completed application
under the PPC Regulations is received by a specified date, and the application
- when, on the basis of the risk of the site to the environment, a permit application
must be made. All operators will know the deadline for making their permit application
by March 2003. The highest risk sites will be required to submit applications
first; they will be informed by autumn 2002 of when they need to make their
Criminal offence warning
The Agency told LAWE that it was not looking to close sites, but it warns: “It
is likely to be a criminal offence to accept waste for disposal at a landfill
site after 16 July 2002 unless the operator has submitted a conditioning plan.”
The Environment Agency says that it is issuing the form and guidance now, in
advance of the Landfill Regulations, to allow operators to prepare their conditioning
plan within this time scale.
After finalisation of the Landfill Regulations, the final conditioning plan
will form part of an operator’s regulatory pack, which will also include a Landfill
Directive regulatory guidance note: classification of sites. This defines the
three classes of landfills that will exist, indicates when classification will
occur and outlines how the Agency interprets the implications of classification.
The regulatory pack will also include PPC technical guidance for the landfill
sector. This will only be of direct relevance to landfills that continue in
operation to the point at which a PPC application must be made. It provides
guidance on the technical requirements that these landfills will be required
to meet under the PPC permit, and is regarded by the Agency as essential reading
for would-be applicants for landfill permits.
DEFRA supports the Agency in this Site Conditioning Plan initiative and urges
landfill operators to make the most of the time available before July to prepare