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Advisory Council on the Environment

Confirmed Minutes of the 52nd Meeting of the Environmental Impact Assessment Subcommittee of the Advisory Council on the Environment held on 5 April 2000 at 4:00 pm and 10 April 2000 at 2:30 p.m.


Present: Professor LAM Kin-che (Chairman)
Mr LIN Chaan-ming
Dr NG Cho-nam
Mr Plato YIP
Miss Alex YAU
Mr Otto POON
Dr HO Kin-chung
Mr Howard CHAN (Secretary)


Absent with Apologies:
Professor Peter HILLS
Mr Barrie COOK


In Attendance:
Mr Elvis AU Assistant Director (Environmental Assessment & Noise), Environmental Protection Department (EPD) (AD(EA)/EPD)
Mr S P LAU Assistant Director (Conservation), Agriculture. Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD)(attended 5.4.2000 meeting and Mr J K CHAN, ADC (Acting), attended 10.4.2000 meeting)
Miss Agnes KWAN Assistant Secretary, Environment and Food Bureau


In Attendance for Agenda Item 3
Mr James BLAKE Senior Director, Capital Projects, Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) (SD(CP)/KCRC)
Mr K K LEE Director, East Rail Extension, KCRC
Mr Hugh WU General Manager-Construction, KCRC (GM(Construction)/KCRC)
Mr Vic McNALLY Environmental Manager, KCRC (EM/KCRC)
Mr David J CORBY Project Manager, KCRC (PM/KCRC)
Ms Lisa POON Senior Environmental Specialist, KCRC
Mr Tom CHAPMAN Associate Director, Hyder (AD/Hyder)
Mr Martin CHAN Senior Consultant, Hyder (SC/Hyder)
Mr Davey CHUNG Principal Assistant Secretary, Transport Bureau
Ms Shirley LEE Principal Environmental Protection Officer, EPD (PEPO1/EPD)
Mr Richard WONG Senior Environmental Protection Officer, EPD
Mr Maurice YEUNG Senior Environmental Protection Officer, EPD


In Attendance for Agenda Item 4 :
Mr M J T ROWSE Commissioner for Tourism (C for Tourism)
Miss Winnie HO Assistant Commissioner for Tourism
Ms Winnie NG Assistant Secretary for Economic Services
Mr W K TAM Deputy Director (Special Duties), Civil Engineering Department (CED) (DD(SD)/CED)
Mr K K CHAN Chief Engineer/Special Duties (Coordination), CED
Mr P D MORGAN Chief Engineer/Special Duties (Works), CED
Mr M Y TANG Senior Engineering/Works 2, CED
Ms Kathy NG Senior Landscape Architect, CED
Ms Phyllis LI District Planning Officer/Sai Kung and Islands, Planning Department (DPO(SKI)/PlanD)
Mr Cary HO Senior Nature Conservation Officer, AFCD (SNCO/AFCD)
Mr Dick CHOI Senior Marine Conservation Officer, AFCD
Mr Joseph SHAM Senior Fisheries Management Officer, AFCD (SFMO/AFCD)
Mr Simon HUI Principal Environmental Protection Officer, EPD (PEPO2/EPD)
Dr. Alain LAM Principal Environmental Protection Officer, EPD (PEPO3/EPD)
Mr Terence TSANG Senior Environmental Protection Officer, EPD
Mr Maurice YEUNG Senior Environmental Protection Officer, EPD
Mr Michael TSING Senior Environmental Protection Officer, EPD (SEPO/EPD)
Mr W H SHE Senior Environmental Protection Officer, EPD
Mr Douglas M MORELAND Vice President, HK International Theme Parks Ltd (HKITP) (VP/HKITP)
Mr Rick MORSE Senior Manager, Environmental Development, HKITP (SM(ED)/HKITP)
Mr Arul KUMARASAN Associate, Scott Wilson (HK) Ltd (A/SW)
Mr Julio FIGUEIRAS Director, Shankland Cox
Dr Timothy J PEIRSON-SMITH Technical Director, Environmental Resources Management (ERM) (TD/ERM)
Dr. Andrew JACKSON Managing Director, ERM (MD/ERM)
Mr Dave NG ERM
Mr Freeman CHEUNG ERM (Con1/ERM)
Mr Richard KWAN ERM (Con2/ERM)
Mr Craig ALLERY ERM (Con3/ERM)
Mr Jon PYKE ERM
Mr Venkatesk SOURIRAJAN ERM
Mr Josh LAM ERM (Con4/ERM)
Dr Robin KENNISH ERM (Con5/ERM)
Mr Anthony CAMPELL ERM
   
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Agenda Item 1 : Confirmation of Minutes of 51st Meeting held on 5 April 2000

The Chairman proposed and Members agreed to confirm the minutes of the 51st meeting without amendment.

Agenda Item 2 : Matters Arising

2. There was no matters arising from the last meeting.

Agenda Item 3 : Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) East Rail Extension - Hung Hom to Tsim Sha Tsui
(ACE EIA Paper 2/2000)

3. The Chairman welcomed the presentation team and invited SD(CP)/KCRC to present the paper.

Waste Disposal

4. A Member expressed concern on the waste disposal method and the transportation arrangement for disposing the construction waste off-site. PM/KCRC explained that the waste disposal arrangement was studied comprehensively. Due to the very restricted site area, the bulk of the around 600,000 m3 excavated material generated from the construction work, which was largely rock, would have to be disposed off-site.

5. PM/KCRC stated that while the on-site backfilling opportunity was quite limited, most of the waste material would be transported to the barging point in Hunghom Bay and finally disposed at public fill areas to be advised by the Fill Management Committee. PM/KCRC also confirmed that though it was unavoidable to route through Salisbury Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, the shortest routing for transporting the waste material from the project's construction site to Hunghom Bay via Hunghom Bypass would be adopted so as to minimize the potential adverse environmental impacts including the generation of road dust to the affected commercial and tourism centre.

