Hunt for clay de­lays land­fill re­hab

Myrtleford Times - - News - By JUSTIN JEN­VEY

DIF­FI­CUL­TIES find­ing suit­able clay are hold­ing up sec­ond stage re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion works at old land­fill sites at the Pore­punkah tip.

Clay used as a land­fill liner has to meet En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion Au­thor­ity (EPA) re­quire­ments.

“We work with the EPA who es­sen­tially de­fine a range of re­quire­ments that we have to put in place to cap the land­fill cells,” Alpine Shire Coun­cil di­rec­tor as­sets Will Jeremy said.

“We’ve got to meet cer­tain stan­dards with the clay that’s im­per­me­able to wa­ter so we can’t get wa­ter leak­ing through.”

“We’re strug­gling to find suit­able clay in the lo­cal area so it’s slowed down the com­ple­tion of the works.”

The first stage of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion works at Pore­punkah were done sev­eral years ago with clay that was found im­me­di­ately ad- ja­cent to the land­fill site, lo­cated off Roberts Creek Road, used.

But Mr Jeremy said com­mence­ment of stage two works were de­pen­dent on sourc­ing more clay.

“We’ve done quite a bit of work to find clay lo­cally and will soon go out to see if any­one has clay that we can use,” he said.

“The cells we are re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing, the thick­ness of the clay that goes on top needs to be about 700mm which has to be shaped prop­erly and pass test­ing by the EPA.

“If we can’t find clay of a suit­able qual­ity that’s close by we’ll have to look at re­design­ing.

“There are also other things we can do that re­duce the amount of clay, we can put geo-fab­ric in but es­sen­tially a re­design is quite a com­pli­cated process.

“Be­cause the de­sign has to go through an in­de­pen­dent au­di­tor be­fore be­ing cer­ti­fied by the EPA it would be quite a long and in­volved process to get a new de­sign done.

“We’ll try and ex­haust all pos­si­bil­i­ties to se­cure suit­able clay for the site be­fore we have to go down that path.”

Run­ning par­al­lel will be re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion works at Myrtle­ford where Mr Jeremy said good clay had been iden­ti­fied.

De­signs for Myrtle­ford have been done and are cur­rently be­ing re­viewed by au­di­tors.

“The au­di­tors have come back with some com­ments they want us to in­cor­po­rate in the de­sign but es­sen­tially once that’s agreed upon and is sent to the EPA to be rub­ber stamped it will be ready to de­liver,” Mr Jeremy said.

It’s hoped the de­sign will be signed off this fi­nan­cial year with re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion works at Myrtle­ford es­ti­mated to cost $500,000 while stage two works at Pore­punkah are com­ing in at $800,000.

“These are big civil projects,” Mr Jeremy said.

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