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Advisory Council on the Environment

Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (Cap. 499)

(ACE-EIA Paper 7/2001)
for advice





Environmental Impact Assessment Report for Application No. EIA-055/2001
Central Reclamation Phase III

Purpose

1. This paper presents the key findings and recommendations of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the Central Reclamation Phase III (CRIII) submitted under Section 6(2) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO) as application no. EIA-055/2001. A presentation will be made by the Territory Development Department (TDD) and their consultants. Comments from the public and the ACE will be taken into account by the Director of the Environmental Protection when he makes the decision on the approval of the EIA report under the EIAO.

Advice Sought

2. Members' views are sought on the findings and recommendations of the EIA report.

Need for the Project

3. According to the EIA report, the CRIII is to provide land for key transport infrastructures to include the Central Wanchai Bypass & Island Eastern Corridor Link (CWB & IECL), the proposed North Hong Kong Island Line (NIL) and the extension of the MTRC Hong Kong Station Extended Overrun Tunnel (EOT).

Description of Designation Project

4. The CRIII study is a designated project (DP) as defined under Section 1, Schedule 3 of the EIAO, i.e. an engineering feasibility study of an urban development project with a study area covering more than 20 ha.

5. The following individual DPs under Schedule 2, Part 1 of the EIAO have been identified and assessed in the CRIII EIA. They will require environmental permits (EPs) for their construction and operation and their locations are shown in Figure 1.

Designated Projects under Schedule 2 of the EIAO being assessed in CRIII EIA

Description of Designated Projects EIAO Ref no
Reclamation of about 18ha in size using marine sand fill and public filling material. Schedule 2, Part 1, C1
Approximately 1.0 km of Primary Distributor and 0.7 km of District Distributor. Schedule 2, Part 1, A1
Advance Railway Protection Works for NIL Schedule 2, Part 1, A2

6. The construction impacts of the advance railway protection works for NIL under the newly formed roads in CRIII have been assessed in CRIII EIA. The inclusion of the advance works is to prevent major disruption to traffic in CRIII and will not pre-empt the future alignment of NIL. The EIA for the entire NIL will be carried out separately. The EIA for the CWB&IECL has been completed and was submitted for approval under the EIAO.

Interrelationship between the CRIII, Wanchai Development Phase II (WDII) and CWB&IECL Projects

7. The CRIII and the WDII are contiguous reclamations providing land for the CWB&IECL, amongst other transport infrastructure and facilities. The general layout of these 3 projects is shown in Figure 2. The EIA report for CRIII was submitted together with those for WDII and CWB&IECL. In so doing, the overall cumulative environmental impacts due to programme overlaps can be addressed and presented in a holistic manner.

Specific Environmental Aspects to Highlight

8. The major environmental issues identified for the project are: water quality, noise, air quality and mud disposal.

Water quality

9. With the following mitigation measures in place, the predicted maximum mitigated cumulative suspended solids at the cooling water intake for Queensway Government Office during dredging and filling works of CRIII and WDII will be less than 28mg/l and no adverse water impacts are anticipated :
 

  • silt curtains around the closed clamshell (water-tight) grab dredgers during dredging and seawall filling;
     
  • silt screens at all cooling water intakes and WSD's salt-water intakes; and
     
  • bulk filling behind completed seawall to above high water mark.

10. Upon completion of the CRIII reclamation, surface flow patterns at the boundary of the reclamation will be close to the original prior to reclamation. The change in mean flow discharge across the Victoria Harbour due to the new coastline configuration will be reduced by approximately 0.5 %.

Noise

11. With the use of quiet plant and 3 to 5m high temporary and movable noise barriers, the predicted maximum construction noise levels at the Central Barracks and the City Hall will be reduced from 94dB(A) to 79dB(A), and from 93dB(A) to 78dB(A) respectively, which exceed the 75 dB(A) criterion by up to 4 dB(A). The predicted maximum traffic noise levels at the Central Barracks, the City Hall and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Art are 77.7 dB(A), 70.6 dB(A) and 78.5 dB(A) respectively, which exceed the 70dB(A) criterion by up to 8.5 dB(A). However, all these buildings are equipped with air-conditioning system and do not rely on openable window for ventilation, their indoor noise environments are not expected to be adversely affected. The CWB, in the form of an underground tunnel in CRIII, will not give rise to traffic noise impact here.

Air Quality

12. The air quality at all existing and future air sensitive receivers (ASR) subject to vehicular emissions will comply with the Air Quality Objectives (AQO). The predicted 1-hr and 24-hr average NO2 at the worst affected ASR - the Hong Kong Club, are 278 mg /m3 and 145 mg/m3 respectively which are within the respective AQO limits of 300 mg /m3 and 150 mg /m3.

Mud Disposal

13. Due to specific foundation requirements for building the seawalls, the CWB and the EOT, full removal of marine mud, which amounts to approximately 0.58 Mm3 will be carried out. It is estimated that about 0.375 Mm3 of the material will likely be contaminated and require confined disposal. The dredging and disposal of the marine mud will be carried out in accordance with the relevant Works Bureau Technical Circulars.

Environmental Monitoring and Audit (EM&A)

14. A framework for EM&A has been put forward in the EM&A manual submitted in the EIA. The EM&A requirements will be enforced as Environmental Permit conditions.

Public Consultation

15. TDD has made the EIA report, EM&A manual and Executive Summary available for the public to comment under the EIAO on 17 July 2001. Members will be briefed about any comments received from the public at the meeting.

Environmental Assessment and Noise Division
Environmental Protection Department
July 2001


 

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