Environment Protection  DepartmentThe Operation of Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance in Hong Kong
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Environmental Measures and Outcomes

Content > Preserving Hong Kong's Natural Heritage... > Protecting the Environment for All > Kai Tak Airport North Apron Decontamination > 1,800 Mega Watt Extension... > West Rail > International Theme Park... > Removal of Sediment in Cheung Sha Wan Fish Culture Zone > Cyberport Development at Telegraph Bay > Felling of Five Chimneys at Tsing Yi Power Station > KCR East Rail Extension > East Rail Extension

Preserving Hong Kong's Natural Heritage... A Ensuring a Brighter Future

As efforts continue to balance the needs of economic development against the preservation of the environment through the environmental impact assessment process, many gains often go unnoticed. A healthy environment is simply taken for granted.

Looking retrospectively at the more than 190 projects covered by the EIA Ordinance during the past 3-1/2 years, assessment under the Ordinance has proven an efficient and effective process. As careful consideration has been taken to explore and work towards the best possible options for the environment and for society, much has been achieved that will benefit present and future generations in Hong Kong.

With Hong Kong's population becoming more conscious to its environment, the task of ensuring developmental projects lead to a brighter and cleaner future has presented challenges and also opportunities for achievement.

Protecting the Environment for All of Hong Kong

Figure 5A: Location of ProjectsThe scope of projects passing through the EIA process has encompassed major development projects throughout most of the SAR's 18 districts in Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories. A map outlining the locations of projects assessed so far under the statutory EIA Ordinance during past 3-1/2 years is shown in Figure 5A.

During the first 3-1/2 years of operation of the EIA Ordinance, a total of HK$326 billion worth of projects were managed to meet the environmental criteria set out in the technical memorandum covering 93km of roads, 75km of railways, 355ha of development projects and 164ha of decommissioning areas, protecting a total population of 1,564,450 residents. Through the EIA process, environmentally friendly transport modes such as railways have been promoted. The use of natural gas was also encouraged as fuel for a power station as a means of reducing air pollution. Conservation of valuable ecological systems was achieved through compensatory planting or alternative alignment of roads and railways.

Placement of noise barriers for residential developments and the evaluation of options for the best routing for traffic preserved a quieter living environment for numerous residents. To protect marine environments, the use of silt curtains and the creation of alternative habitats for coral have been used. A summary of the key impacts avoided or designs adopted to protect the environment is shown in Figure 5B:

Problems Avoided or Environmentally Friendly Designs Adopted to Protect the Environment

  • The 100-year old Signal Hill tower is saved by an alignment change through the East Rail Extension EIA study in Tsim Sha Tsui
  • About 560,000 existing and future residents to be protected by the West Rail Phase I Special Noise Reduction Design devised through the EIA Process
  • Over 100,000 future residents benefit from the clean up programme to remove toxic chemicals as recommended in the Kai Tak Airport North Apron Decomissioning EIA
  • Comprehensive environmental measures incorporated into the Theme Park Development Project which will create over 20,000 jobs and attract 20 million visitors per year
  • Shifting from coal to gas as the main fuel for the new HEC Lamma Power Station to avoid major air pollution
  • Environmentally friendly designs adopted by the Cyberport EIA for 6,000 existing residents and 23,000 future residents
  • Electrified railway system used for West Rail (I) to avoid air pollution caused by road traffic equivalent to 2,500 bus trips/day.
  • Installation of silt curtain recommended through the Cheung Sha Wan Fish Culture Zone (FCZ) EIA to protect 22 hectares of FCZ
  • Avoided adverse impacts to 4 active fishponds of about 2 hectares
  • Provided 11km road side noise barriers to protect 120,000 people
  • Adopted buffers ranging from 29 to 67m wide to protect 14 hectares area for noise attenuation
  • Used podium structures at residential development to segregate noise sources and receivers to protect 12,000 people
  • Avoided adverse noise impact by adopting 13.5 km viaduct with 7 km noise barriers and 8.4 km rock tunnel, 2.3 km surface alignment, 3.0 km cut and cover tunnel, and 3.1 km enclosure structure at grade along West Rail (I)
  • Compensated ecological losses in drainage channel projects by providing
  • 6.5 ha grasscrete, 3.0 ha marshcrete, 13.5 ha reinstateds fish ponds, 12 ha recreated wetland, replanting of 1,500 trees along 4 km of river channels
  • Provided 31,000m2 rubble mound seawall to protect soft and gorgonian coral growth at Lamma Island during the construction of power plant
  • Provided silt curtain enclosing the immediate grabbing area to avoid spillage of mudwater to surrounding water
Figure 5B: Key Outcomes of the EIA Ordinance from 1.4.1998 to 31.12.2001
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