Inkerman landfill (Cleanaway)

Many historical activities have polluted the groundwater in Woodville North.

Cleanaway landfill has operated its Inkerman site for over a decade, and is regulated by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) in accordance with Licence #14463. Inkerman was a state planned landfill site and is a long distance away from major population hubs and borewater users.

In May 2020, Cleanaway advised the EPA that it was intending to apply to have per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) added to the list of wastes that it is currently licensed to receive (please click on the licence above to review this list). The EPA informed Cleanaway that before an application could be accepted

Cleanaway landfill has operated its Inkerman site for over a decade, and is regulated by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) in accordance with Licence #14463. Inkerman was a state planned landfill site and is a long distance away from major population hubs and borewater users.

In May 2020, Cleanaway advised the EPA that it was intending to apply to have per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) added to the list of wastes that it is currently licensed to receive (please click on the licence above to review this list). The EPA informed Cleanaway that before an application could be accepted, it must undertake 12 months of groundwater monitoring and requested Cleanaway to undertake engagement with the local community.

Cleanaway had established the Inkerman Landfill Community Reference Group in 2018, comprising of adjacent landowners, representatives from the Wakefield Regional Council, Cleanaway and the EPA. For further information about this group please visit the Cleanaway website.

For further information about the work undertaken to date, see the timeline on this page. The EPA will now determine whether this application meets the requirements for disposal criteria in South Australian and Australian guidelines (see 'State and national guidelines' on this page):

If you have any questions or would like to speak with our staff about this application, please get in touch on:

  • Phone: (08) 8124 4216
  • Email
  • PFAS application - what you need to know

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    Cleanaway's application to receive and dispose of PFAS-contaminated waste relates to:

    • 50 milligrams per kilogram or less, or pre-treated PFAS-contaminated waste that will be tested and certified compliant with EPA standards prior to the material being received.
    • Dry waste only (no liquid PFAS contaminated waste or fire-foam concentrate is permitted to go to landfill in SA).
    • Disposal only to an engineered landfill that has undergone significant design and technical assessment, that has been approved by the EPA and other authorities.
    • Specific landfill cell engineering with primary controls in place to prevent loss of containment.
    • Established groundwater and leachate monitoring data for use as a baseline for potential existing presence of existing PFAS in groundwater common in all landfill cells, due to the historical use of PFAS in household items.
    • An engineered cell that is fitted with a leachate collection system that collects leachate (if any) for ground-level containment.

    For further information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions and view our landfill animation available on this page. If you would like to speak to someone in person, please:

    Ph: (08) 8124 4216

    E: engage.epa@sa.gov.au


  • Background - PFAS landfills in SA

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    Cleanaway's application is the second the EPA has received since it released the Landfill disposal criteria for PFAS-contaminated waste in 2020. The EPA refused a previous application in 2021 due to the site's location in McLaren Vale. The fractured rock aquifer beneath that site meant that if there was any breach of the landfill liner it would have been very hard to contain.

    The EPA has since undertaken further work regarding the broader policy and operational management of PFAS-contaminated waste in South Australia, including the development of draft site selection factors specific to South Australia to assist the EPA’s assessment of applications.*

    All landfills are expected to already contain PFAS-contaminated waste from everyday household products, however waste soils from a known PFAS-contaminated site are currently not approved for disposal anywhere in South Australia. Until a South Australian landfill has been assessed as appropriate to dispose of PFAS-contaminated waste, it must be transported interstate.

    South Australia is the only jurisdiction in Australia that still doesn't have a landfill where PFAS-contaminated waste can be disposed of. See below to review the SA EPA's disposal guidelines:

    EPA Landfill disposal criteria for PFAS-contaminated waste (SA)

    Environmental management of landfill facilities – solid waste disposal (SA)

    *These draft guidelines will be open for public consultation in early 2023. To register your interest please:

    Ph: 8124 4216

    E: engage.epa@sa.gov.au

  • Parliamentary Inquiry into PFAS disposal

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    The Environment, Resources and Development Committee of Parliament commenced an Inquiry into Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contaminated waste disposal in 2021. Thirty three submissions were made by members of the community and organisations, including the EPA. Submissions closed on Wednesday 6 October 2021 and further information about the Committee and the inquiry can be found on the Committee’s website https://www.parliament.sa.gov.au/en/Committees/Committees-Detail.

    In its submission, the EPA proposed to develop siting factors to inform the assessment of future proposals for PFAS waste disposal locations. The Committee delivered an interim report before the last State election that recommended a process by which appropriate sites might be identified would be appropriate.

    The preliminary recommendations of the Committee strongly recommend that the economic and environmental consequences of SA continuing its reliance upon other jurisdictions accepting South Australia’s waste be considered.

    Click here to view the EPA submission.

  • Details on the landfill cell

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    The Inkerman site contains dedicated disposal cells for low level contaminated waste (LLCW). The current cell is single composite lined and separated by constructed bunds from general waste cells. The LLCW cell is also located around the perimeter of the landfill stage as part of the site design. The LLCW cell is constructed with a 600 mm compacted clay liner overlain by a geodrain leak detection layer. A geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) layer and then a High Density Poly Ethylene layer is then overlain by a 300mm deep drainage aggregate placed on a cushion geotextile.

  • Formal submission period to commence

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    Community engagement on Cleanaway's application to receive PFAS contaminated waste commenced in August 2020, when Cleanaway notified the Inkerman Landfill Community Reference Group and other key stakeholders that it was planning on making this application to the EPA.

    With all licence applications or significant changes the EPA must, in accordance with the Environment Protection Act 1993, consult with the surrounding neighbours for a period of not less than 14 days. The EPA is undertaking a three month consultation from 30 November 2022 to 28 February 2023.

    This statutory consultation involves inviting adjacent landowners to make a submission for consideration during the technical assessment period. The EPA is extending the consultation to include anyone with an interest in the project, and invites people to submit their submission via:

    Email:

    engage.epa@sa.gov.au or

    Postal:

    Environment Protection Authority

    Attention: Principal Adviser Community Engagement

    GPO Box 2607

    Adelaide SA 5001

    If you have any queries about the formal submission process, please call the Principal Adviser Community Engagement directly on

    Phone:

    (08) 8124 4216 during business hours.

    In person:

    At the community information session, Thursday 9 February drop in anytime from 12-6pm at the Port Wakefield Golf Club. Please call the number above to RSVP. If this time is not suitable, please let us know and we will arrange to speak with you at a mutually convenient time during the consultation period.

Page last updated: 13 Jan 2023, 10:20 AM