Report of the EIA Subcommittee for January 1999
(ACE Paper 1/99)
The EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) Subcommittee considered and endorsed the EIA reports on 'Dredging an Area of Kellet Bank for Reprovisioning of Six Government Mooring Buoys' and 'Planning and Engineering Feasibility Study for Development at Anderson Road' at its meeting on 4 January 1999.
The EIA Report on Dredging an Area of Kellet Bank for Reprovisioning of Six Government Mooring Buoys
(ACE EIA Paper 1/99)
2.The project aims to relocate six Government Mooring Buoys to allow for the development of a Naval Base on Stonecutters Island, in accordance with the Port and Airport Development Strategy completed in 1990.
3.The project which is a Designated Project under the EIA Ordinance will involve dredging of about 3.55 Mm3 of material over a period of 48 weeks. The impact of the project on water quality, marine ecology and noise level have been assessed and are considered to be acceptable. For water intakes in the immediate vicinity of the works area, elevated suspended solids (SS) levels caused by the dredging works may occasionally exceed the 10 mg/l criterion set by the Water Supplies Department. The project proponent will periodically monitor the SS levels at water intakes. If necessary, the third grab dredger will not be used and mitigation measures will be provided.
4.The contaminated mud produced by the project will be disposed of at the Contaminated Mud Pit IV at East Sha Chau as advised by the Fill Management Committee. The uncontaminated mud will be disposed of in accordance with the requirements of the Dumping at Sea Ordinance.
Views and Recommendations of EIA Subcommittee's Members
5.Members discussed the report in detail at the meeting. Queries on the noise impact, dumping of contaminated mud and dredging model were raised. Members were satisfied that the noise impact would be controlled under the Noise Control Ordinance and, where necessary, the permit conditions under the EIA Ordinance. Apart from the Environmental Protection Department (EPD)'s enforcement effort, there would be a requirement imposed under the environmental permit for an Independent Environmental Checker to ensure satisfactory implementation of measures. Regarding contaminated mud, the consultant confirmed that dumping at the Contaminated Mud Pit IV at East Sha Chau had been assessed as feasible with adequate capacity.
6.For the dredging model, the consultants confirmed that calibration and verification work had been done under the Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme (SSDS) outfall performance verification EIA study which had been endorsed for inclusion in this report. EPD undertook to liaise with others to come up further details to Members after the meeting.
7.The Chairman proposed and Members agreed to recommend ACE to endorse the EIA report without condition.
The EIA Report on Planning and Engineering Feasibility Study for Development at Anderson Road
(ACE EIA Paper 2/99)
8.This paper presents the key findings and recommendations for the Planning and Engineering Feasibility Study for Development at Anderson Road. The subject site has been identified as one of the potential housing sites to meet the medium term demand in the Territory Development Strategy Review of 1996.
9.The project covers an area of about 50 hectares and will provide housing for about 40,000 people with a target population intake date in early 2009. It will include the formation of 5 housing sites and the provision of supporting infrastructure including roads, drains, water supply and sewers.
10.The project's impact on noise levels and ecology had been evaluated. It was concluded that by using careful site layout and block locations, both the criteria under NCO and the TM of EIAO could be met. Meanwhile, the loss of 15 hectares of woodland resulted from the proposed development could be compensated by planting of native species on about 13.4 hectares of cut slopes.
Views and Recommendations of EIA Subcommittee's Members
11.Members were concerned about the landfill gas, noise, ecology and visual impacts of the project.
12.The project proponent confirmed that landfill gas investigation would be included in the detailed design stage and mitigation measures would be taken should the concentration level was found to be unacceptable. Meanwhile, during the 2 years and 10 months when the Anderson Road Quarry will continue to operate after initial population intake, EPD and CED would ensure that the noise level from quarrying activities would be in compliance with the NCO and TM of EIA Ordinance.
13.As regards the ecological impact, the Agriculture and Fisheries Department advised that since the compensation woodland area would enhance the ecological value of the existing one, which was affected by squatter farming, the proposed compensatory replanting was considered to be acceptable.
14.The Chairman proposed and the majority of Members agreed to recommend to ACE to endorse the EIA report with the following condition:
"The proponent will implement the recommendation contained in the report to plant 13.4 hectares of woodland on soft cut slopes using native species. A proposal including details of the species mix, future long-term maintenance, and time-table for implementation will be prepared to the satisfaction of the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries."
15.Members also agreed that the concern on the breach of the Metroplan policy on Principal Ridgelines due to the cumulative visual impacts of this project and the future development of an adjacent site should be conveyed to the Planning Department for consideration and discussion at the coming ACE meeting.
16.Members are requested to advise whether the two EIA reports mentioned above should be endorsed.
EIA Subcommittee Secretariat