Landscape Impact

6. In response to a Member, SD(CP)/KCRC said that the Leisure and Cultural Services Department had already provided a list of suitable locations over the territory for the transplanting scheme proposed for the project.

7. Upon the enquiry of the Chairman, SD(CP)/KCRC undertook that the whole process of transplanting for the project would be carried out with early preparation and great precaution so as to maximize the survival rate of the transported trees. With the assistance from the Leisure and Cultural Services Department which granted KCRC early access to the affected parks, it was expected that the transplanted trees could be preserved in the best manner. AD/Hyder supplemented that as required by the project's EM&A programme, regular monitoring exercise would be conducted to review the result of the transplanting scheme and to take remedial actions as and when necessary.

8. EM/KCRC further pointed out that KCRC would employ a contractor of the best available expertise and skills to execute the transplanting works. He confirmed that a total of 1500 trees alive would be provided upon the completion of the project.

9. To address a Member's enquiry on the planting proposal, SD(CP)/KCRC confirmed that it was agreed with relevant authorities that priority would be accorded to native species in the planting programme for the project.

Alignment Option

10. Members were satisfied about the amended alignment proposed in the EIA report and raised no comments in that aspect.

Construction Noise Impact

11. In response to a Member's query, EM/KCRC confirmed that the use of full enclosure to mitigate construction noise impact of the project had been examined and concluded as infeasible due to safety considerations. He explained that due to the limited space between the construction site and the adjacent high-rise buildings, the access of fire engines and the use of fire fighting turntable ladders would be significantly restricted in case a full enclosure was adopted. The affected residents would then be subject to safety risk in the event of fire or accident. GM(Construction)/KCRC further pointed out that the full enclosure, if adopted, should be 13 m in length with temporary supportive foundation as compared to the site hoarding which would only be 2.5 m in height and occupied much less space. To conclude, full enclosure was found not acceptable to the Fire Services Department in that particular case.

12. To address the concern of a Member on whether noise barriers of special curvature would be specifically designed for that project to minimize the construction noise impact, SD(CP)/KCRC reiterated that they would implement every possible means to mitigate the noise problem but given the 2 m distance between the site and the facade of the adjacent high-rise buildings, it was impossible by whatever means except the full enclosure to bring down the noise level to below 75 dB(A), in particular for the upper floors of the buildings.

13. To reduce the noise problem to the minimum, EM/KCRC agreed to the Chairmen's suggestion to conduct real time continuous noise monitoring on the construction site at significant locations to be jointly decided by EPD and KCRC, as well as to make the results available to the public. A Member further proposed and EM/KCRC agreed that the monitoring results should be uploaded to KCRC's website for a wider dissemination. The work would be led by the community liaison office to be set up by KCRC for the project.

14. To enhance the effectiveness of the monitoring programme, PEPO1/EPD suggested that the target action levels stipulated in the EM&A programme of the project and the records of the noise complaints received should be showed in the noise level reporting mechanism so that the public would be fully informed of the upper limits of the noise level and the actions KCRC would take in case of exceedances upon receiving complaints.

15. In this connection, a Member enquired that would KCRC consider adopting a more stringent standard on the maximum noise level generated by the project since they had expressed confidence in keeping the actual noise level lower that what was estimated in the EIA report. EM/KCRC stated that it would be a difficult task given the already high ambience noise level. SC/Hyder supplemented that according to the baseline study carried out by KCRC, the background traffic noise was already at the level of 78-81dB(A). The Chairman proposed and EM/KCRC undertook that the results of the baseline study would also be made available at the noise reporting mechanism on the website for the public's reference.
 

 
16. A Member enquired whether an on-site digital display board could be set up to report the noise monitoring results. SD(CP)/KCRC explained that such arrangement would involve practical problems including the long distance of the construction site along the whole Mody Road, the necessary wire connecting works to be carried out between the noise monitoring stations and the display board in the limited space between the site and the adjacent buildings, and the arrangement with the owners of the private buildings in the affected area. SD(CP)/KCRC however agreed to consider the suggestion of a Member on the setting up of a display board reporting the noise levels in previous days and stated that it would involve less operational difficulties.

17. The Chairman proposed and Members agreed to recommend to the ACE to endorse the report with the following conditions: - A continuous noise monitoring mechanism at locations to be decided in consultation with EPD would be set up by the proponent;

- The results of the continuous noise monitoring mechanism would be made available to the public through the proponent's website;

- Immediate action would be provided in the event that the noise levels exceeded the worst case predicted in the EIA report;

- A monitoring programme for the result of transplanting would be carried out; and

- A total of 1,500 trees should be provided upon the completion of the project.


Agenda Item 4:
Northshore Lantau Development Feasibility Study (NLDFS)

(ACE EIA Paper 3/2000)
and Agenda Item 5:
Construction of an International Theme Park in Penny's Bay of North Lantau and its Essential Associated Infrastructures
(ACE EIA Paper 4/2000)

18. The Chairman welcomed the presentation team and invited C for Tourism to start off with the presentation.

Designated Projects under NLDFS

19. Upon the enquiry of a Member, C for Tourism confirmed that separate EIA studies would be carried out for each individual designated projects outlined in the NLDFS. He explained that the theme park development was covered in greater detail than the other developments in the report since it was the only one with a firm proposal and timetable while the others were still in a preliminary planning stage. TD/ERM supplemented that a summary of the Designated Projects under the NLDFS was provided in table 2.1a in the Executive Summary of the EIA report. He clarified that while the theme park EIA was a Schedule 2 EIA study which aimed to seek relevant Environmental Permits (EP) from the Director of Environmental Protection for commencing the construction work, the NLDFS EIA study sought only the EP for the Chok Ko Wan Link Road and left the details of the remaining developments covered in the study to either the theme park EIA or subsequent separate EIAs to be carried out for each of them in future.

