The EPA developed this guidance document applies to soil recovery facilities which exceed the operational thresholds for waste facility permits. Facilities that exceed these thresholds are required to operate under a Waste Licence granted by the Environmental Protection Agency (the Agency).
Licensed soil recovery facilities are typically worked-out quarries that are in the process of being restored. They may also be sites where relatively large volumes of soil are being imported to raise natural ground levels. In both cases the soil recovery facilities are licensed to accept only uncontaminated natural soil and stone.
There are a number of licensed soil recovery facilities operating in Ireland that have received backfill material in the absence of soil trigger levels having been agreed with the Agency. In these cases, it is necessary that licensees demonstrate to the Agency either that the backfill received at the facility to date is compliant with soil trigger levels developed in accordance with this guidance, or that the existing facility is not causing environmental pollution.
In such cases, and in the absence of relevant parametric monitoring to demonstrate compliance with the trigger levels specified in the guidance doc, the licensee shall submit a proposal to the Agency to undertake a programme of soil sampling (assuming soil samples have not been retained or are unsuitable for testing) and laboratory analysis for approval. This proposal should specify how and where soil sampling is to be undertaken, as samples should be taken from a sufficient number of locations and range of depths to be fully representative of materials placed at the site.
If the results of this testing programme indicate that material has been used as backfill that exceeds the soil trigger levels for the facility then the licensee shall complete a hydrogeological assessment that considers whether the facility is compliant with the European Communities Environmental Objectives (Groundwater) Regulations.
Closing date for comments on this draft guidance document is 5pm, 16th March 2018.
For more information please contact ECOS. ECOS are happy to work with licenses in developing procedures relating to the inspection of waste.
T: +353 (0) 61 633644