How is the site being remediated?
The project began in November 2020 and involves the remediation of the Kerdiffstown Landfill site and development of the site as a multi-use public park. This is being achieved by clearing and reprofiling the existing site (now substantially complete), installing an engineered capping system, improving the management of landfill gas, leachate and surface water and the provision of landscaped and recreational areas.
The Department of the Environment, Local Community and Government (now under Department of Environment, Climate and Communications) were presented with three remediation options in 2013. The preferred option was refined and subjected to an Environmental Impact Assessment, which was completed in August 2017. The associated Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) is available on the Kildare county council website: https://kildare.ie/CountyCouncil/AllServices/KerdiffstownPark/KLRPEnvironmentalImpactAssessmentReport/ .
The remediation solution balances the long-term performance of the remediated site and the environmental impact of the remediation works. A balanced approach of making the waste safe and putting a waterproof cap over it was the favoured option and is the tried and trusted option for many historic landfills worldwide.
What is the current environmental status of the site?
The environmental status of the site is being managed full time by Kildare County Council keeping it stable. There has been no significant impact on groundwater, surface water or air quality in the surrounding area to date.
Key risks to groundwater quality and air quality have been actively managed due to interim measures undertaken by Kildare County Council, however without the full remediation of the site, a significant risk of environmental impact remains. Kildare County Council monitors the environment to detect any slight change and there are a number of measures planned and in place if any change occurs.
Why does the site require remediation?
Without full remediation Kerdiffstown Landfill poses a number of risks to the environment. The environmental threat to water is one of the significant risks the site poses, as landfill leachate, which is coming from waste onsite, is seeping into the groundwater. There is potential for this groundwater to migrate and to contaminate the River Morell, a tributary of the River Liffey. Without placing an engineered cap on the waste material, rainfall will continue to pass through the waste, thus generating more leachate.
Other significant environmental issues at the site relate to the production of landfill gases which in previous years resulted in significant odour impact on the local community. Some of the gases from the site, like carbon dioxide and methane, also contribute to Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions. With remediation, these gases will be effectively managed and their odour causing potential and impact on climate change will be significantly reduced.
Why did Kildare County Council take over the remediation project?
Kildare County Council took over the remediation project from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a number of reasons. Firstly, the remediation process proposed required planning permission and compulsory purchase orders, for which Kildare County Council was able to apply. Additionally, the site required a licence from the EPA to undertake the remediation. The EPA would not be in a position to self-grant or enforce this licence. Kildare County Council also has experience in remediating landfill sites. Additionally, they have skilled staff with the expertise to manage all aspects of the project.
What is the current status of the remediation works?
Remediation activities officially commenced on 16 November 2020 with the appointment of Wills Bros Limited as the main contractor. As a result, there has been a considerable increase in activity over recent months with the progression of the remediation works. Kildare County Council maintains a project team onsite for the duration of the works. Works have been progressing well with the majority of the waste material reprofiled and installation of the capping works at an advanced stage onsite.
As well as the main remediation works, some related infrastructural works including the realignment of the L2005 road has been carried out and reached completion in November 2021.
How is the remediation project managed and regulated?
Kildare County Council took on the management of Kerdiffstown Landfill Remediation Project in June 2015 under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding between the local authority and the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government. As part of this the dedicated project team was established onsite. As mentioned above Wills Bros Limited have been appointed as the main contractor for the remediation works. RPS Consulting Engineers are working as Kildare County Council’s representative in the management of the main remediation works contract and have provided the site supervisory team for the contract.
As well as the management of the scheme by the team, the project is subject to regulatory safeguards arising from statutory permissions granted by An Board Pleanála and the EPA. Approval was granted by An Bord Pleanála in May 2018 to the Council's planning application for the project, (and associated Environmental Impact Assessment Report), along with the compulsory purchase order for the scheme. The approval to the EIAR in particular carries with it conditions which the Council must comply with during the construction of the project.
In addition, the EPA approved the necessary Industrial Emissions Licence for the project in March 2019. The requirements of this licence have been incorporated into the detailed design of the project. As part of the conditions of the licence, Kildare County Council are required to undertake detailed environmental monitoring and to demonstrate that they are meeting the strict emission limits for the project. The EPA will also independently monitor air and water quality and periodically inspect the site to ensure the licence is complied with.
As well as the reporting requirements to the EPA, the Kildare County Council site team also compile an Annual Environmental Report which is made available on the Kildare County Council website https://kildare.ie/CountyCouncil/AllServices/KerdiffstownPark/EnvironmentalInformation/ .
How is the remediation project being funded?
The Minister has confirmed that the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications will fund the costs of remediation and ongoing management costs of remediation. The Department is aware that this remediation project is a complex, multi-annual project which will require significant investment over a period of up to five to seven years.
How long will the remediation project take?
The remediation project and the construction of the multi-use public park are anticipated to take between three and five years to complete. Within this period of time, there will be a construction period when intensive construction will take place on site. Site roads, leachate and surface water management systems, landfill gas management systems, monitoring networks and ancillary works will be completed during this time. The project is currently in this phase.
After the remediation works are complete, Kildare County Council will continue to operate under the necessary licence conditions, which provide for the regular environmental monitoring and ongoing maintenance of the remediated site.
How will the remediation process affect local residents?
The remediation process may affect local residents for limited periods of time. For example, residents may notice intermittent odours when certain parts of the remediation works are being undertaken; however, every measure will be taken during this timeframe to minimise any impact to local residents.
Both the main contractor and KCC have management plans in place for identifying and mitigating any potential nuisance that may arise from odour, gas, noise, vibration and dust. The local community are kept fully informed if planned works may cause an impact and for how long this may occur. The vast majority of the remediation work programme to date has not caused any odour with only limited, well defined, parts of the site being significant sources of odour. Works have been carefully planned to minimise movement of any odorous material. At this stage of the project the most odorous material has now been dealt with and capping works are nearing completion in the parts of the site where it is located.
What facilities will the finished park have?
The finished park will provide the area with a new multi-use public park, all weather sports pitches, changing rooms, a playground, walking paths and vehicle and bicycle parking. A visualisation of the finished park can be found on the Kildare County Council website https://kildare.ie/CountyCouncil/AllServices/KerdiffstownPark/KerdiffstownParkVisualisation/ .
Where will I find project updates?
Further information and community updates are posted on the Kildare County Council website https://kildare.ie/countycouncil/AllServices/KerdiffstownPark/ as the remediation project continues, with a view to keeping the public fully informed on progress in a timely manner. Details of planned works onsite are posted on the Council website on a fortnightly basis outlining the activities planned and the respective locations where the works will take place on site.
If you would like to raise an issue at the Community Liaison Group Meetings, please ensure to speak to your local residents group or contact us directly at Tel: 045-980488. The project team welcomes any opportunity to engage with the local community. All Media inquiries should be directed to the Kildare County Council Press Office (email@example.com).
How can I contact the project team with any questions or comments?
If you wish to contact the project team, please dial 045-980488 (Mon – Fri, 09.00 – 17.00) or the Kildare County Council out of hours contact number is 1800 500 444. Alternatively, you can email the project team at firstname.lastname@example.org