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Landfill: Pollution

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment his Department has made of the effects on public health of leakage from landfill sites into aquifers. (292109)

[holding answer 12 October 2009]: No recent specific assessment has been made by DEFRA on leakage from landfills into aquifers.

Landfills are subject to strict permitting requirements under European and domestic legislation concerning their location, design, operation, closure and aftercare in order to prevent harm to human health and the environment.

In 2004, the Government published a report that assessed the environmental and health effects of different types of waste management facilities. It looked at leakages from municipal solid waste landfills to surface water and groundwater. It stated:

“While the lack of data means that the numbers themselves are of poor quality, they indicate that emissions from waste management are a very small proportion of total UK emissions”.