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Advisory Council on the Environment

 

Confirmed Minutes of the 64th Meeting of the Advisory Council on the Environment held on 19 July 1999 at 2:30 p.m.

Present:

Mr. Peter H. Y. WONG, JP (Chairman)
Mr. CHAN Kwok-wai, JP
Mr. Barrie COOK
Mr. Paul C. H. FAN
Professor Anthony HEDLEY, JP
Professor LAM Kin-che
Mr. Edwin Lau
Mr. Joseph LAU Man-wai, JP
Mr. LIN Chaan-ming
Dr. NG Cho-nam
Mr. PAO Ping-wing, JP
Mr. Otto L. T. POON
Ms Iris TAM
Miss Alex YAU
Mr. Plato YIP
Mr. Danny TSUI (Secretary)


Absent with Apologies:
Mr. Clement CHEN
Miss Ann CHIANG
Professor Peter HILLS
Dr. HO Kin-chung
The Hon. Dr. LEONG Che-hung
Mr. Michael J. D. RUSHWORTH
Mr. Tan Teng Huat

 

In Attendance:
 
Mr. Gordon SIU Secretary for Planning, Environment & Lands (SPEL)
Mr. Kim SALKELD Deputy Secretary for Planning, Environment & Lands (Environment) (DS(E), PELB)
Mr. Rob LAW Director of Environmental Protection (DEP)
Mr. Bosco Fung Director of Planning Department (D of Plan)
Mr. S P LAU Assistant Director (Conservation), Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) (AD/Cons, AFD)
Mr. David CHAN Principal Information Officer, Environmental Protection Department (EPD)
Mr. Eugene FUNG Assistant Secretary for Planning, Environment & Lands (Environment)4
Miss Cora SO Executive Officer (Environment), Planning, Environment & Lands Bureau (PELB)

In Attendance for Agenda Item 4:
 
Mrs. June Li Assistant Director (Metro), Plan D (AD/Metro, Plan D)
Mr. K W Wong Senior Technical Officer (Metro), Plan D (STO/Metro, Plan D)

In Attendance for Agenda Item 5:
 
Mr. M C Tang Government Geotechnical Engineer (Landslip Preventive Measures), CED (GGE/LPM, CED)
Dr. Dick Martin Chief Geotechnical Engineer (Design), CED (CGE/Design, CED)

In Attendance for Agenda Item 6 :
 
Miss Agnes Kwan Acting Principal Assistant Secretary (Environment)1, PELB (Atg. PAS(E)1, PELB)
Mr. Francis Ho Assistant Secretary, Transport Bureau (AS, TB)
Mr. W C Mok Principal Environmental Protection Officer, EPD (PEPO, EPD)
Mr. Martin Wong Chief Engineer (Gas Production and Supply), EMSD (CE/GPS, EMSD)
Mr. Simon Cheung Chief Transport Officer, Transport Department (CTO, TD)

In Attendance for Agenda Item 7 :
 
Mr. Lawrence Cheung Principal Amenities Officer (HQ), RSD (PAO/HQ, RSD)
Mr. K C Au Staff Officer (Amenities & Horticulture), RSD (SO/AH, RSD)

*********************

 

  Action

Agenda Item 1 : Confirmation of Minutes of 63rd Meeting held on 28 June 1999

The minutes of the 63rd meeting were confirmed subject to amendments to paragraphs 8, 27 and 29.

Agenda Item 2 : Matters Arising

Para. 2 : Visit to the Environmental Protection Bureau of Guangdong

2.Members noted that the Constitutional Affairs Bureau was seeking the Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Office's assistance in arranging the visit on 9-10 August 1999. Members would be informed of the outcome in due course.
 