20. A Member enquired whether the three proposed land uses in Yam O, i.e. a technodrome, a tourist and convention village and a gateway complex, mentioned in a letter of 22 March 2000 from the Civil Engineering Department had confirmed programme or not. TD/ERM explained that the reclamation in Yam O for the purpose of building a temporary public transport interchange and the Road P2 from Yam O to the theme park was already confirmed and covered in detail in the theme park EIA report. For the three major land uses mentioned by a Member, DPO(SKI)/PlanD stated that the NLDFS covered their cumulative environmental impacts in the context of a Schedule 3 EIA study. None of them was intended to be put forward for the purpose of seeking an EP, not until the final decision on the more specific land uses had been made an more detailed assessment on the limit of the reclamation had been undertaken.

21. C for Tourism supplemented that according to a study on the supply and demand of local convention and exhibition facilities commissioned by the Business and Services Promotion Unit under the Financial Secretary's Office, both Chek Lap Kok and North Lantau were identified as suitable locations for establishing tourist and convention facilities and the latter was slightly preferred in the recommendations. He understood that the Hong Kong Airport Authority was carrying out its own survey and analysis on setting up such facilities in Chek Lap Kok.

22. In response to a Member, AD(EA)/EPD clarified that while reclamation was a Schedule 2 EIA study by itself, it depended on the land uses on the reclaimed area to justify whether the project was a designated one or not.

23. That Member further enquired that which party would be responsible for implementing the recommended mitigation measures for the cumulative environmental impacts identified in the report of NLDFS. TD/ERM explained that though assessments were made on the cumulative impacts of various developments proposed in North Lantau with the available information at that stage, it would be the responsibility of individual project proponents to review the accuracy of the predicted assessment and also the adequacy of recommended mitigation measures in the NLDFS during their own EIA process. The appropriate mitigation measures would then be carried out by the proponents according to the normal requirements under the EIA Ordinance.

24. In response to a Member, TD/ERM clarified that the 65 ha. reclamation in Northshore Lantau was intended to be covered by a separate EIA study. Amongst the various proposed reclamation works, only the reclamation in Penny's Bay Stages I and II (280 ha) as well as Yam O (10 ha) were already covered in the theme park EIA report.

Hong Kong Lantau Link

25. Upon the query of a Member, C for Tourism confirmed that the Chok Ko Wan Link Interchange was covered in the NLDFS since it was a long-term development planned by Transport Bureau and so needed to be covered in the report to demonstrate its implications to North Lantau. The Link, if materialized, would be studied in detail in a separate EIA. TD/ERM added that as an assumption for the current EIAs, the need for the link was not identified until 2017.

26. AD(EA)/EPD said that the Director of Environmental Protection as the authority under the EIA Ordinance would state categorically that the endorsement, if any, of the NLDFS EIA report did not imply any endorsement of the Chok Ko Wan Link Interchange.

27. A Member requested that the Interchange as a yet to be confirmed project be indicated by dotted line in the EIA report.

Air Quality Impact

28. To address a Member's concern on the container back-up area indicated in the report, TD/ERM clarified that according to the current relevant Outline Zoning Plan it was assumed that there was a potential for Container Terminal 12 and 13 be located in North Lantau. According to the Technical Memorandum of the EIA Ordinance, their potential environmental impacts had to be taken into account in the report.

29. Upon the further enquiry of that Member, Con1/ERM stated that the proposed firework displays in the theme park would only give rise to insignificant amount of Ozone pollutants. According to the analysis based on the figures collected from the EPD's Air Quality Monitoring Station, the elevated Ozone level in North Lantau was a territory wide issue and will not be influenced by the Theme Park.

30. A Member was however of the view that since there were only a few reliable studies on the air quality impact from firework displays, it was inappropriate for the proponent to draw the conclusion without conducting a baseline study first to compare with the actual outcome. C for Tourism responded that the conclusion was drawn based on the experience of the theme park in California, where firework displays had been going on every night for 45 years. TD/ERM also said that apart from the baseline study conducted, a monitoring exercise would be implemented for at least the first year of operation of the firework displays in theme park.

31. Upon the enquiry of the Chairman, C for Tourism confirmed that should there be any exceedance of the local Air Quality Objectives identified in the monitoring exercise, mitigation measures would be proposed and adopted as appropriate. As a last resort, the fireworks display could be terminated. AD(EA)/EPD supplemented in this regard that the requirement was already laid down in the EM&A programme of the project and would be incorporated as a condition for the EP, if any, to be issued.

32. A Member referred to section 3.32 of the theme park EIA report and expressed reservation on the reliability of the methodology adopted for the air quality assessment. He pointed out that while the assessment drew reference to the data collected in Tung Chung Air Quality Monitoring Station in 3 months (July - October 1999) only, the worst air quality situation in Hong Kong which usually occurred during October to March/April was not duly reflected. Con1/ERM responded that there are three at monitoring stations including the one in Tung Chung near Penny's Bay, those in Tsuen Wan and Central and Western were affected by industrial emission and considered as inappropriate for that purpose. Meanwhile, as it was estimated that vehicles and power stations would be the major emission sources in Penny's Bay in future, not only the data from the Tung Chung Station but also those from the 3-year monitoring study of the China Light & Power Ltd's power station in Penny's Bay were also adopted in the assessment. On the other hand, insignificant increase (a few Umg-3 per 24 hours) in the concentration level of particulate arising from the theme park was predicted. Gas-fuelled boilers would also be used for restricting the emission of Nitrogen Oxide and hence the Ozone level.

