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Home : Kerdiffstown Landfill Remediation Project : FAQs



Environmental Protection Agency and Kildare County Council

FAQs

What is the current status of the site?

Kerdiffstown Landfill is currently stable with the odours experienced in the past by the local community now significantly under control. Monitoring by the EPA has shown some impact on groundwater quality immediately underneath and just outside the site, but there has been no significant impact on groundwater or surface water in the surrounding area to date. It is predicted that unless the site is remediated there will be an increased level of environmental impact in the future; however, the EPA constantly monitors the environment to detect any slight change and there are a number of measures planned and in place if this increase occurs.

What work has the EPA completed on site?

The EPA has undertaken interim measures on site to control odour issues and to limit the impact of leachate on site and in the local environment. These measures have been effective in reducing the environmental impact from the site in the short term. In the medium to long term, full remediation is required to ensure the environmental impact from the site is minimised. All of the measures put in place by the EPA will be maintained and operated by Kildare County Council while the Council proceed with attaining planning permission and a licence to allow them to proceed with the full remediation of the site.

Why does the site require remediation?

Kerdiffstown Landfill poses a number of risks to the environment and therefore requires full remediation. The environmental threat to water is one of the significant risks the site poses, as leachate, which is coming from waste on site, is seeping into the groundwater. There is potential for this groundwater to migrate and to contaminate the River Morell, a tributary of the River Liffey. Other significant environmental issues at the site relate to the uncontrolled release of landfill gases which can at times result in significant odour impact on the local community. Some of the gases from the site, like carbon dioxide and methane, also contribute to Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions. With remediation, these gases will be effectively managed and their odour causing potential and impact on Climate Change will be significantly reduced.

What are the options for remediating the site?

The Department of the Environment, Local Community and Government were presented with three remediation options. The options for remediation had to balance the long term performance of the remediated site and the environmental impact of the remediation works. A balanced approach of making the waste safe and putting a waterproof cap over it is the favoured option and is the tried and trusted option for many historic landfills worldwide. The final design and end-use for the remediated site will be subject to public consultation as part of the Environmental Impact Statement and planning process, as well as the licensing process.

Who is granting funding?

A significant proportion of the 2015 Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government landfill remediation budget of €8.5m will be allocated to support the active remediation process at Kerdiffstown Landfill in the coming weeks. The Department is aware that this remediation project is a complex, multi-annual project which will require significant investment over a period of 5 – 7 years. The detail of this complex project, the remediation process, including details of the timeframes and funding requirements was communicated to Government by the Minister in September 2014. The project is likely to require competitive tendering for certain services and only when those costs are known, can arrangements for specific funding requirements be put in place at Government level. The Department has given a long term commitment to this project and they have also made the European Commission fully aware of future project plans.

Why will Kildare County Council take over the remediation project?

Kildare County Council will now take over the remediation of the project for a number of reasons. Firstly, the remediation process proposed requires planning permission, for which Kildare County Council can apply. Additionally, the site requires a waste licence to undertake the remediation. The EPA would not be in a position to self grant or enforce this licence. Kildare County Council also has experience in remediating landfill sites. Additionally, they have skilled staff with the expertise to manage all aspects of the project. Kildare County Council was also involved in the very early interventions of Kerdiffstown Landfill, this included involvement by Kildare Fire Service and the Engineering section of Kildare County Council during the fire in January and February 2011.

What role will the EPA have in the future?

The EPA’s role will now revert to one of licensing and enforcement. In the coming months, Kildare County Council will commence a process of applying to the EPA for a licence to remediate the site. The EPA will consider this application and if and when that licence is granted the EPA will then enforce the conditions of that licence to ensure the remediation works will have minimal impact. Kildare County Council will be required to undertake detailed environmental monitoring and demonstrate that they are meeting the strict emission limits for the project. Upon granting of a waste licence to KCC, the EPA will also independently monitor air and water quality and regularly inspect the site to ensure the licence is complied with.

When will Kildare County Council commence the remediation process?

The remediation process will require planning permission from An Bord Pleanála and a licence from the EPA. These processes involve the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement including detailed public consultation and may be subject to appeal. It is estimated that this process will take in the order of 18 months to complete.

Will any on site works take place during the 18 month period?

Preparatory works will take place on site during the 18 month period. These on site works include light construction work and environmental monitoring.

How long will remediation take?

The remediation project could take between five and seven years. Within this period of time, there will be a two-and-half year construction period when heavy construction will be completed on site. Site roads, water management systems, landfill gas management systems, monitoring networks and ancillary works will be completed during this time.

How will the remediation process affect local residents?

The remediation process may affect local residents for a limited period of time. For example, residents may notice intermittent odours when certain parts of the remediation works are being undertaken; however, every measure will be taken during this timeframe to minimise any impact to local residents. The local community will be kept fully informed if planned works may cause an impact and for how long this may occur. The vast majority of the remediation work programme will not cause any odour with only limited, well defined, parts of the site being significant sources of odour. Works will be carefully planned to minimise movement of any odorous material, but inevitably there will be set periods when it may be necessary to alert the local community of the potential for odours to occur.

What are the future plans for the site after remediation?

The future use of the site will be decided as part of the public consultation process.

Where will I find project updates?

A range of relevant information can be found on the dedicated project website, www.kerdiffstownsleanup.ie. Further information and updates will be posted on this website as the remedial project continues, with a view to keeping the public fully informed on progress in a timely manner.

If you would like to raise an issue at the Community Liasion Group Meetings,please ensure to speak to your local residents group or contact us directly via www.kerdiffstownsleanup.ie.

The project team welcomes any opportunity to engage with the local community and we’re happy to answer media queries.

How can I contact the project team with any questions or register an odour complaint?

If you wish to contact the EPA with regards to environmental issues, please dial 053-9160600 or send an email to info@epa.ie. Website address is www.epa.ie.