Maddingley gets approval to receive toxic soil in Bacchus Marsh


The door has been opened for toxic soil to be dumped in Bacchus Marsh following approval of an Environment Management Plan (EMP) for Maddingley Brown Coal.

The EMP was submitted by Western Soil Treatment (WST) as part of its application to receive tunnel boring machine spoil from the West Gate Tunnel Project.

Environment Protection Authority Victoria approved the plan today after determining there were appropriate measures to keep the environment and community safe.

EPA said it assessed the plan for potential environmental impacts, such as runoff, odour, and potential land, surface water and groundwater risks.

Under government regulations, the owner of a site bidding to receive the spoil must develop an EMP and comply with specific conditions including constructing an appropriate containment system and managing spoil appropriately, so risks are controlled.

It is the second EMP approved for Maddingley Brown Coal to receive the soil in Bacchus Marsh – a plan approved by the EPA last year was reversed in December by the environmental watchdog after it was found to be unlawful.

Earlier this year, Moorabool Environment Group (MEG) launched legal proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria seeking to overturn the planning minister’s decision to amend the Moorabool Planning Scheme so the PFAS and asbestos-riddled soil could be dumped in Bacchus Marsh.

MEG president Dr Jodie Valpied said the minister bypassed community consultation in his decision, reasoning that all community concerns were addressed by the EPA’s approval.

She said this argument collapsed once the EMP was reversed.

The approval of an EMP does not mark the final decision on where the spoil will be sent. Project manager Transurban will make the final decision.