 
[Post-meeting note : The Environmental Protection Bureau of Guangdong (GEPB) welcomed Members' visit but expressed difficulties in receiving Members on 9 and 10 August. The visit was therefore postponed and the Secretariat was liaising with GEPB to identify possible dates in October.]
  The Secretariat


Para. 5 : Provisional District Board's annual budget for minor environmental improvement works

 


3.Members noted that in 1998/99, $21.2 million had been spent by the 18 Provisional District Boards (PDBs) on minor environmental improvement (MEI) projects, including the provision of planted areas. The amount to be spent by them on MEI projects would be set at $20.4 million in 1999/2000. Since planted areas would require regular management and maintenance, such as watering of the plants, RSD/USD would be consulted on whether they would take over the management and maintenance work upon the completion of the projects before the PDBs would approve the works. It was possible for each PDB to earmark a certain portion of the MEI funds for tree planting and other greening projects, if the management and maintenance arrangements had been sorted out.

 
 

Agenda Item 3 : Report of the 45th EIA Subcommittee Meeting
(ACE Paper 25/99)

4.The Chairman of the EIA Subcommittee reported that the EIA Subcommittee had considered three EIA reports at its meeting held on 5 July 1999, namely the "Main Drainage Channels and Poldered Village Protection Scheme for San Tin, NWNT", "Improvement to Kam Tin Road, Stage II" and "Essential Public Infrastructure Works - Yuen Long, Tin Shui Wai and Tuen Mun Centre". The EIA report entitled "Main Drainage Channels and Poldered Village Protection Scheme for San Tin, NWNT" was recommended for endorsement on the following two conditions :

  1. the project proponent would liaise and negotiate with the Architecture Services Department on the integration of mitigating wetland; and
  2. the project proponent would minimize the disturbance to the wetland by limiting the use of the side-ways leading to the access road.

The remaining two EIA reports were recommended for endorsement without conditions.
 

 

5.A Member opined that the EIA report for the "Main Drainage Channels and Poldered Village Protection Scheme for San Tin, NWNT" had only assessed the impact of its own project to the wetland in San Tin, but had not assessed the cumulative impact of wetland loss arising from all development projects in the area. She said that it would be desirable if the Administration could draw the attention of the project proponents of the other projects in San Tin to look at the issue of cumulative impact in their EIA studies. That Memner further noted that written responses to her outstanding concerns on the EIA report had been received very late, so she would discuss and resolve these directly with the project proponent outside the main Council meeting.

  EPD
 

6.The Chairman said that he had received a letter from a group of residents affected by the Kam Tin Road Stage 2 improvement works complaining about the effectiveness of the landscaping work and noise mitigation measures proposed by the project proponent. He asked whether the EIA Subcommittee had taken into account the complainants' views in recommending the endorsement of the EIA report on the road improvement project. The Chairman of the EIA Subcommittee explained that since the noise level at some sensitive receivers would still exceed the statutory limit after the implementation of direct noise mitigation measures, the project proponent had to resort to indirect noise mitigation measures such as the provision of air conditioners to affected residents in order to further reduce the noise level at their premises. He said that direct and indirect noise mitigation measures were both legitimate means for redressing noise level. Some residents were however dissatisfied with the provision of indirect mitigation measures as they felt that they were forced to live in an air-conditioned environment. The Chairman remarked that the provision of indirect mitigation measures was not a totally satisfactory long-term solution to noise nuisance as it would condemn to them living forever indoors. He said that better alternatives should be identified in the long term and he would be happy to organise a brainstorming session for this purpose. SPEL said that the Administration had already started looking into new approaches to designing roads with a view to reducing the nuisance of road works to residents.

7.After deliberation, Members endorsed the three EIA reports as recommended by the EIA Subcommittee.

8.The Chairman of the EIA Subcommittee said that the EIA Subcommittee had, apart from considering the three aforementioned EIA reports, noted the Initial EIA Report for Lantau North-south Link between Tai Ho Wan and Mui Wo at the July meeting. At the meeting, the project proponent was advised to pay particular attention to four aspects in carrying out the EIA study. The four aspects are, namely the need for the proposed road link, the comparison between various alignment options, the ecological impact of the project and the cumulative impact of this and other projects in the vicinity to the environment of Tai Ho Wan.

