Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (Cap. 499)
(ACE-EIA Paper 12/2001)
Environmental Impact Assessment
Comprehensive Feasibility Study on the Revised Scheme of
South East Kowloon Development
1. This paper presents the key findings and recommendations of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report for the Comprehensive Feasibility Study on the Revised Scheme of South East Kowloon Development (hereafter known as the Project), submitted under section 6(2) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO). The Territory Development Department (TDD) and their consultants will make a presentation. Comments from the public and ACE will be taken into account by the Director of Environmental Protection when he makes his decision on the approval of EIA report under the EIAO.
2. Members' views are sought on the findings and recommendations of the EIA report.
Need for the Project
3. The Project is to formulate the optimum plan for development of the site vacated after relocation of the former Kai Tak Airport and the associated reclamation. The development site will accommodate key infrastructure, a regional park, an easily accessible waterfront for the enjoyment of the public and tourists, improve the environment by eliminating embayed water body and provide land for housing.
Description of the Project
4. The Project is a "Designated Project" under Item 1 in Schedule 3 of EIAO, i.e. engineering feasibility study of urban development projects with a study area covering more than 20 ha or involving a total population of more than 100,000. A number of "Designated Projects" under Schedule 2 of EIAO, which require detailed EIA studies and to apply for Environmental Permits prior to start of construction, are identified and listed in the report (see Table 1).
5. SEKD involves a new development area of 413 ha, comprising the former Kai Tak Airport Apron and Runway (280 ha) and a total reclamation area of 133 ha, including reclamation at Kai Tak Approach Channel (KTAC) and Kwun Tong Typhoon Shelter (KTTS) (total 65 ha); Kowloon Bay Reclamation (KBR/Hoi Sham) (61 ha) and the Cruise Terminal and other marine and waterfront facilities (7 ha) (see Figure 1). The entire development will take about 15 years to complete. Construction of the infrastructure is scheduled to start in late 2003 to allow first population intake in the North Apron area by mid 2005. When fully developed, the new development area of SEKD will have a population of about 250,000 and will provide 70,000 jobs.
Specific Environmental Aspects to Highlight
6. Water Quality - The reduction in cross-sectional area of the Victoria Harbour due to SEKD reclamation in 2016 would slightly decrease the current speeds (by a maximum of 4.7 % at Lei Yue Mun in wet season) and the quantity of flow (by a maximum of 2.6 % at central Victoria Harbour in wet season). Modeling results indicate that water quality parameters would not be adversely affected by the presence of reclaimed areas in SEKD upon its full development in 2016 as compared to the base year of 2002.
7. Reclamation and Contaminated Sediment - KTAC - The total volume of contaminated sediments in KTAC is about 0.86x106 m3, all of which are Category H material according to WBTC No. 3/2000. As a result, no dredged reclamation is recommended in which all contaminated sediments would be left in place and treated in-situ using Fenton's Reagent (Fe2+ + H2O2) or other proprietary methods. This treatment method also addresses the potential biogas problem from contaminated sediment left in place. As an alternative to the no dredged reclamation with in-situ treatment, dredged ex-situ treatment using Biogenesis sediment washing or other proprietary methods with re-use of treated materials as fill is proposed. Secondary impacts from dredging would be mitigated using suction dredge pipeline and silt curtains to minimize sediment plume and the addition of Fenton's Reagent in the suction pipeline to reduce odour from H2S. Both in-situ and ex-situ treatment methods are effective in reducing the organic contaminants such as Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH), Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB), Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylene (BTEX), etc. in the sediment, as well as to achieve geochemical fixation of metal ions in the sediment to prevent leaching of heavy metal. Both treatment methods will be subject to pilot tests to select the best treatment option. As a fallback in case the pilot test results for both treatment methods be found unfavorable in addressing the biogas problem, gas protection measures will be implemented at development sites.
