Report of the 55th Environmental Impact Assessment Subcommittee Meeting - Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme Stage II
(ACE Paper 29/2000)
At its 55th meeting held on 27 June, 6 and 11 July 2000, the Subcommittee considered the EIA report of the Kowloon-Cantoon Railway Corporation (KCRC) Sheung Shui to Lok Ma Chau Spur Line. At the meeting on 27 June, the Subcommittee also received a briefing on the EIA report on Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme (SSDS) Stage II on an informal basis. Since the Subcommittee has already reported to the Council on the EIA report on the KCRC Spur Line, this report will cover only the briefing on the EIA report on SSDS Stage II.
Members are requested to note the concerns on the EIA report on SSDS Stage II and offer comments, if any, to be conveyed to the SSDS International Review Panel (IRP).
VIEWS OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE
Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme Stage II
(ACE EIA Paper 10/2000)
As a measure to improve water quality in the Victoria Harbour, the Sewage Strategy Study, commissioned by EPD in 1987, recommended implementation of the SSDS, a comprehensive sewage system which would collect sewage from the urban around the Harbour using deep tunnels, provide primary treatment and dispose of it to deep oceanic currents south of Hong Kong. SSDS Stage II involves the provision of additional treatment to the sewage flows generated from around the Harbour and the delivery of the treated flows to a suitable discharge location.
There has been much debate in the community about the treatment level to be adopted in the SSDS. In 1994, the SSDS Stage II Options Review Study concluded, among others, that an EIA study should be carried out to assess alternative outfall locations south of Hong Kong and the level of treatment needed in the long term.
Views and Recommendations of EIA Subcommittee Members
The Subcommittee agreed that since the SSDS was under review by the SSDS IRP, the EIA report was not submitted formally under the EIAO for endorsement but for early comments to be conveyed to the IRP.
Members' views were that there did not appear to be significant deficiencies in the scope or approach of the EIA but they had concern on the ecological impact from a not more than 30% increase in suspended solids concentrations by effluent at the edge of dilution zone in the affected water bodies, identification of possible technology to achieve no less than 99% odour removal efficiency; and sludge disposal management. It was suggested that the IRP should consider specifically the possible impact of the predicted rise in suspended solids at the edge of the initial dilution zone. After discussion, the Subcommittee concluded that it had no strong objection to a treatment level with chemically enhanced primary treatment plus disinfection and an outfall in the Lema Channel provided that there was flexibility for upgrading or downgrading the treatment level in future when necessary.
DEP will submit the EIA report to the Council for formal consideration when he, 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 and asks the Project proponent to initiate public consultation in accordance with the requirements under the EIAO.
EIA Subcommittee Secretariat