33. Upon the enquiry of the Chairman, Con1/ERM pointed out that due to the absence of local AQO standard for the latter, the 24-hour instead of hourly concentration level of particulate was assessed in the report.

34. In response to a Member, C for Tourism confirmed that there would not be any problem related to Ozone, the formation of which depended on the presence of sunlight as the firework displays would only be conducted in the evening, hence.

35. In response to a Member, C for Tourism stated that eye irritation to the residents in Tung Chung should be minimal due to the 2 km distance between the theme park and the closest residential settlements in the vicinity. Also, throughout its 45 years of operation, the Disneyland in California had received few complaints of that kind.

36. Upon the enquiry of a Member, TD/ERM confirmed that since the theme park would be located on the outward reclamation area, the emissions from the firework displays would fully disperse well before entering the inner valley area of Penny's Bay. The maximum height of the firework displays would also be limited to about 100 m to avoid the problem. He undertook to furnish Members of the results of the air quality assessment carried out in the trial test in Orlando once received. Con1/ERM supplemented that Penny's Bay was the most appropriate location for the theme park due to its good dispersion capacity identified in the previous territory-wide site selection exercise for the CLP's Gas turbine Power Station. He pointed out that the result was supported by other related studies including the wind tunnel test carried out by the China Light and Power Ltd for its power station located in North Lantau.

37. To address the request of a Member, AD(EA)/EPD said that the predicted concentration levels of air pollutants at ground level arising from firework displays were stated on p.3-33 of the EIA report of the theme park.

38. In response to the Chairman, VP/HKITP stated that the proposed firework displays would employ about 100 kg firework material, while those carried out in the territory in Chinese New Year usually took up around 3 metric ton material. In terms of magnitude, the former would just be about 3% of the latter.

39. TD/ERM confirmed as requested by a Member that the proponent had already undertaken to conduct baseline air quality measurements before the actual operation of the firework displays and similar measurements would also be taken at sensitive receivers during the operation stage. He further confirmed that major groups of air pollutants emitted by firework were listed out in the EIA report and would be included in the above measurements. That Member commented that it would be a useful monitoring tool if the proponent could state in the EIA report the precise levels for triggering remedial actions.

 

KCRC
40. A Member required that scientific data such as four season survey of the micro-climate in Penny's Bay should be presented to the Council for consideration. Con1/ERM indicated that the air quality impact assessment was based on one-year meteorological data of Cheung Chan Weather Station. Another Member suggested the proponent to present the worst case scenario of the air quality impact to Members for addressing their concerns. Con1/ERM agreed to provide the relevant information to Members shortly after the meeting.

Noise Impact

41. C for Tourism stressed that the operation of the theme park would have to comply with all statutory noise criteria at all times. Although the findings of the fireworks trial test in Orlando had already confirmed that the resulting noise levels in Hong Kong Disney would be controlled below 55 dB(A), the situation at the sensitive receivers would be monitored in actual case and the operation would be adjusted to meet the required standards appropriately.

42. A Member referred to table 3.5c of the report and enquired the reasons for the 67dB(A) predicted noise level in North Lantau Country Park extension. Con2/ERM clarified that the exceedance would be resulted from the regular operation of the theme park instead of the proposed firework displays.

 

Eco-park

43. To address a Member's concerns on the details of the proposed eco-park in Northern Lantau, TD/ERM responded that the plan aimed to preserve the ecological habitats in the area and would be subject to further studies.

Marine Fill

44. A Member recalled that one of the endorsement conditions for the EIA report on Lantau Port Development submitted to the Council in 1995 was that a separate EIA study on the sources of marine borrow areas would be carried out before commencement of reclamation work. She then enquired whether that condition had been fulfilled. PEPO2/EPD replied that a report entitled "Penny's Bay Reclamation" was submitted to the Subcommittee in September 1999 to address that condition.

Press Briefing

45. In response to C for Tourism, the Chairman stated that he would consider whether a press briefing or a press statement should be held or released on the discussion of the Subcommittee after the meeting.


 
ERM
46. In view of the time constraint, the Chairman proposed and Members agreed to adjourn the meeting and resumed at 2:30pm on 10 April 2000. To facilitate further discussion, the proponent was requested to provide written information to Members on the following topics before the resumption of the meeting
Letter from Mr Plato Yip
  • Letter from Mr Otto Poon
     
  • Letter from Hon Christine Loh
     
  • All potential projects within Northshore Lantau which may or may not require EIA study under the EIAO
     
  • Results of the firework test in Orlando on air and noise impact
     
  • Considerations on conducting a worst case scenario assessment on the air quality impact of fireworks
     
  • Justifications on the routing and other alternatives, if any, of the Chok Ko Wan Link Road
     
  • Preservation of the natural shoreline of Fa Peng and Pa Tau Kwu
     
  • Effectiveness of transplantation particularly for rare species, taking into account similar operation in the Airport Project
     
  • Fishery impact, particularly those related to the assessed performance of artificial reefs
     
  • Effectiveness of sloping wall design for hard coral
     
  • Review on the overall habitat and nesting habits of White-bellied Sea Eagles, and the project's impact on them
     
  • A concise table listing out all environmental protection measures the theme park will adopt, and consider suggestions of using treated water for artificial lake and setting up an Eco-park within the theme park to promote environmental awareness
     
  • Whether C&D waste could be utilised as fill material for the reclamation work in Penny's Bay? and
     
  • Comparison of the land contamination situation of Choy Lee Shipyard with other local shipyards.
     

Agenda Item 6 : Monthly Update of Applications under the EIA Ordinance

47. Members noted the monthly update of applications under the EIAO, the tentative schedule for submission to ACE EIA Subcommittee, and the lists for designated/non-designated projects not selected for submission (as at 25 March 2000).

