The authorisation procedure with respect to operating a hazardous, non-hazardous or inert waste landfill enables the operating conditions thereof as well as the measures taken by the operator in the case of an accident or the closure of the landfill, in particular, to be monitored.
The permit requirement aims to prevent or reduce to a minimum the negative effects of dumping on humans and the environment for the entire duration of existence of the landfill.
It also aims to encourage landfill operators to limit the dumping of biodegradable waste as much as possible and to encourage the recovery thereof.
The operating permit application with respect to a landfill is submitted at the same time as the classified establishment operating permit application but shall systematically be subject to a separate authorisation.
Who is concerned
Any existing or new landfills where the disposal of waste is carried out by depositing said waste onto or into the ground is subject to compliance with the regulations on dumping, including:
- internal landfills where the producer carries out waste disposal at the place of production;
- permanent sites where waste is kept for durations exceeding one year.
Waste landfills are classified under class 1 of the nomenclature of classified establishments.
The following activities do not require this separate authorisation:
- the spreading of sludges on the soil, including sewage sludges and sludges resulting from dredging operations as well as any similar substances used for fertilisation or enrichment purposes;
- the use in landfills of suitable inert waste for development or restoration works, embankment work or construction;
- the depositing of non-hazardous dredging sludges alongside small waterways and of non-hazardous sludges in surface waters, including the waterbed and subsoil thereof;
- the depositing of unpolluted soil or non-hazardous inert waste resulting from the prospecting, extraction, treatment and storage of mineral resources, as well as from the exploitation of quarries.
A distinction is made between the different types of landfills depending on the type of waste for which they are used: hazardous waste, non-hazardous waste, type I or type II inert waste.
A specific landfill application is required for:
- an initial classified establishment operating permit application for the construction and/or operation of a landfill;
- the operation of a landfill already authorised and in use before 24 February 2003.
How to proceed
Preparing the dossier
As the permit application for a new landfill is submitted at the same time as the classified establishment operating permit application, it is advisable to verify that all the elements required for the dossier are available.
Specifically with regard to operating a landfill, the following information must be gathered and checked:
- list of waste in question along with type, origin and quantity;
- hydrogeological and geological characteristics of the site as well as a model of the landfill in order to ensure the best possible integration with the surrounding area;
- proposed plan concerning the operation, supervision and monitoring of the landfill with information on staff, waste acceptance procedures and waste control procedures following acceptance;
- proposed plan for the closure of the landfill and the management thereof as well as the planned use of the landfill after its closure;
- emergency plan in the event of an accident;
- financial guarantee or any other equivalent means to be provided by the landfill operator to cover the closure of the site and its subsequent management for a duration of at least 30 years in the case of hazardous or non-hazardous waste landfills and at least 5 years for inert waste landfills.
Where applicable, additional documents or information may be requested:
- an extra copy of the classified establishment operating permit application for the Environment Agency (Administration de l'environnement) with respect to the waste permit application;
- an extra copy of the classified establishment operating permit application for the Water Management Authority with respect to the watercourse permit application;
- a separate dossier for the 'nature protection' permit;
- a dossier concerning the environmental impact assessment;
- where applicable, the application may be subject to an analysis with respect to integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC directive); this does not, however, require any additional documents or information to be submitted.
In the case of an application regarding a new landfill, the information concerning its operation is included in the classified establishment operating permit application.
Inquiry periods for applications are the same as for this procedure.
Bringing an existing landfill into compliance
In the case of an existing authorised landfill that has been operational before 24 February 2003, the operator must send the following, as applicable, to the Waste Division (Division des déchets) of the Environment Agency:
- a questionnaire - landfills for inert waste;
- a questionnaire - landfills for hazardous and non-hazardous waste.
Conditions specific to operations, as well as the validity of the permit are specified on the operating permit for classified establishment.
Authorised landfills in operation must become compliant as soon as possible.
Management of an approved landfill
The operators of approved landfills must:
- entrust the management of the site to a technically-qualified natural person who will be in charge of the professional and technical training of staff;
- take all the necessary precautions in order to avoid accidents linked to the operation of the site and minimise the consequences thereof;
- make appropriate arrangements in terms of a financial guarantee (or equivalent) so as to comply with the required site closure procedures;
- have the site approved by an approved entity before the landfill operations commence;
- provide the Waste Division with an annual report containing the information on the type and quantity of waste eliminated and the results of the operations of control and surveillance to carry out before 31 March of the year following the period under review;
- respect the waste acceptance procedures by checking the required documents, visually inspecting the waste and, where applicable, taking samples. Information on waste acceptance procedures is provided in appendix II of the Grand-ducal regulation of 24 February 2003 on waste dumping;
- keep a detailed register for each fraction of waste showing the quantities, characteristics, origin, date of delivery, identity of the producer or of the collector in the case of municipal waste and, in the case of hazardous waste, its exact location on the site;
- produce a written acknowledgement of receipt if a delivery is accepted and, if not accepted, notify the authorities of the reasons for the refusal.
Closure of a landfill
The closure of a landfill may occur for 3 reasons:
- at the reasoned request of the authorities following an inspection of the site and the assessment of the landfill operator's reports. However, this does not release the operator from their responsibilities under the operating permit;
- at the operator's express request;
- when the operating permit expires.
After the definitive closure of a landfill, the operator must ensure the maintenance, supervision and monitoring of the closed landfill as well as the supervision and analysis of landfill gases, leachates and nearby ground water according to the procedures stipulated in appendix III of the Grand-ducal regulation of 24 February 2003 on waste dumping.
The operator must then notify the authorities of any environmentally harmful effects identified by the control procedures carried out and comply with the competent authority's decision concerning the type and schedule of corrective measures to be taken.
The landfill operator shall remain responsible for carrying out these measures until such time as the authorities believe that the landfill is no longer likely to pose a threat to the environment.
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