Habitat Assessment – 4 Closed Landfills

Case Study

We were asked to investigate the potential impact of four licensed waste management sites on ecologically sensitive areas and to assess the potential risk to groundwater, surface water and dependant ecosystems. We assessed the potential impact of the landfills on the relevant controlled waters and ecologically sensitive areas, situated in the Solent area of southern England.

 

Site-specific conceptual models and appropriate quantitative risk assessment models were developed. The risk assessment models indicated varying levels of risk, with two of the sites posing particular problems in their localities. The client benefited from our close communication with the regulator, which facilitated the production of the necessary deliverables within tight time-scales.

The Environment Agency had carried out a review of waste management consents in part of southern England, and the review had determined that four licensed waste management sites (including both closed and operational sites) were likely to be having a significant effect on the interest features of a number of Special Protection Areas (SPA) and Special Areas of Conservation (SAC).

 

We were asked to complete a Stage 3 assessment for each of the four sites to assess the potential impact of the landfills on the ecological quality and interest features of the conservation sites.

 

The scope of the work included an assessment as to whether the ecological quality and interest features of coastal sites were being adversely affected by the four landfills, and determining the likely impact of these landfills on the interest features of the Solent area.

 

A thorough desk study covering all aspects of each site was undertaken. ESI assessed the historical development of the landfills and the regional and local hydrogeological and hydrochemical data provided from various sources. For each site, the available data was used to develop a site-specific conceptual model. The conceptual model was in turn used to develop a quantitative risk assessment model. The results of the quantitative risk assessment model were used to help assess the level of risk each site poses to the identified receptors. The risk assessments indicated varying levels of risk, with two of the sites posing particular problems in their localities.

 

Throughout the project close communication with the Environment Agency’s Project Manager was maintained, which greatly facilitated the smooth production of outputs to a tight schedule.