Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance

Technical Memorandum

Annex 19


1. General

1.1 The annex describes the commonly adopted approaches and methodologies for assessment of impact on sites of cultural heritage and other environmental issues. The methodologies may vary from case to case, depending on the nature of the issues and the latest development in methods and techniques.

2. Impact on Sites of Cultural Heritage

2.1 There is no quantitative standard in deciding the relative importance of these sites, but in general, sites of unique archaeological, historical or architectural value will be considered as highly significant.

Baseline Study

2.2 A baseline study shall be conducted

  1. to compile a comprehensive inventory of places, buildings, sites and structures of architectural, archaeological and historical value within the proposed project area; and

  2. to identify possible threats of, and their physical extent, destruction in whole or in part of sites of cultural heritage arising from the proposed project.


2.3 The best information shall be assembled for the assessment of the identified sites of cultural heritage. The entry point shall be the Antiquities and Monuments Office, public libraries and archives and tertiary institutions.

2.4 The assessment shall provide detailed geographical, historical, archaeological, ethnographical and other cultural data. Published papers, records, archival and historical documents as well as oral legends shall also be consulted.

2.5 In cases where the above sources of information prove to be inadequate or where the proposed project area has not been adequately studied before, field surveys and site investigations shall be conducted to assemble the necessary data.

Impact Assessment

2.6 Preservation in totality will be a beneficial impact and will enhance the cultural and socio-economical environment if suitable measures to integrate the sites of cultural heritage into the proposed project are carried out.

2.7 If, due to site constraints and other factors, only preservation in part is possible, this must be fully justified with alternative proposals or layout designs which confirm the impracticability of total preservation.

2.8 Total destruction must be taken as the very last resort in all cases and shall only be recommended with a meticulous and careful analysis balancing the interest of preserving the archaeological, historical, architectural and other cultural values as against that of the community as a whole.

2.9 Assessment of impacts on sites of cultural heritage shall also take full account of, and follow where appropriate, the Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment at Annex 18.

Mitigation Measures

2.10 Mitigation measures shall not be recommended or taken as de facto means to avoid conservation and preservation of sites of cultural heritage. They must be proved beyond all possibilities to be the only practical course of action.

2.11 Designs, layouts, external treatments, colour and texture of materials, but not limiting to such, shall be worked out for the integration of the sites of cultural heritage to be preserved in whole or in part into the proposed project.

2.12 For total destruction, a comprehensive and practical rescue plan must be worked out. This is also applicable to sites of cultural heritage where only partial preservation is proposed.

2.13 Annex 18 also applies.

2.14 A practical programme and funding proposal for the implementation of the recommended mitigation measures shall be included as part of the assessment. These shall form an integral part of the overall development programme and financing of the proposed project. Competent professionals must be engaged to design and carry out the mitigation measures.

3. Potential Contaminated Land Issues

3.1 For all development and redevelopment projects listed under Schedule 2, Part I and Schedule 3, the applicant who is preparing an EIA report as stipulated in Clause 6 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance, shall give consideration to historical land uses which have the potential to cause or have caused land contamination. Such uses include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. oil installations including oil depots and petrol filling stations
  2. gas works
  3. power plants
  4. shipyards/boatyards
  5. chemical manufacturing/processing plants
  6. steel mills/metal workshops
  7. car repairing and dismantling workshops
  8. dumping ground and landfill

3.1.1 If the above land uses are identified, the applicant shall submit, as part of the EIA report, a Contamination Assessment Plan (CAP) to the Director for endorsement prior to conducting a contamination assessment of the site.

3.1.2 Based on an endorsed CAP, the applicant shall conduct a contamination assessment and compile a Contamination Assessment Report (CAR) for the Director's review. During the preparation of the CAR, if land contamination is confirmed, a Remediation Action Plan (RAP) shall be prepared. the RAP and the CAR shall be submitted as a combined report to the Director for approval, referencing the corresponding CAP.

3.1.3 Upon approval of the CAR/RAP, the applicant shall clean up the contaminated site according to the approved RAP, prior to any development or redevelopment of the site.

3.1.4 The preparation of CAP, CAR, or CAR/RAP reports shall be based on the relevant published Practice Note for Professional Persons or guidelines issued by the Director.

3.2 For all decommissioning projects as designated under Schedule 2, Part II, the above requirements apply regardless of the historical land use.

3.3 For development or re-development projects adjacent to landfill, the applicant shall note the following additional specific requirements when the need for a landfill gas (LFG) hazard assessment is confirmed:

  1. carry out a LFG hazard assessment to evaluate the degree of risk associated with the proposed development;

  2. design suitable precautionary / protection measures to render the proposed development as safe as reasonably practicable;

  3. ensure that the precautionary / protection measures will be implemented and constructed in accordance with the design;

  4. establish a maintenance and monitoring programme for ensuring the continued performance of the implementation protection measures.

    The LFG hazard assessment shall be carried out and completed for submission to the Director for vetting at the early planning stage of the project. The early completion of the assessment study will ensure that the identified protection measures be considered and incorporated in to the overall design process for the proposed development.