9.Two Members said that the EIA study for the Lantau North-south Road Link should, apart from examining various alignment options for the proposed Road Link, examine the feasibility of widening Tung Chung Road or building another road running parallel to the existing Tung Chung Road, and provide detailed justifications if neither options were considered viable. Another two Members said that it would be useful if the Final EIA report for the Lantau North-south Road Link could include a comparison of the gradient of Tung Chung Road with that of other steep roads in Hong Kong, such as Old Peak Road. The Chairman of the EIA Subcommittee said that at the EIA Subcommittee meeting held on 5 July 1999, he had already requested the project proponent to provide these information in the final EIA report.

Agenda Item 4 : Vision and Goals for Victoria Harbour
(ACE Paper 26/99)

10.The Chairman welcomed AD/Metro, Plan D and STO/Metro, Plan D to the meeting. AD/Metro, Plan D unfolded to Members Planning Department's vision and goals for Victoria Harbour.

11.The Chairman commented that the proposed Statement of Intent on Reclamation should emphasize that reclamation in the Harbour would only be carried out to meet essential and sustainable community needs and public aspirations, and is environmentally acceptable. The proposal was noted.

12.Noting that facilities such as Refuse Transfer Stations were essential but unwelcomed public infrastructure, a Member said that the Administration should consider how to provide for such facilities in a more pleasant manner in new development areas along the Harbour with a view to making them more acceptable to the public. The Chairman said that the Administration could borrow the experience of Sydney which made use of the indentations of their coastline to provide natural hideout for such facilities. AD/Metro, Plan D said that there were not too many natural inlets along the coastline of Hong Kong suitable for this purpose. There were demerits in creating man-made inlets along the Harbour as it would affect the hydraulic flow and hence the water quality of the Harbour. The cost effectiveness of necessary works would also need to be taken into account. She said that the Metroplan Review and other specific studies, such as the South East Kowloon Reclamation Study, would take a more macro look at the land use issue, taking into account concerns about visual impact.

13.A Member said that to relieve the central business districts (CBD), such as Central and Tsim Sha Tsui, from over-crowding, the Administration should take the initiative in moving non-core government offices and activities away from CBDs. He also urged the Administration to pay particular attention to the visual impact of high-rise developments along the waterfront to the skyline. AD/Metro, Plan D assured Members that the preservation of Hong Kong's ridgeline was one of the primary urban design objectives given due weighting by the Planning Department (Plan D). Nevertheless buildings of considerable heights at suitable locations on both sides of the Harbour could sometimes serve as inspiring landmarks on Hong Kong's waterfront. She said that Plan D had always tried to strike a reasonable balance between the two. Another Member commented that, given the pace of development in Hong Kong, it would be too idealistic for a member of the public to expect seeing an unobstructed ridgeline of Hong Kong at all time. She said that it would be more pragmatic for the Administration to shortlist, in consultation with the community, a number of vantage points where the ridgeline had to be preserved rather than trying to preserve the entire ridgeline.

14.In response to a Member's queries, AD/Metro, Plan D explained that the purpose of setting vision and goals for the Victoria Harbour were to bring the community to some consensus on how they would like the Victoria Harbour to evolve in future and provide some general guidelines for developers and architects to follow so that their development plans and building designs would be compatible with the planning intention. That said, there was no intention to limit the inspirations and creativity of architects. Design briefs would only be issued for sites at prominent locations which would be designated special design areas under the new Town Planning Bill. A Member said that given the importance of Hong Kong's waterfront as a tourist attraction, it would be in the interest of the public that developments along the waterfront be required to conform to some form of design specifications so as to avoid adverse visual impact as a result of un-coordinated developments.