Agenda Item 7 : Any Other Business

48. The Chairman briefed Members that a Forum on EIA Process in Hong Kong would be jointly organized by the HK institute of EIA and the Chartered Institute of Water Environmental Management on 15 April 2000. Members are welcomed to participate in it.

49. The Chairman informed Members that the EM&A reports requested were already forwarded to them. They were welcomed to forward the comments to the Secretariat. (The meeting then adjourned at 8:00pm and resumed at 2:30pm on 10 April 2000 at the same venue.)

50. The Chairman welcomed the presentation team back and invited the proponent to address the concerns raised by Members in paragraph 48.

Potential projects within Northshore Lantau

51. TD/ERM referred to Table 2.1a of the Executive Summary and briefed Members that there were three different categories of designated projects proposed under the NLDFS:

  1. EIA study for the Cho Ko Wan Link Road (CKWLR);
     
  2. EIA study for the theme park which consisted of nine different projects: Penny Bay's reclamation, Yam O reclamation, Phase I & II of the theme park and the associated developments, eastern stormwater drainage culvert of Pa Tau Kwu, Penny's Bay rail link and its 2 associated stations, road P2 (Primary Distributor), resort road of 3.5 km, water recreation centre including an artificial lake; and
     
  3. seven other Designated Projects (DPs) of Northshore Lantau which would require subsequent EIA studies: road P1, reclamations for Northshore Lantau (65 ha), Tsing Chau Tsai East (74 ha), theme park extension (80 ha), and Siu Ho Wan (39 ha), stormwater drainage channel of Fa Peng, theme park reclamation extension to the east of theme park, decommissioning of Chey Lee Shipyard.

52. In addition, an EIA study would be required for the proposed container terminal and its connection, if any, with the Hong Kong Island. Subject to the detailed design, the technodrome, the tourist and convention village and the tourism and recreational development at Tsing Chau Tsai East proposed in the report might also be considered as DPs individually in a later stage. Results of the firework test in Orlando 53. MD/ERM briefed Members on the results of the firework test in Orlando as follows:

  • Particulates - extremely low, some minor increases but still well within the local Air Quality Objectives (AQOs);
     
  • Metals - minor changes only, with the most significant changes observed in potassium which was not a toxic material;
     
  • Sulphur Dioxide and Oxides of Nitrogen - no detectable changes;
     
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - lower levels of total VOCs at some locations were observed, whilst increases of short duration were measured at some other locations; Smog would not be created through photochemical reaction as the fireworks would be displayed at night;
     
  • Dioxin - insignificant; results were inconclusive as the concentration levels dropped at some locations but increased at the others before the display.
     
CED
54. C for Tourism assured Members that the report on the air quality aspects of the trial test in Orlando would be submitted for Members' perusal before the meeting of the Council on 17 April 2000.

55. To address the concern of a Member on details of the particulate test, MD/ERM advised that a very conservative approach which assumed that about 40% of the material emitted to the atmosphere became particulate of PM10 had been taken for the test. He added that one year meteorological data which included the worst case wind spped (i.e. 1m/s) was also adopted for modelling the dispersion effect. The monitoring exercise conducted both before and during the firework display confirmed the compliance with the AQOs at the launch site.

56. A Member suggested that the proponent should jointly decide with EPD the required standards for the four groups of pollutants (i.e. Dioxins, VOCs, Respirable Suspended Particulates (RSP)/ heavy metals, and odour) and regular measurements should be taken to ensure the compliance. TD/ERM advised that it was already stated in the report that measurements would be taken every three months during the first year of operation. PEPO3/EPD also pointed out that the required standards were specified in Table 3.5n of the Theme Park EIA Report. AD(EA)/EPD supplemented that the Director of Environmental Protection as the authority under the EIA Ordinance would monitor proponent's compliance with the environmental permit conditions. An independent environmental project office for implementing the EM&A programme of the project would be set up by the proponent as well.

57. A Member enquired the projected concentration levels of other air pollutants at the sensitive receivers and asked if the proponent would conduct any local trial test on the air quality impact of firework displays before the operation of the theme park. MD/ERM forecasted that the concentration levels at the sensitive receivers would be at least 2 orders of magnitude lower those at the launch site, taking into account the local meteorological and typographical factors. C for Tourism reiterated that the worst case scenario approach had already been adopted in the projection. SM(ED)/HKITP further confirmed that there would be an on-site trial run for measuring the air quality and noise impacts of fireworks before the operation.

Worst case scenario assessment on the air quality impact of fireworks

58. Con1/ERM explained that under the worst case scenario which assumed 15 kg inert matter out of the 50 kg firework material remained in the launch site, while 42% of the 35 kg emission became PM10 particulates in still wind situation, the resulted RSP level (i.e. 74 microgram/m3) would still be well below the required standard of 180 microgram/m3 in the local AQOs.
 

C for Tourism
Noise problem

59. To address the concerns of a Member on the noise impact of the regular operation of the theme park, TD/ERM clarified that apart from the earth berm of 5-9m high and the landscaping plantation encircling the theme park which could to a certain extent reduce the noise impact, an implementation schedule was also proposed for monitoring the operational noise levels. Con2/ERM confirmed that the area to the west of the theme park which would be subject to the operational noise level of 67 dB(A) as predicted in the report was not referred to the sensitive receivers located about 2.5 km away from the park. Instead the area was the propose extension of the Lantau North Country Park. PEPO2/EPD supplemented that country park was not considered as a sensitive receiver under the Noise Control Ordinance.

60. In response to a Member, TD/ERM confirmed that the predicted nighttime construction noise levels for the first stage Penny's Bay reclamation would be in compliance with relevant noise criteria even under the worst case scenario. Relevant monitoring and auditing was also proposed to further ensure the compliance.

