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  Council » Policies and Plans » Rules and regulation » Waikato Regional Plan » Waikato Regional Plan (online version) » 5.2 Discharges Onto or Into Land » 5.2.7 Implementation Methods - Landfills

5.2.7 Implementation Methods - Landfills

5.2.7.1 Discretionary Activity Rule – New and Currently Operating Landfills

The discharge of contaminants into or onto land, and any subsequent discharge of contaminants into water or air (excluding discharges to air permitted by Rule 6.1.13.1) as part of the operation of a landfill is a discretionary activity (requiring resource consent).

Advisory Notes:

  • Information requirements to enable the assessment of any application under this Rule are as set out in Section 8.1.4.5. In addition assessment shall take into account the matters identified in Policy 2 of Chapter 5.2.
  • Small scale discharges of biogas to air are permitted by Section 6.1.13.1.
  • Some landfills may also require resource consents for damming and diverting which is covered in Chapter 3.6.
  • Land use consents may also be required by district plans. These will address such issues as public health, traffic flows protection of identified areas of significant indigenous vegetation1 and outstanding landscapes and other land use related effects.

5.2.7.2 Controlled Activity Rule – Closed Municipal Solid Waste Landfills

The discharge of contaminants from any closed municipal solid waste landfill;

  1. Into or onto land in circumstances which may result in contaminants entering water; or
  2. Into water; or
  3. Into air (excluding discharges to air permitted by Section 6.1.14.1)

where those discharges are not authorised by a current resource consent with conditions relating to the management of those discharges that continue to occur after closure is a controlled activity (requiring resource consents) subject to the following standards and terms:

  1. The landfill must not be located within:
    1. A high risk erosion area
    2. The floodplain of a river
    3. A wetland that is an area of significant indigenous vegetation and/or significant habitat for indigenous fauna2
    4. 100 metres of the Coastal Marine Area
  2. The final capping layer is topsoiled and planted with vegetation that will maintain groundcover as far as practicable and whose roots will not intrude into the refuse in the landfill; and
  3. Landfill gas shall not be detectable below ground level or in buildings or infrastructure such as pipelines or drains beyond the property boundary.

Waikato Regional Council reserves control over the following matters:

  1. Ongoing site management and monitoring
  2. Measures to avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects arising from the discharge of contaminants from the site to air, water and to land where they may subsequently enter water or air
  3. Measures to avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects arising from saltwater, freshwater or groundwater intrusion or inundation
  4. Measures to manage stormwater flows at the site
  5. Measures to manage adverse effects of landfill gas
  6. The use and management of the site after closure, especially any activities that may cause or exacerbate discharges
  7. The contents of an Aftercare and Monitoring Plan and measures to ensure that such a plan is complied with
  8. Contingency plans to ensure that potential adverse effects arising from natural hazards (including flooding, land instability and earthquakes) are able to be prevented or mitigated
  9. Measures to avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects on significant indigenous vegetation, significant habitats of indigenous fauna3 and significant natural features such as cave and karst systems
  10. Effects on any waahi tapu or other taonga from the activity
  11. Effects on the relationship of tangata whenua and their culture and traditions with the site and any waahi tapu or other taonga affected by the activity
  12. Effects on the ability of tangata whenua to exercise their kaitiaki role in respect of any waahi tapu or other taonga affected by the activity.

Advisory Notes:

  • Closed landfills that do not comply with the standards and terms of this Rule or are not municipal solid waste landfills are discretionary activities under Rule 5.2.7.3.
  • These standards and terms should be prepared generally in accordance with ‘A Guide to the Management of Closing and Closed Landfills in New Zealand’, Ministry for the Environment, May 2001.
  • Information requirements to enable assessment of any application under this Rule are set out in Section 8.1.4.5 of the Plan. In addition assessment shall also take into account the matters identified in Policy 2 of Chapter 5.2.
  • Small scale discharges of biogas to air are permitted by Section 6.1.14.1.
  • Some landfills may also require consents for damming and diverting which are covered by rules in Chapter 3.6.

5.2.7.3 Discretionary Activity Rule – Closed Landfills

Except as provided for by Rule 5.2.7.2, the discharge of contaminants from any closed landfill:

  1. Into or onto land in circumstances which may result in contaminants entering water; or
  2. Into water; or
  3. Into air (excluding discharges to air permitted by Section 6.1.14.1)

from a closed landfill that does not have a current resource consent with conditions relating to the management of those discharges that continue to occur after closure, is a discretionary activity (requiring resource consent).

Advisory Notes:

  • Information requirements to enable the assessment of any application under this Rule are as set out in Section 8.1.4.6. In addition assessment shall take into account the matters identified in Policy 2 of Chapter 5.2.
  • Small scale discharges of biogas to air are permitted by Section 6.1.13.1.
  • Land use consents may also be required by district plans addressing matters such as public health issues, traffic flows protection of identified areas of significant indigenous vegetation4and outstanding landscapes and other land use related effects.

Explanation and Principal Reasons for Adopting Methods 5.2.7.1 to 5.2.7.3
Landfills that receive either solid waste or waste from industrial and trade premises present a significant risk of generating adverse environmental effects. These facilities must therefore be assessed on a casebycase basis. This is recognised in Rule 5.2.7.1.

In some instances, landfills have closed without obtaining resource consents related to ongoing off-site discharges that continue after closure. Rule 5.2.7.3 acknowledges this and gives a clear indication that where discharges of contaminants to land, air or water are occurring or are likely to occur at these sites, and the adverse environmental effects that are likely to be occurring at them, must be addressed through the resource consent process. If no discharges are occurring, the site will be managed as contaminated land under Chapter 5.3. Where appropriate, the consent conditions may allow reduced monitoring over time as the contaminant loadings in the discharge stabilise.

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