15.Noting that marine traffic inside the Harbour was far busier now than a decade or so ago, A Member queried whether it was really practical and possible for recreational activities to take place inside the Harbour. AD/Metro, Plan D said that this depended on the location and types of recreational facilities to be provided. The latest gazetted amendment statutory plan for the reclamation in Central had proposed various recreational usage along the proposed waterfront promenade, such as festive markets and marine basin for the exhibitions of yachts.

16.A Member asked whether the Administration or the Town Planning Board (TPB) could make use of any existing statutory power or administrative means to disapprove the development of high-rise buildings along the Harbour. AD/Metro, Plan D responded that except for some special control areas or prominent sites, at present there was generally no statutory control over building heights on statutory town plans. Moreover, development proposals that conformed to the statutory zoning and were covered by unrestricted leases did not have to seek TPB's approval prior to construction. SPEL remarked that since there was at present no statutory control over building heights, it would not be legitimate for TPB to impose height restrictions as conditions for approval.

17.A Member said that if all the buildings along the waterfront were skyscrapers, they would generate such a huge volume of traffic that areas close to the waterfront would become seriously congested and inaccessible. This would have paralysed the intended functions of the Harbour. AD/Metro, Plan D said that although there were at present no height restrictions to buildings except in some special control areas or comprehensive development areas, developers were however required to comply with the plot ratio as stipulated on statutory town plans. For Tsim Sha Tsui, the existing plot ratio control was 12 for commercial developments. Irrespective of the proposed heights, all proposed redevelopments had to conform to this development intensity perceived to be sustainable via various technical assessments. Nonetheless, she said that the Metroplan Review, which was scheduled for completion in late 2000, would review the existing plot ratio requirements to reflect future needs.

 
 

18.The Chairman considered it high time that the Administration started looking at the issue of height restrictions. In this regard, he said that it would be a good start if the Plan D could organise public forums to gauge public opinions on the issue. D of Plan undertook to give further thoughts on this proposal.

19.AD/Metro, PLAN D informed Members that the feedback from the public on the draft vision and goals for the Victoria Harbour had so far been positive and constructive. Most of the comments received were directed at the Statement of Intent which the Plan D would fine-tune. She expected that the vision and goals could be finalised and made public by end of 1999.

  


Plan D
 

20.The Chairman thanked AD/Metro, Plan D and STO/Metro, Plan D for the presentation. Noting that the finalised vision and goals for the Victoria Harbour would be transformed into concrete planning proposals under the Metroplan Review of the waterfront land uses and various reclamation studies, the Chairman requested that this Council be consulted on the findings and recommendations of these studies in due course.

  


Plan D
 

Agenda Item 5 : Bioengineering and Landscaping to Slope in the HKSAR Government's Landslip Prevention Measures Programmes
(ACE Paper 28/99)

21.The Chairman welcomed GGE/LPM, CED and CGE/Design, CED to the meeting. CGE/Design, CED briefed Members on the paper.

22.In response to the Chairman's query, CGE/Design, CED said that the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) had not previously specified the use of multi-layered erosion control mats in conjunction with hydroseeding in the contracts for slope stabilisation works because these types of products had only recently become readily available in the market. He noted that only single layer plastic or biodegradable mats were available in the market in the past.

23.In response to the Chairman and a Member's queries, GGE/LPM, CED explained that GEO was responsible for setting geotechnical standards and guidelines for works departments to follow when carrying out new slope formation works. For slopes that were formed before the formation of GEO and did not meet GEO's latest geotechnical standards, GEO was responsible for their upgrading and therefore could influence the types of surface covers to be used, subject to the maintenance department's agreement. On completion of the upgrading works, the slopes were handed back to the relevant department for long-term maintenance. He said that GEO was formulating a new Highway Slope Manual which would include the latest geotechnical standards on slope formation. Works departments would be encouraged in the Manual to make use of natural vegetation as the slope surface cover as far as practicable.

