Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance

Technical Memorandum

Annex 20


1. General Approach

Organisation of the Information

1.1 Is information logically arranged in sections ?

1.2 Is the location of information identified in an index or table of contents ?

1.3 When information from external sources has been introduced, has a full reference to the source been included ?

Presentation of Information

1.4 Has information and analysis been offered to support all conclusions drawn ?

1.5 Has information and analysis been presented so as to be comprehensive to the non-specialist using maps, tables and graphical material as appropriate ?

1.6 Are all the important data and results discussed in an integrated fashion within the information ?

1.7 Has superfluous information (ie information not needed for the decision) been avoided ?

1.8 Has the information been presented in a concise form with a consistent terminology and are there logical links between different sections ?

1.9 Have prominence and emphasis been given to severe adverse impacts, to substantial environmental benefits, and to controversial issues ?

1.10 Is the information objective ?

Public Concerns

1.11 Does the information identify and address the main concerns of the general public and special interest groups (clubs, societies etc) who may be affected by the project.

1.12 Does the information take account of the main concerns of the relevant statutory or advisory bodies.

2. Description of the Project

Features of the Project

2.1 Are the purpose(s) and objectives of the project explained ?

2.2 Are the nature and status of project decision(s), for which the EIA study is undertaken, clearly indicated ?

2.3 Is the estimated duration of the construction phase, operational phase and, where appropriate, decommissioning phase given, together with the programme within these phases ?

2.4 Is the design and size of the project described, using diagrams, plans and/or maps as necessary ?

2.5 Are the methods of construction described ?

2.6 Are the nature and methods of production or other types of activity involved in operation of the project described ?

2.7 Has the land taken up by the project site(s), construction sites, and any associated access arrangements, auxiliary facilities and landscaping areas, been clearly shown on a scaled map?

2.8 For a linear project, has the land corridor, vertical and horizontal alignment and need for tunnelling, and earthworks been described ?

2.9 Have the uses to which the project will be put been described and the different land use areas demarcated ?

Residues and Emissions

2.10 Have the types and quantities of waste matter, energy (noise, vibration, light, heat, radiation etc) and residual materials generated during construction and operation of the project, and the rate at which these will be produced, been estimated ?

2.11 Have the ways in which it is proposed to handle and/or treat these wastes and residual materials prior to release/disposal been indicated, together with the routes by which they will eventually be disposed of to the environment ?

2.12 Have any special or hazardous wastes which will be produced been identified as such and the methods for their disposal been described, as regards their likely main environmental impacts?

2.13 Have the means by which the quantities of residuals and wastes were estimated been indicated and has uncertainty been acknowledged and ranges provided where appropriate ?

3. Background and History of the Project

3.1 Where appropriate does the information include reference to the consideration of the project's siting or alignment by the project proponent ?

3.2 Are the reasons for selecting the proposed project or its siting and alignment, and the part environmental factors played in the selection, adequately described ?

3.3 Have the main environmental impacts of different siting or alignment options been compared clearly and objectively with those of the proposed project and with the likely future environmental conditions in the absence of the project ?

4. Description of the Environment

Description of the Area Occupied by and Surrounding the Project

4.1 Have the areas expected to be significantly affected by the various aspects of the project been indicated with the aid of suitable maps ?

4.2 Have the land uses on the site(s) and in the surrounding areas been described ?

4.3 Has the affected environment been defined broadly enough to include any potentially significant effects occurring away from the immediate areas of construction and operation ?

Baseline Conditions

4.4 Have the components of the environment potentially affected by the project been identified and described sufficiently for the prediction of impacts ?

4.5 Were the methods used to investigate the affected environment appropriate to the size and complexity of the assessment task ?

4.6 Has a prediction of the likely future environmental conditions in the absence of the project been developed ?

4.7 Have existing technical data sources, including local records and studies carried out for environmental agencies and/or interest groups been searched ?

4.8 Have local, regional and national plans and policies been reviewed and other data collected as necessary to predict future environmental conditions ?

4.9 Have relevant departments and agencies holding information on baseline environmental conditions been approached ?

5. Description of Impacts

5.1 Have the direct and indirect/secondary effects of constructing, operating and, where relevant, after use or decommissioning of the project been considered (including both positive and negative effects) ?

5.2 Does the information include consideration of whether effects will arise as a result of "consequential" development ie whether additional development, which it would be difficult to resist, will be included in the area, leading to further environmental effects ? For a project with multiple stages, are the impacts caused by overlapping of different stages considered and determined ?

5.3 Have the above types of impacts been investigated in so far as they affect the following:

  • air and climate;
  • water and soils;
  • noise;
  • landscape;
  • ecology;
  • historic and cultural heritage;
  • land use;
  • impacts on people and communities;
  • impacts on agriculture and fisheries activities.

5.4 If any of the above are not of concern in relation to the specific project and its location is this clearly stated in the information ?

