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Third site obtains EPA approval to receive West Gate Tunnel soil

EPA Victoria has approved an Environment Management Plan (EMP) for Cleanaway’s Spoil Management and Reuse Facility.

The proposed location of the facility is adjacent to Melbourne Regional Landfill in Ravenhall, and is part of Cleanaway’s application to receive tunnel boring machine spoil from the West Gate Tunnel Project.

Initial testing on the West Gate Tunnel project showed per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, PFAS, could be expected when tunneling begins.

According to an EPA spokesperson, EPA assessed the plan for potential environmental impacts, such as land, surface water and groundwater risks, noise and air quality.

“EPA has determined that there are appropriate measures detailed in the plan to keep the environment and community safe,” the spokesperson said.

The approval of an EMP does not mark the final decision on where the spoil will be sent, with Transurban and its builder responsible for the final decision.

This is the third EMP EPA has approved for the project, with Maddingley Brown Coal landfill and Hi-Quality Group’s Bulla landfill receiving the green light earlier this year.

Brimbank Mayor Ranka Rasic said council is “extremely disappointed” with the EPA’s decision. She added that Melbourne’s west, particularly Brimbank, has long “borne the brunt” of absorbing the state’s waste, contamination, pollution, landfill and traffic needs.

“While EPA does not expect there to be further applications, the approval of an EMP does not mark the final decision on where the spoil will be sent and Brimbank Council will continue to vehemently oppose this decision,” Rasic said.

“We will continue our fight to advocate in relation to Cleanaway’s proposal to transport, process and store contaminated soil from the Westgate Tunnel Project at Melbourne Regional Landfill in Ravenhall.”

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