24.The Chairman asked how GEO could ensure that works departments would follow their guidelines. GGE/LPM, CED said that there was a long-standing arrangement whereby the designs of all major new public slopes were checked for compliance with current safety standards by GEO under administrative instructions. He also said that with effect from June this year, GEO had assumed the role of auditing and monitoring slope maintenance work carried out by works departments. The auditing was being expanded to include visual impact of the works, in line with Works Bureau Technical Circular 25/93. GEO would report the results of the audits to the Works Bureau.

25.A Member said that members of the Working Group on Nature Conservation, which was chaired by him to advise the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands on the way forward regarding nature conservation and use of natural resources, had expressed grave concern about the proliferation of shotcreted slopes in Hong Kong, particularly along the North Lantau Expressway and other newly built highways. He then asked for the following information:

  • the percentage of shotcreted slopes in Hong Kong;
  • GEO's management plans with regard to vegetated / hydroseeding slopes; and
  • the species of plants which GEO would recommend works departments to use for carrying out slope stabilisation works.

26.CGE/Design, CED said that from the available records about two-thirds of the soil cut slopes and one-fifth of the fill slopes upgraded under the GEO's LPM Programme had been shotcreted. He did not have comparable figures for all man-made slopes in Hong Kong. He said that since the 1980s, GEO had established guidelines on the use of different species of grass, shrub and trees for slope stabilisation works. The guidelines were currently being reviewed and more comprehensive guidelines would be made available next year. He said that GEO would continue to encourage the use of natural vegetation and indigenous species for slope stabilisation works as far as practical.

27.In response to a Member's query, CGE/Design, CED said that shotcreted slopes were as effective as vegetated slopes in terms of drainage capacity. He said that weepholes through the surface, relief drains behind the surface and raking drains drilled into the slope behind the surface were three common engineering devices used in shotcreted slopes to drain away excessive water.

28.A Member said that to enhance the appearance of shotcreted slopes, GEO could consider painting the slope surface in green or other colours as desired by the community. CGE/Design, CED said that GEO had been painting shotcreted slopes brown or green in their upgrading works in the last few years, or adding similar colours as pigments to the sprayed concrete, based on advice from landscape architects in the Territory Development Department (TDD) and Highways Department (Hy D). The Chairman commented that he personally did not find the brownish shotcreted slopes pleasant in appearance. CGE/Design, CED said that GEO welcomed proposals from Members and the public for other means to enhance the appearance of slopes.

29.In response to the Chairman's query, GGE/LPM, CED said that there would be a chapter in the proposed Highway Slope Manual on how to blend slopes into the environment. For this purpose, GEO had commissioned a study on slope appearance. The study would be completed by the end of this year.

 
 

30.The Chairman thanked GGE/LPM, CEd and CGE/Design, CED for the detailed presentation. He said that since it was crucial to solicit the co-operation of works departments in enhancing slope appearance, he would invite works departments, such as the Hy D, to a future meeting to exchange views on this issue.

  

Secretariat
 
Agenda Item 6 : LPG Taxi Scheme
(ACE Paper 27/99)

31.The Chairman welcomed Atg. PAS(E)1, PELB, AS, TB, PEPO, EPD, CE/GPS, EMSD and CTO, TD to the meeting. Atg. PAS(E)1, PELB briefed Members on the paper.

 
 

32.The Chairman said that there was a certain degree of risk if government decided to fix the LPG price at a certain level for the first year of operation. This was because there was the chance that the price set by the Administration would be higher than the price to be determined by sheer market force. If so, the taxi operators would suffer and this would weaken their support for the LPG scheme. Atg. PAS(E)1, PELB said that great care would be taken in determining the initial LPG price to ensure that the price level had made reference to and yet likely to be more favourable than the price to be determined by market force. She said that since the five dedicated LPG sites would be awarded at nil premium to the oil company which offered the best scheme for providing LPG facilities, a fixed LPG price at a reasonable price during the first year of operation and a formula that set the lowest price of LPG in the subsequent years, there were strong incentives for oil companies to come up with attractive packages, including an attractive LPG retail price for the first year of operation.

