Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (Cap. 499)
(ACE-EIA Paper 3/2002)
Environmental Impact Assessment:
Yau Tong Bay Development -
Engineering Feasibility Study for the Comprehensive Development at Yau Tong Bay
This paper presents the key findings and recommendations of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report for the Yau Tong Bay (YTB) Development - Engineering Feasibility Study for the Comprehensive Development at Yau Tong Bay (hereafter known as the Project), submitted under section 6(2) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO). The Main Wealth Development Limited and their consultants will make a presentation. Comments from the public and the ACE will be taken into account by the Director of Environmental Protection when he makes the decision on the approval of the 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 YTB development will produce about 13,900 residential units to provide accommodation for about 39,000 people. The Project aims to formulate the optimum plan for development of the site after reclaiming YTB.
Description of the Project
4. The study is a designated project (DP) as defined under Section 1, Schedule 3 of the EIA Ordinance, i.e. an engineering feasibility study of an urban development project with a study area covering more than 20ha. The construction is scheduled to start in end 2005, and for completion in 2015. The population intake is programmed to begin from 2008 in phases up to year 2016.
5. The extent of the YTB reclamation would be dictated by the ultimate alignment adopted for the proposed Western Coast Road (WCR). If the WCR should run along the existing coastline to link Tseung Kwan O (TKO) to South East Kowloon (SEK), the Study has assumed a "Full Reclamation" scenario with the viaduct foundation of the WCR constructed on land. This will result in a total project area of about 28.5ha of which 18ha will be reclaimed land. If the WCR should run link TKO to SEK via an inland tunnel, the Study has assumed a "Minimized Reclamation" scenario that will result in a total area of about 21.5ha, with the reclaimed area reduced to about 12ha. To avoid affecting the existing fresh water main and a twin cross harbour submarine gas pipelines, a removable concrete decking supported on bored piles will be constructed above these pipelines. The reclamation is scheduled to start in early 2004, and for completion in 2007.
6. As the proponent applied for separate study briefs at a time lapse of about one year in between, the two EIAs, one to cover the YTB reclamation and the other on the engineering feasibility study for the YTB comprehensive development, have been carried out separately. The two EIAs are submitted together such that the overall cumulative environmental impacts on the various phases of developments can be addressed and presented in a holistic manner.
Previous Submission under the EIAO
7. The applicant submitted an EIA report for the project on 29 August 2000 under the EIAO. The Director of Environmental Protection (DEP) replied on 20 September 2000 that the report did not meet the requirements in the EIA Study Brief and the Technical Memorandum on EIA Process. The reasons are deposited on the EIAO Register and the EIAO website. A copy is attached in Appendix A for easy reference.
8. Since then, considerable revisions have been made and the EIA report was resubmitted under section 6 of the EIAO.
Specific Environmental Aspects to Highlight
9. The major environmental issues identified for the project are: "industrial / residential" (I/R) interface problems, traffic noise & traffic emission impacts and sewage impacts.
I/R Interface Problems
10. A possible industrial noise source affecting the YTB development is from the Yau Tong Industrial Area south east of the site (see Figures 1 & 2 in relation to the Full & Minimized Reclamations). The separation between the industrial noise sources and the residential blocks will be over 60m, and the predicted maximum noise levels at the nearest residential blocks will meet the standards under the Noise Control Ordinance. The air quality impact on the proposed development due to industrial emissions within 1km radius from the subject site has been assessed, and all air sensitive receivers within the proposed development are within the relevant Air Quality Objectives (AQOs).
11. Three YTB marine lot owners have not agreed to become a partner of the Joint Venture of the YTB development (see the dissenting lots shown in Figures 1 & 2). The continued operation of the existing shipyard, sawmill and industrial building will cause environmental nuisances to the future residents of the YTB development after its occupation. To mitigate the potential I/R interface problems, mitigation measures such as provision of tall podium, sufficient buffer distance and tall noise barrier will be provided. No residual noise impact will result after the adoption of these noise mitigation measures, and all air sensitive receivers of the development sites will be below the relevant AQOs for both the "Full & Minimized" reclamation scenarios.
Traffic Noise & Traffic Emission Impacts
12. There are totally eight different development scenarios and schemes assessed in the report. Six of these scenarios are related to the layout designs with or without I/R interface problems. Of these six scenarios, the percentages of flats complying with the 70dB(A) traffic noise criterion are from 98.7% to 100%, and the worst case traffic noise impact on the residential towers is 74dB(A). As a last resort, upgraded Type I glazing and air-conditioners will be provided to the affected residential flats.
13. The school sites in these six scenarios will exceed the 65dB(A) traffic noise criterion, and the maximum noise level will be up to 75dB(A). Two refined schemes are proposed to locate schools away from air and noise sources. The schools under these refined schemes will be subject to traffic noise levels of lower than 60dB(A).
14. The cumulative air quality impacts arising from road traffic, portal emissions and ventilation exhausts of the Eastern Harbour Crossing, and the background pollutant concentrations have been assessed. Results indicate that all air sensitive receives of the proposed development can meet the relevant AQOs for all development scenarios and schemes.
15. As the current development programme of the YTB is programmed to start from 2008 and end by 2016, some of the spare capacity of the Kwun Tong Preliminary Treatment Works (KTPTW) may be taken up by other planned developments which will have population in-take after 2011. In the event that the KTPTW is overloaded after 2011, a contingency measure in the form of an underground temporary sewage retention tank will be built during the first phase of the YTB development from 2008 to 2009. The KTPTW is planned to be upgraded to ensure that the total sewage flow within the catchment can be handled by 2016.
16. The temporary underground sewage retention tank will be designed to prevent air / noise impact on nearby sensitive receivers. With the mitigation measures in place, the tank will not impose unacceptable odour impact on the nearby sensitive receivers.
Environmental Monitoring & Audit (EM&A)
17. A framework for EM&A has been put forward in the EM&A manual submitted in the EIA.
Comments received so far from the public during the Public Inspection Period
18. The applicant has made the EIA report, EM&A manual and Executive Summary available for the public to comment under the EIAO on 1 February 2002. Members will be briefed about any comments received from the public at the meeting.
Environmental Assessment and Noise Division
Environmental Protection Department