8. Reclamation and Contaminated Sediment - Reclamation areas outside KTAC - The total volume of sediment to be dredged from these areas would be 2.05x106 m3, of which 1.28x106 m3 are contaminated and most of which are Category H material. For these areas, a minimum dredged reclamation is the preferred option with dredge zones confined to seawall, earth bund, tunnel and breakwater locations (see Figure 2). The dredged materials will be treated ex-situ as outlined in paragraph 7 before re-use as fill in SEKD. For local contaminated hotspots outside the dredge zones, in-situ treatment method as outlined in paragraph 7 above would be applied. Gas protection measures at development sites would also be the fallback option. Mitigation measures similar to those outlined in paragraph 7 above would be applied to minimize any secondary impacts from dredging.
9. Land Contamination - TDD's on-going decontamination and site preparation project under Contract KL 31/98 (Environmental Permit EP-006/1998) covers most of the North Apron area, with the exception of the Carpark and Main Terminal Building, which are currently used by various tenants and are not scheduled for demolition until early 2005. Because of the proximity of the buildings to the former Oil Company Tank Farm, potential land contamination, mainly due to leaked jet fuel, is expected. In addition, the Government Flying Service (GFS) Hanger in the South Apron area could also be a potential contaminated site, although the risk there is fairly small since the site was used as a Hanger for 5 years only and there was no underground fuel-line located in the vicinity. The Hanger is currently used by Customs Department and a private helicopter company and is not scheduled for demolition until around mid 2005. Demolition and clean-up, if necessary, of the Carpark/Terminal Building and GFS Hanger will be subject to detailed Schedule 2 EIA studies.
10. Noise Impacts - Potential noise impact from the proposed Stadium would be mitigated by the use of a retractable roof. Traffic noise would be mitigated by the use of a total of 7.4 km of tunnels/depressed roads (only 23% of land area used for surface roads, compared with over 30% in typical urban area), noise barriers, enclosures and low-noise road surfacing, as well as building designs including podia and single aspect buildings (SAB). The use of SAB is confined to 4 sites, 3 of which are zoned CDA.
11. Air Quality - With the use of height restriction and setbacks to mitigate air quality impacts from vent shafts, the Air Quality Objectives would be met at all air sensitive receivers.
12. Cultural Heritage - The Fishtail Rock at Hoi Sham Park would be preserved when viewed from the future waterfront. The Sung Wong Toi Inscription Rock would be reinstated to an artificially created hill at its original location within SEKD.
13. Sewerage - To cater for possible shortfall in sewerage and sewage treatment capacity due to developments in SEKD, 2 sites have been reserved for extension of the Preliminary Treatment Works at To Kwa Wan and Kwun Tong to build retention tanks.
14. Waste Management - A new Refuse Transfer Station (RTS) with marine access would be built to serve the SEKD and the catchment of the existing Kowloon Bay RTS, which is expected to reach its capacity in 2006. A district-wide Automated Refuse Collection System (ARCS) has been found technically feasible to serve SEKD but it would be subject to a separate study on regulatory, financial and institutional issues.
15. Hazards to Life - The risks from the Ma Tau Kok Gas Works North Plant and the relocated Dangerous Goods Vehicle Ferry Pier have been found acceptable. The risks from the Chlorine Dock and the Kerry Dangerous Goods Godown would no longer exist upon relocation of the Chlorine Dock and the redevelopment of the DG Godown before population intake in the vicinity.
Environmental Monitoring & Audit (EM&A)
16. A framework for EM&A has been put forward in the EM&A manual. The use of Environmental Project Office (ENPO) as a coordinating body for EM&A work has been proposed in view of the massive scale and long timeframe of the Project.
Comments received so far from the public during the Public Inspection Period
17. TDD has made the EIA report, EM&A manual and Executive Summary available for public comment under the EIAO on 31 July 2001. Members will be briefed on any comments received from the public at the meeting.
Environmental Assessment and Noise Division,
Environmental Protection Department