33.A Member said that oil companies might be attracted by government's offer of the five sites for the dedicated LPG filling stations at nil premium to set a very low LPG price for the first year of operation in order to win the tender, but would then seek for drastic increase in the LPG price in the subsequent years to recover revenue loss. PEPO, EPD assured Members that this would not happen because, apart from having to satisfy the Administration with a low initial LPG price, the successful bidder also had to offer a formula that set the lowest price of LPG after the first full year of operation. He explained that offering the five sites at nil premium was to help set an attractive LPG price. DS(E), PELB supplemented that waiving the land premium could provide additional incentives for the oil companies to invest in LPG filling stations.

34.A Member was of the view that the operation cost of a LPG filling station had to be kept low in order to ensure that the LPG price would remain low in the long term. He said that economies of scale could be achieved by increasing the number of vehicles that made use of LPG. He therefore urged the Administration to start looking at the possibilities of replacing other types of diesel vehicles by LPG vehicles. Another Member supplemented that as lorries and buses were just as polluting as taxis, they should be replaced by either LPG vehicles or vehicles that run on other clean fuel. DS(E), PELB said that the Administration would not be complacent with the implementation of the LPG taxi scheme and would continue to take measures to reduce vehicular emissions from other types of diesel vehicles, such as buses and heavy and light lorries. Also, he said that the Administration was exploring other cleaner fuel.

35.Noting that there were currently many unoccupied factory premises in Hong Kong and some of them would be suitable for LPG vehicle workshops, a Member asked why additional land had to be reserved at six new industrial sites for the provision of LPG vehicle workshops. CE/GPS, EMSD said that about 60 LPG vehicle workshops would ultimately have to be set up to serve the whole fleet of 18, 000 LPG taxis. While some of them could be set up at vacant factory premises which were located at the ground floor and could meet the gas and fire safety requirements, there was still a need to identify additional sites for the remaining ones. Atg. PAS(E)1, PELB supplemented that identifying new sites for LPG vehicle workshops would ensure an even distribution of these workshops throughout the territories.

36.In response to a Member's queries, Atg. PAS(E)1, PELB said that a LPG taxi cost $20, 000 less than a diesel taxi probably because of the lower manufacturing costs of the former. She said that the Administration had not offered any tax concession to LPG taxis in order to keep their price low. As regards the trade's response, At. PAS(E)1, PELB said that the trade was fully aware of their responsibility for cleaning the air in Hong Kong and supported the LPG taxi scheme in principle. Their main concerns were about the implementation details.

37.Noting that there were 84 trained mechanics but only 23 were registered as competent persons under the Gas Safety Ordinance, a Member asked whether the remaining 60 or so trained mechanics had left the field. He also asked how long it would take to train a mechanic and how many mechanics would be needed to ensure sufficient service for the whole taxi fleet. CE/GPS, EMSD said that a trained mechanic had to pass an interview in order to be qualified as a competent person. He said that the training programme arranged by the Vocational Training Council was made up of a 50-hour training course which would last for about two and a half months. He said that about 50 to 70 mechanics would be needed to provide sufficient service to the taxi fleet initially, and about 200 would ultimately be needed.

38.The Chairman thanked Atg. PAS(E)1, PELB et. al. for the presentation. He hoped that the Administration would build on the success in the implementation of the LPG taxi scheme and introduce other improvement measures to tackle the remaining vehicular emission problems.

Agenda Item 7 : Information on Provisional Regional Council's Greening Policy and Programmes
(ACE Paper 29/99)

39.The Chairman welcomed PAO/HQ, RSD and SO/AH, RSD to the meeting. PAO/HQ, RSD briefed Members on the paper.

40.In response to a Member's query, PAO/HQ, RSD explained that the Provisional Regional Council (ProRC) was responsible for the management of roadside trees. As regards fung shui trees or trees of special preservation value that were found in rural villages, he said that, depending on the land ownership status, it was the responsibility of departments such as Lands Department and AFD. Requests for felling or transplanting of these trees for development purposes had to be directed to the respective District Lands Office for consideration and the latter would consult relevant departments, such as the AFD, in the process.