Utilisation of C&D material

61. TD/ERM informed Members that C&D material would not be available for the Phase 1 reclamation of Penny's Bay due to other commitment. A/SW added that two million m3 C&D material would only be available from middle to end 2001 for the project's use. Starting from 2002, the project could take up as much public fill material as available. In short, the Phase 1 reclamation of Penny's Bay would accept C&D material in the second half of 2001 up to 80% of the C&D material arising during that period.

62. A Member enquired if the work programme of reclamation could be extended to enable a further utilisation of C&D material as well as to avoid the ecological impacts arising from dredging and dumping. C for Tourism pointed out that at the going rate of C&D material generation, the reclamation would have to last for 12 years which was clearly not a feasible option. A/SW elaborated that while Phase 1 reclamation of Penny's Bay would need a total of 60 million m3 fill material, five million m3 C&D material only could be generated annually. He also pointed out that drained reclamation cannot be used with confidence in areas where the mud thickness exceeded about 15m since world-wide experience is very limited in such situations. TD/ERM assured Members that strict environmental controls on dredging operations were already proposed in the report. He further confirmed that the local Water Quality Objectives (WQOs) would be met even under the worst case scenario. Regarding the problem of dumping, TD/ERM confirmed that the dumping material was mostly uncontaminated and the arrangement will be in compliance with relevant statutory requirements.

63. In response to the enquiry of a Member, TD/ERM confirmed that dredging would only be applied to the Phase 1 reclamation of Penny's Bay while drain reclamation would be adopted in the remaining works.

64. A Member referred to page 6.12 of the report and enquired where would the 15 million m3 dredged material be dumped and what control measures would be put in place. DD(SD)/CED stated that due to the limited capacity of local dumping sites which had to be shared amongst various projects, the excess material would be dumped outside Hong Kong waters. TD/ERM advised that the practice had been adopted in other projects and would be subject to the permissions granted by relevant authorities. SEPO/EPD added that such arrangement was limited for uncontaminated material only for this project and a Loading Permit was still required under the Dumping at Sea Ordinance.

65. In response to a Member's further enquiry, TD/ERM confirmed that the waste material generated from the suitable construction work of Cho Ko Wan Link Road would be reused as fill material for the reclamation.

66. Upon the enquiry of a Member, AD(EA)/EPD confirmed that the endorsement conditions for the EIA report of East Lamma Channel marine borrow areas were still in force. He undertook to provide a copy of the conditions to that Member for her reference.

67. The Chairman proposed and Members agreed that the dumping site of the 45 million m3 dredged material and the effective utilization of C&D material would be further discussed in the Council's meeting on 17 April 2000.

Water quality

68. Con3/ERM briefed Members that a back-up system including a sewage pipe, a back-up pump, back-up power supply, temporary storage and remote sensing facilities would be implemented by the proponent for contingency purpose.

69. A Member referred to section 5.9.37 of the report and enquired the probability for the discharge of untreated sewage effluent which would lead to elevated E-coli concentration levels and other subsequent impacts. Con3/ERM advised that control measures would be implemented to reduce the probability of discharge of untreated effluent to the minimal. Furthermore, measures would be implemented to limit the duration of any emergency discharges, which would serve to protect the quality of the receiving Maine waters. No adverse impact on water quality would be caused even in the unlikely event of system breakdown.

70. A Member referred to section 5.10.12 of the report and queried the estimation that in all cases the operation of the theme park would not cause exceedance of the WQOs in respect of E-coli. Con3/ERM clarified that as compared with the baseline scenario, the predicted increase in E-coli from the operation of the theme park would only be 1% at most at some locations where the WQOs was already exceeded and so considered to be no adverse impact on marine water quality.
 

 

AFCD

71. In response to a Member's enquiry, Con3/ERM stated that the sewage effluent generated in Discovery Bay would be taken to Siu Ho Wan for treatment and discharged to Penny's Bay. TD/ERM supplemented that the relevant works would be carried out by Hong Kong Resort in the next few years. He agreed to provide written confirmation to the Council in this regard.
 
ERM
72. A Member referred to table 5.6k of the report and queried the rationale of assuming zero background concentration levels for both Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCBs) and Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), especially when exceedance was already observed in the background concentration level of Tributyltin (TBT). Con3/ERM said that PCBs and PAHs were so readily combined with suspended particles in water that they were undetectable in dissolved mode. Even the attempts to measure them in treated sewage where they were expected in existence had failed. MD/ERM added that they were also unable to be detected in all samples of the bio-monitors (i.e. tissues of fishes) taken for the monitoring of contaminated mud disposal at East Sha Chan. In response to that Member's suggestion, DD(SD)/CED however undertook to consider taking non-extensive measurements for PABs, PAHs and TBT especially during the dredging period to counter-check the assumption made in the report.

73. Upon that Member's further enquiry, TD/ERM drew Members' attention to section 16.1 of the report and confirmed that an EM&A programme was already prescribed for ensuring that no adverse residual impact would be caused to the water quality of the project area.


Artificial lake

74. To address the concerns of a Member, TD/ERM confirmed that Cheoy Lee shipyard would be cleaned up for decommissioning when the artificial lake was formed and so no adverse impact on the water quality would be caused by whatever the land contamination situation of the shipyard was. Con3/ERM added that a set of water quality standard would be designed for the artificial lake and the compliance would be closely monitored. In response to that Member's further enquiry, TD/ERM replied that there was no other potential source of contamination to the lake apart from the shipyard as only water of acceptable quality would be used for filling the lake and the run-off from roads would not be directed to it. AD(EA)/EPD referred to Table 16.1 of the report and pointed out that the cleaning up of the shipyard and the long-term water quality standard of the artificial lake based on the beneficial uses would also be closely monitored.

