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The Environment Protection Authority has accepted a modification to the plan for Maddingley Brown Coal to accept PFAS-contaminated soil from the West Gate Tunnel Project.

On top of that, the EPA has also accepted an Environment Management Plan for Cleanaway’s Ravenhall landfill.

The news came through at 4.50pm today (Monday).

The amendment to the MBC EMP upgrades the proposed design of the containment facility to match the acceptance criteria consistent with the other approved EMPs.

The EPA said it did not change the nature of the material to be contained but added extra controls.

EMPs for Maddingley Brown Coal and Hi Quality in Bulla were approved in September as part of their applications to receive tunnel boring machine spoil from the project. 

EPA assessed the plans for potential environmental impacts, such as runoff, odour, and potential land, surface water and ground water risks.

The approval of a plan does not mark the final decision on where the spoil will be sent. 

Under Government regulations the owner of a site bidding to receive TBM spoil must develop an Environment Management Plan and comply with specific conditions including constructing an appropriate containment system and managing spoil appropriately so risks are controlled.

“The health of the local community and the environment is our first priority and these Environment Management Plans will ensure they are protected,” EPA Executive Director of Regulatory Standards, Assessments and Permissioning Tim Eaton said. 

“Each of the EMPs has been rigorously reviewed and approved on the basis they meet strict conditions designed to protect human health and the environment. 

“The EPA will monitor any selected site closely to ensure it operates in accordance with its EMP.’’

The authority will continue to monitor the treatment and containment of this type of spoil to ensure that it meets rigorous public health and environmental standards to keep Victorians safe.  

To view the EMPs and associated documents, click here.

The authority said that new regulations (section 71 of the Environment Protection Act 1970), allowed for the management and disposal of tunnel boring machine spoil to protect human health and the environment.

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Main image: Maddingley Brown Coal entrance