5.5 Is the investigation of each type of impact appropriate to its importance for the decision, avoiding unnecessary information and concentrating on the key issues ?

5.6 Are impacts which may not be themselves significant, but which may contribute incrementally to a significant effect considered ?

5.7 Does the information include a description of the methods/approaches used to identify impacts and the rationale for using them ?

5.8 If the nature of the project is such that accidents are possible which might cause severe damage within the surrounding environment, has an assessment of the probability and likely consequences of such events been carried out and the main findings reported ?

Magnitude of Impacts

5.9 Are impacts described in terms of the nature and magnitude of the change occurring and the nature (location, number, value, sensitivity) of the affected receiver ?

5.10 Has the timescale over which the effects will occur been predicted such that it is clear whether impacts are short, medium or long term, temporary or permanent, reversible or irreversible?

5.11 Where possible, have predictions of impacts been expressed in quantitative terms ? Otherwise, have qualitative descriptions been defined ?

5.12 Where quantitative predictions have been provided is the level of uncertainty attached to the results described ?

Data and Methods

5.13 Have the methods used to predict the nature, size and scale of impacts been described and are they appropriate to the importance of each projected impact ?

5.14 Are the data used to estimate the size and scale of the main impacts sufficient for the task, are they clearly described and have their sources been clearly identified ?

6. Mitigation

Description of Mitigating Measures

6.1 Has the mitigation of significant negative impacts been considered and, where feasible, have specific measures been proposed to address each impact ?

6.2 Have the reasons for choosing the particular type of mitigation, and the other options available, been described ?

6.3 Where mitigating measures are proposed, has the significance of any impact remaining after mitigation been described ?

6.4 Where appropriate, do mitigation methods considered include modification of project design, construction and operation, the replacement of facilities/resources, and the creation of new resources, as well as "end-of-pipe" technologies for pollution control ?

6.5 Is it clear to what extent the mitigation methods will be effective ?

6.6 Where the effectiveness is uncertain or depends on assumptions about operating procedures, climatic conditions, etc, or where there is a risk that mitigation will not work, is this made clear and has data been introduced to justify the acceptance of the assumptions ?

Implementation of Mitigation Measures

6.7 Have details of how the mitigation measures will be implemented and function over the time span for which they are necessary been presented ? Does the report list out clearly what mitigation measures would be implemented, by whom, when, where and to what requirements ? Is the responsibility for implementing the recommended mitigation measures clearly defined ?

Environmental Effects of Mitigation

6.8 Have any adverse environmental effects of mitigation measures been investigated and described ?

6.9 Has the potential for conflict between the benefits of mitigating measures and their adverse impacts been considered ?

7. Evaluation of Residual Impacts

7.1 Have the available standards, assumptions and criteria which can be used to evaluate the impacts been discussed ?

7.2 Have the predicted impacts been compared to the available standards and criteria ?

7.3 Have the residual impacts, which are the net impacts with the mitigation measures in place, been described and evaluated against the available Government policies, standards and criteria ?

7.4 Have the residual impacts been discussed and evaluated in terms of the impact on the health and welfare of the local community and on the protection of environmental resources ?

7.5 Have the magnitude, location and duration of the residual impacts been discussed in conjunction with the value, sensitivity and rarity of the resource ?

7.6 Where there are no generally accepted standards or criteria for the evaluation of residual impacts, have alternative approaches been discussed and, if so, is a clear distinction made between fact, assumption and professional judgement ?

7.7 Have the residual impacts, if any, arising from the implementation of the proposed mitigation measures, been considered ?

8. Environmental Monitoring and Audit Proposals

8.1 If impacts are uncertain, have monitoring arrangements been proposed to check the environmental impacts resulting from the implementation of the project and their conformity with the predictions made ?

8.2 Does the scale of any proposed monitoring arrangements correspond to the potential scale and significance of deviations from expected impacts ?

8.3 Is the need for and the scope of the monitoring and audit requirements defined in the report ?

8.4 Does the report contain an Environmental Monitoring and Audit programme, as prescribed in Annex 21, if it is found to be needed ?

9. Difficulties Compiling the Information

9.1 Have any gaps in the required data been indicated and the means used to deal with them in the assessment been explained ?

9.2 Have any difficulties in assembling or analysing the data needed to predict impacts been acknowledged and explained ?

10. Executive Summary

10.1 Does the executive summary contain at least a brief description of the project and the environment, an account of the main mitigation measures to be implemented by the developer, and a description of any remaining or residual impacts ?

10.2 Have technical jargons been avoided as far as possible in the executive summary ?

10.3 Does the executive summary present the main findings of the assessment and cover all the main issues ?

10.4 Does the executive summary include a brief explanation of the overall approach to the assessment ?

10.5 Does the executive summary provide an indication of the confidence which can be placed in the results ?

10.6 Is the executive summary presented in both English and Chinese ?