75. In response to the Chairman, TD/ERM said that in order to ensure the water quality of the artificial lake meets the necessary criteria to protect the beneficial uses, he did not support the idea of using treated effluent for the filling purpose.

76. Upon the query of a Member, C for Tourism assured Members that written agreement had already been obtained from the Water Supply Department on supplying raw water to top up the artificial lake.

77. To address a Member's further enquiry, A/SW illustrated with a map that the water catchment has been designed to minimize the. TD/ERM added the need for the supply of raw water that the artificial lake could also serve as a source of irrigation water.

78. A Member raised concerns on the possibility that residues of fireworks would be washed down to the artificial lake. MD/ERM stated that such opportunity would be highly remote. C for Tourism added that according to the experience of the Disneyland in Orlando which had firework displays above the lake with no reported problem so far, the same situation could be assumed for the theme park in Hong Kong which would be located as far as 1 km away from the lake. TD/ERM added that as the fireworks would be operated far away from the public area for primarily risk reason, residues would fall within the safety area instead of the theme park or the lake. In the event of high wind speed, firework displays would be terminated for safety reason.

79. In response to a Member's enquiry, A/SW estimated that the life span of the lining of the artificial lake could be more than 50 years.

Land Contamination Situation of Cheoy Lee Shipyard and Its Comparison with Other Local Shipyards

80. TD/ERM informed Members that amongst a number of local precedents of shipyard decommissioning, the one in Cheung Sha Wan which was of the same size and nature of operations as compared to Cheoy Lee Shipyard was assessed as the most suitable case for the purpose of drawing reference in the land contamination situation. He stated that according to the assessment report in October 1994 produced by the Consultants in Environmental Science (Asia) Ltd for the decommissioning of Cheung Sha Wan Shipyard, the land contamination problem was confirmed of localised nature. AD(EA)/EPD reiterated that it was a mandatory requirement for the proponent to clean up the shipyard site completely and obtain the environmental permit before commencing the decommissioning project.

81. Upon the query of a Member, MD/ERM expressed confidence in identifying the best available option to clean up the site since huge amount of relevant experiences were already cumulated over the past 30 years. SEPO/EPD echoed that site remediation methods like soil extraction and solidification were well established. For the worst case scenario, the contaminated soil could be taken out for off-site treatment as the last resort. He believed that no insurmountable problems would occur in that case. C for Tourism re-assured Members that despite the fact that the site was not mainly planned for road and rail infrastructures purpose and it would be 3 metres above the original level after formation work, the proponent had a firm commitment to clean up the site before building any proposed facilities on it.

82. To handle the concerns of a Member on the potential migration of contaminated soil, DD(SD)/CED stated that a seawall was already in place. TD/ERM added that no indication of migration was observed according to the site investigation report. A/SW also said that migration would probably be avoided due to the much higher ground level of the areas adjacent to the shipyard site during decontamination operation.

83. Upon the enquiry of the Chairman, C for Tourism advised that a monitoring programme was devised to keep track of the development. AD(EA)/EPD also assured Members that a well-established standard programme which specified target action levels was adopted for the project for triggering additional mitigation measures as and when necessary.

84. In response to a Member, C for Tourism stated that no works would proceed until the remediation process was properly completed as required by the EIA Ordinance. AD(EA)/EPD also confirmed that such requirement would be specified as a condition of the environmental permit, if any, to be issued.

Justifications on the routing and other alternatives of Chok Ko Wan Link Road (CKWLR)

85. In response to a Member, A/SW briefed Members on the comparison of the eight alignment schemes and concluded that the existing proposal was recommended due to various considerations such as the potential impacts on traffic engineering, planning and environment. The cost implication had however not been included as one of the considerations, though coincidentally the subsequent cost evaluation demonstrated that the recommended option was the cheapest one as compared to other alternatives. The proponent was requested to provide written justifications on the alignment options for the Council's further discussion.

Preservation of the natural shoreline of Fa Peng and Pa Tau Kwu

86. A Member suggested that no reclamation should be carried out for the section of CKWLR to the South of the toll plaza of Route 10 until the latter had a firm programme. He also raised that viaduct or embankment construction method instead of reclamation should be adopted for building CKWLR. TD/ERM stated that the potential environmental impacts of CKWLR were found to be acceptable even under the worst case scenario in which reclamation was taken into account. Con5/ERM supplemented that the marine ecological impact to be caused by reclamation would not be insurmountable. On the other hand, DPO(SKI)/PlanD stated that the viaduct structure such as the Island Eastern Corridor would also cause adverse visual impact.

87. To address a Member's suggestion to defer the decision on the construction method of the relevant section of CKWLR, DD(SD)/CED responded that more than three years' construction period would be needed for CWKLR so as to spread out the blasting operations and hence minimize the construction noise impact.

 

CED
88. The Chairman summarized Members' discussion in that aspect and requested the proponent to provide written justifications for the proposed reclamation work for the relevant section of CKWLR to the toll plaza of Route 10, the advantages/disadvantages of using a viaduct or embankment construction method for this road section, and the justifications for the recommended alignment of CKWLR. These information would be discussed in the Council's meeting on 17 April 2000.

Effectiveness of transplantation programme

89. C for Tourism referred to the experience in the airport development project of Chek Lap Kok, in which the transplantation of Pitcher Plants was successful with a high survival rate. He was confident about the effectiveness of the transplantation programme for the theme park project.

90. In response to a Member's enquiry, SNCO/AFCD said that though the consultant did not have much experience in transplanting the rare species on site, the proponent had undertook to carry out a three-year post-transplanting monitoring programme to be conducted by experienced botanist. TD/ERM said the report had also recommended retaining the need of the affected spaces before the transporting programme for contingency purpose. In addition, the proponent undertook to carry out long-term maintenance of the compensatory planting.