41.In response to the Chairman's query, PAO/HQ, RSD said that ProRC used to focus more on tree planting in the past. In recent years, more efforts were being taken by RSD in tree maintenance and conservation. To raise public awareness on tree conservation, RSD would consider organising more promotional programmes such as the "Champion Tree Programme" organised by the USD.

42.A Member asked why there was a decrease in the total number of trees planted by RSD over the years. PAO/HQ, RSD explained that with intensive planting efforts in the earlier years, less and less open space was available now for tree planting. Besides, the number of trees that were planted by other departments, such as TDD and Hy D, as part of their site formation works for a new development area and subsequently handed over to RSD for maintenance, were not included.

43.In response to a Member's query, PAO/HQ, RSD said that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for RSD to maintain a record on the number of trees or shrubs that had withered or fallen, particularly since many shrubs had a short life cycle and had to be replaced from time to time.

44.Noting that various departments were involved in the management of trees in Hong Kong, a Member opined that a co-ordinated body should be established to oversee and monitor the work. Another Member concurred and said that the proposed co-ordinated body should also set guidelines to departments on the species to be used, with priorities accorded to local species. AD/Cons, AFD informed Members that an inter-departmental working group chaired by AFD, had been established a few months ago to discuss means for enhancing co-operation among government departments on tree preservation. He said that he would recommend the working group to also address the issues about tree management and the wider use of local species.

45.In response to a Member's query, PAO/HQ, RSD said that ProRC relied on cultural techniques rather than chemical control to guard against pests and diseases.

46.Noting that 2,000 trees would be planted under the Millenium Tree Planting Programme, a Member asked whether that represented the total number of trees to be planted in 2000. PAO/HQ, RSD said that the Millenium Tree Planting Programme was only one of the tree planting programmes to be organised by ProRC and Provisional Urban Council in 2000. Therefore, the actual number of trees to be planted by RSD and USD in 2000 would far exceed the number of 2000.

47.The Chairman thanked PAO/HQ, RSD and SO/AH, RSD for the presentation.

Agenda Item 9 : Any Other Business

Tentative Schedule of work for ACE in 1999

65.Members noted the tentative schedule of work.

EIA on Disney Land

66.In response to the Chairman's query, DS(E), PELB informed Members that the project proponent of the proposed Disney Land would be required to conduct EIA to evaluate their potential impacts on the environment under an amendment to the existing Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance.

67.A Member said that the Board of Governors of FoE would like to express their gratitude to SPEL for his recognition of public interest in handling the Disney Land EIA issue. They considered that SPEL's request for an integral and independent EIA for the proposed theme park was in line with the spirit of the EIAO.

Role of the Environmental Campaign Committee

68.In response to the Chairman's concern about the role of the Environmental Campaign Committee (ECC), DS(E), PELB said that ECC was reviewing its terms of reference at the moment and would make recommendations to SPEL on the way forward.

Release of dioxin at the Chemical Waste Treatment Centre

69.In response to a Member's query, DS(E), PELB said that the emission standards that the Chemical Waste Treatment Centre (CWTC) had to comply with were among the most stringent in the world. The two recent occasions when high readings of dioxin level were recorded were isolated incidents. The reason for the increase in dioxin level on the first occasion could not be identified but the level had gone down shortly. On the second occasion, the reason for the increase was immediately detected and actions were taken to bring down the emission level. DS(E), PELB said that apart from measuring the dioxin level at the chimney outlets, EPD was also carrying out background monitoring of the exposure level in that area. He assured Members that the dioxin emission level at the CWTC had been maintained at a level that was much lower than that required by many other advanced countries.

Agenda Item 10 : Date of Next Meeting

70.The next meeting was scheduled for 30 August 1999.

 

Planning, Environment and Lands Bureau
August 1999

 

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