Report of the 53rd Environmental Impact Assessment Subcommittee Meeting
(ACE Paper 19/2000)
At its meetings on 8 May 2000, the Subcommittee considered the EIA reports of Tuen Mun Sewerage - Eastern Coastal Sewerage Extension and Shenzhen River Regulation Project Stage III.
2.Members are requested to advise whether the EIA reports should be endorsed.
VIEWS OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE
Tuen Mun Sewerage - Eastern Coastal Sewerage Extension
(ACE EIA Paper 5/2000)
3.The Tuen Mun Sewerage Master Plan (TMSMP) Study completed in September 1993 identified a number of unsewered village clusters within the Tuen Mun Master Plan study area. The lack of proper sewage treatment in the area results in adverse water quality impact to surrounding watercourses. The proposed Eastern Coastal Sewerage Extension will improve the situation and provide sewage collection and disposal for some of the unsewered villages.
4.The four proposed sewage pumping stations located at Luen On San Tsuen, Tai Lam Chung Tsuen, Tai Lam Valley and Castle Peak Villas are classified as Designated Projects under F.3 of Part I of Schedule 2 of the EIA Ordinance. The present EIA addresses the overall environmental impacts arising from all of the proposed works.
5.The Director of Environmental Protection (DEP), in consultation with relevant authorities, considers that the EIA report meets the requirements of the EIA Study Brief and the Technical Memorandum on Environmental Impact Assessment Process. Drainage Services Department (DSD), the project proponent, has been requested to initiate public consultation in accordance with the requirements under the EIA Ordinance. Comments from the ACE and the public will be taken into consideration before DEP makes the final decision regarding the approval of the EIA report.
Views and Recommendations of EIA Subcommittee Members
6.Subcommittee Members discussed the report at the meeting and were mainly concerned about the potential construction noise impact of the project.
7.In that aspect, the project proponent undertook that appropriate additional mitigation measures would be proposed and implemented after detailed inspection of the site area. The proponent was confident that in most cases the actual construction noise level would be below 75 dB(A), much lower that the projection of 1-19 dB(A) exceedance above the noise standards in the EIA report. The only exception would be for the sensitive receivers which were as close as just 1-2 m away from the site and would unavoidably be subject to short-term residual noise impacts despite various mitigation measures to be adopted. However, it was expected that the affected residents would be exposed to the noise impacts for only a total duration of 2 to 4 hours for the whole project.
8.The proponent expressed difficulties in specifying the appropriate mitigation measures to be adopted for reducing the noise impacts at that stage due to the changing circumstances during the time gap of 4 to 5 years between the EIA study and the actual implementation period of the project. They would however required the contractor to submit a method statement in which the recommended additional measures would be specified based on the on-site situation for their endorsement before the commencement of the works along narrow alleys.
9.The Subcommittee agreed to recommend to the Council to endorse the report with the condition that the proponent would submit the method statement to DEP for endorsement before the commencement of the works along narrow alleys.
Shenzhen River Regulation Project Stage III
(ACE EIA Papers 6/2000)
10.The purpose of regulating Shenzhen River is to increase its flood carrying capacity to prevent the northern part of the New Territories of Hong Kong Special Administration Region and the Lo Wu District of Shenzhen City from flooding.
11.The project is a Designated Project under Section A.2, Part I, Schedule 2 of the EIAO. The Shenzhen River Regulation Stage III works involve deepening, widening and straightening of 4 km long river channel upstream of Lo Wu Bridge. The Lo Wu Railway Bridge, Lo Wu Old Footbridge and Man Kam To Bridge will be disassembled and rebuilt to facilitate the widening of the river channel.
12.DEP in consultation with the relevant authorities considers that the report meets the requirements of the EIA Study Brief and the Technical Memorandum on Environmental Impact Assessment process provided that all recommendations of the EIA report will be strictly and conscientiously implemented and a stringent monitoring and auditing programme will be adopted. DSD has been requested to initiate public consultation in accordance with the requirements under the EIAO. Comments from the ACE and the public will be taken into consideration before DEP makes the final decision regarding the approval of the EIA report.
Views and Recommendations of EIA Subcommittee Members
13.Subcommittee Members discussed the report at the meeting. The main concerns were on the use of the regulated channel, cultural heritage, spoil disposal arrangement, sedimentation rate and ecological impact.
14.On the use of the regulated channel of Shenzhen River, the proponent confirmed that the sole purpose of the project was to alleviate the flooding problem of the area concerned and there was no intention to increase the navigation potential of the River through the channel widening work.
15.On cultural heritage, the proponent undertook that though it was infeasible to preserve the Lo Wu Railway Bridge in-situ due to physical constraints, the Bridge would be demolished and re-erected at an appropriate location to be jointly decided by the Hong Kong SAR Government and the Mainland authority. The heritage value of the Bridge would be safeguarded by careful planning and implementation of the whole exercise by an expert in that aspect to be employed.
16.On the disposal arrangement of spoil, the proponent clarified that the option of disposing most of the uncontaminated spoil at NeiLingDing Marine Dumping Ground and the remaining at Nam Heng Middle Valley as appropriate was preferred mainly due to its limited environmental impacts and the efficient work schedule. The project would be lengthened by 17 months if all uncontaminated spoils were to be disposed of at NeiLingDing. The proposed arrangement was also in line with the current practice and those adopted in Stage I and II of the project. The proponent however undertook to re-examine the recommended disposal option with a view to reducing the amount of material to be filled in Nam Hang by exploring other suitable local disposal sites. The findings would be available before the next Council meeting scheduled on 29 May 2000 to facilitate further discussion at the meeting.
17.On the sedimentation rate in the estuary resulted from the project, the proponent clarified that no significant impact was predicted since the Stage III regulating work would be 9 km away from the mouth of the River. According to the latest findings reported by the monitoring team up to mid 1999, the sedimentation rate in the estuary was not significantly different from that before the Stage I and II works started. To further monitor the situation, the proponent agreed that a 2-year monitoring programme would be conducted for the operation stage of the project in the estuary.
18.On ecological impact, the proponent confirmed that the necessary working area for the implementation of the project and the habitat affected in Nam Hang were already taken into account when making the assessment in the report. It was agreed that the proponent would produce a map showing the locations of the affected ecological habitats and the proposed mitigation measures for Members' reference.
19.The Subcommittee Chairman proposed and Members agreed to recommend to the Council to further discuss the disposal arrangement of spoil at Nam Hang based on the information to be provided by the proponent at the Council's next meeting to be held on 29 May 2000. Subject to the discussion, the report would be recommended for the Council's endorsement with the following conditions:
A 2-year monitoring exercise would be conducted for the operation stage of the project on its impact on the sedimentation rate in the estuary of the Shenzhen River.
A study on the 'Dismantle of Lo Wu Railway Bridge' should be conducted within at least 6 months before commencement of the project, which should include detailed rules on information recording and dismantle procedures, dismantle programme, guidelines for preserving the dismantled materials, location of re-erection, restoration programme and detailed rules for restoration. The Bridge should only be demolished after the dismantle proposal was approved by the Hong Kong Antiquities and Monuments Office and other relevant authorities.
EIA Subcommittee Secretariat