Effectiveness of sloping wall design for hard coral

91. Con5/ERM briefed Members that ecological enhanced seawall was recommended for the project since the encrusting corals found in Penny's Bay could not simply be transplanted as for the case of corals attaching on small boulders. Apart from the experience to be drawn from two local successful precedents, a three-year monitoring programme would be put in place to ensure the effectiveness of the seawall and other ecological mitigation measures.

92. A Member commented that three years' monitoring was inadequate in view of the relatively slow re-colonization of corals at High Island Dam. TD/ERM confirmed that the length of the monitoring period would be subject to review, depending on the observed coral reef growth rate and at the discretion of AFCD.

93. In response to the enquiry of a Member, TD/ERM confirmed that different kinds of construction materials including concrete, rubble mound and boulders would be adopted for the sea wall to further enhance the effectiveness of the seawall.

Fishery Impacts and Performance of Artificial Reefs(AR)

94. In response to the Chairman, SFMO/AFCD briefed Members on details of AFCD's artifical current artificial reef deployment programme and confirmed that the provision of AR proposed in the theme park 's EIA report would be dealt with separately. DD(SD)/CED added that separate funding would be sought for that purpose.

95. Upon the enquiry of a Member, SFMO/AFCD stated that though a preliminary proposal of placing the AR at Luk Keng was put up by the proponent, a final decision on the exact location of the proposed AR was yet to be made. He said that AFCD was working closely with the proponent to identify the most appropriate location for the AR, taking into account various considerations such as the conflicting uses, navigation problems, depth of water and views of affected fishermen. In the long run, the proponent undertook to work out effective management arrangements with relevant parties after implementing the AR.

White-bellied Sea Eagles

96. To address a Memebr's enquiry on the details of feeding habits of the affected pair of White-bellied Sea Eagles, TD/ERM stated that based on the findings in the monitoring exercise carried out for the eagles since November 1999, it was observed that the feeding ground for the eagles was in the waters to the north of Lantau and so the project would not cause adverse impact in that aspect. TD/ERM further pointed out that the bird survey exercise was conducted since January 1999 as part of the NLDFS, though the nest of the eagles was first identified in November 1999.

97. Upon the query of a Member, TD/ERM said that direct human disturbance was the principal threat to the eagles within the nesting site. Appropriate mitigation measures including prohibiting human access to the nesting site and the use of quiet construction equipment would be implemented. In the worst case of the abandonment of the pair from their nest, suitable habitat and nesting sites were available in the vicinity. DO(SKI)/PlanD added that among the three potential sites identified, two were already designated as conservation areas under the South West New Territories Development Strategy Review.

98. In response to the enquiry of a Member, SNCO/AFCD stated that AFCD would consider designating the alternative nesting sites of the eagles to be restricted areas or Site of Special Scientific Interest if they were confirmed to be taken up by the eagles as their long-term nesting areas.
 

CED
Environmental Protection Measures for the Theme Park and Setting Up an Eco-park

99. C for Tourism confirmed that a written reply would be provided to Members on these topics.
 

C for Tourism
Fresh water surface reservoirs

100. Upon the query of a Member, TD/ERM confirmed that locations of the two fresh water surface reservoirs shown in figures 7.6d & 7.6e of the report were already fixed. Con4/ERM pointed out that the related site selection criteria and potential environmental impacts were stated in the EIA report of NLDFS. The proponent undertook that details of the project would be provided to the Council even though the reservoirs were not Designated Projects by themselves.
 

CED
Written Enquiries from Mr Plato Yip, Mr Otto Poon and Hon. Christine Loh

101. AD(EA)/EPD advised Members that EPD would issue a letter to the proponent on 12 April 2000 asking them to provide written replies to the three letters.

102. Upon the Chairman's request, a Member suggested to recommend the Council to have further deliberation on, apart from topics mentioned above, the cumulative impacts and overall mitigation measures identified in the EIA report of NLDFS at its meeting on 17 April 2000.
 

EPD
103. The Chairman proposed and Members agreed to adjourn the meeting and recommend the Council to further discuss the two reports at the next Council's meeting to be held on 17 April 2000. The proponent was requested to provide the following written information to Members before the ACE meeting to facilitate discussion:

(a) NLDFS EIA

  • User friendly table setting out individual designated projects requiring detailed EIAs prior to their implementation;
     
  • Justifications for the proposed reclamation work for the relevant section of Chok Ko Wan Link Road to the toll plaza of Route 10 and the advantages/disadvantages of using a viaduct or embankment construction method for this road section; and
     
  • Justifications for the recommended alignment of Chok Ko Wan Link Road.


(b) Theme Park EIA

  • Report of the air quality aspects of the trial test for firework displays conducted in Orlando;
     
  • Confirmation from the proponent on the capacity and timing for the sewage connection between Discovery Bay and Siu Ho Wan Sewage Treatment Works;
     
  • Sighting and foraging of White-bellied Sea Eagles at North Lantau;- A concise table listing out all environmental protection measures the theme park will adopt; and
     
  • Information on the proposed arrangement for disposing some of the dredged/excavated sediment outside Hong Kong.

Agenda Item 7 : Date of Next Meeting

104. The Chairman informed Members that the next meeting was scheduled on 8 May 2000. The following reports were scheduled for submission:
Strategic Assessment and Site Selection Study for Contamination Mud Disposal;

  • Shenzhen River Regulation Project Stage III- Environmental Impact Assessment;
     
  • Tuen Mun Sewerage - Eastern Coastal Sewerage Extension- Environmental Impact Assessment; and
     
  • Sheung Shui to Lok Ma Chau Spur Line- Environmental Impact Assessment.

 

105. The meetings adjourned at 8:15 pm.


EIA Subcommittee Secretariat
April 2000

CED


 

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