Yau Tong Bay Development - Reclamation of Yau Tong Bay
Application for Approval of an EIA Report Submitted on 25 July 2000
(Application No. EIA-046/2000)
Reasons for the EIA Report Submitted on 25 July 2000 Not Meeting the Requirements of the EIA Study Brief [ref. No. ESB-0010/1998] (Study Brief) and the Technical Memorandum on EIA Process (TM)
As explained in the letter attached to this Appendix A, some of the reasons given below relate to a Schedule 3 EIA Report submitted by the same applicant on 29 August 2000 for approval under section 6(2) of the EIA Ordinance (Application No. EIA-048/2000).
1. The possibility of a tunnel alignment option for the proposed Western Coast Road (WCR) project was made known to the public in March 2000, given the strong public objections on the coastal alignment. Despite the uncertainty associated with the alignment, programme and configuration of the WCR project, this EIA Report has failed to reasonably compare the environmental benefits and disbenefits of different reclamation scenarios based on the "coastal" and "tunnel" options of the WCR project. It is noted that in the Schedule 3 EIA Report submitted by the same applicant on 29 August 2000 for the comprehensive residential development at Yau Tong Bay, three different scenarios have been considered. They included one that relates to the coastal option of WCR and two that relate to the tunnel option (with and without Ko Fai Road connections) of WCR. This shows that this EIA Report submitted on 25 July 2000 is not consistent with the Schedule 3 EIA submitted later on 29 August 2000 in terms of scenario assessments.
The EIA Report has not adequately presented the environmental benefits and disbenefits of the different reclamation scenarios. The recommended reclamation needs to avoid the adverse environmental effects caused by reclamation to the maximum practicable extent. The EIA Report should include the pros and cons of other possible alternative reclamation scenarios. This EIA Report did not include assessment in this context. S.12 & S.3.5.3 of the Study Brief and S.4.4.2 of the TM have not been met.
2. This EIA Report, including the Schedule 3 EIA Report submitted by the same applicant on 29 August 2000, did not adequately address the cumulative and overall environmental implication of the existing, planned and committed developments on the reclamation. It has failed to adequately assess or provide solutions to remove the possible severe potential industrial/residential interface problems that may be caused to the future residents, in the event that industrial or shipyard operations would co-exist with and be close to housing blocks for a very long period of time. This means that the overall environmental acceptability of the entire project is uncertain. We have provided very detailed comment in this respect under the Rejection Reason No. 1 in Appendix A attached to our separate reply to your application of the Schedule 3 EIA Report submitted on 29 August 2000 (Application No. EIA-048/2000) and in paragraph 4(b)(ii) below. S.1.4, S.2.1 & S.3.2 of the Study brief and S.4.3.3 & S.4.4.2 of the TM have not been met.
3. According to the construction programme in Appendix 2A of the EIA Report, the construction period for the Phases 1 and 2 of the reclamation works is scheduled from July 2001 to April 2005, and the programme for the Phase 3 reclamation is missing in the EIA Report. With reference to the construction programme in Figure 2.2 of the Schedule 3 EIA Report entitled "Yau Tong Bay Development - Engineering Feasibility Study for the Comprehensive Development at Yau Tong Bay" submitted on 29 August 2000 under section 6(2) of the EIA Ordinance, the construction period for the foundation/superstructure works is scheduled from October 2002 to March 2015. In the context of what are recommended in these two EIA Reports, the construction period of the reclamation works will overlap with that of the foundation/superstructure works for at least 21/2 years (i.e. from October 2002 to April 2005). The overlapping period may even longer than 21/2 years if the Phase 3 reclamation is to be taken into consideration. However, both EIA Reports fail to identify, predict and evaluate the cumulative impacts of these projects during the above overlapping period.
In addition, the cumulative construction impacts have to take into account other concurrent construction activities (existing, planned and committed developments) in the vicinity of the project, such as the Yau Tong Estate redevelopment, the East Harbour Crossing Housing Estates and the WCR. Dependent on the timing of the various population intakes in the respective housing sites/schools, a maximum population of approaching 50,000 people could be adversely affected by the cumulative impacts of such works. Again, both EIA Reports, including this reclamation EIA Report, fail to make reasonable attempts to predict and evaluate the overall cumulative impacts due to other concurrent major construction activities. S.1.4, S.2.1, S.3.2 & S.3.4 of the Study Brief and S.4.3.3 & S.4.4.2 of the TM have not been met.
4. Apart from the above, there are other omissions or deficiencies in the EIA Report as described below.
(a) No Evaluation of Noise Residual Impact
(i) The unmitigated noise levels on the schools at the north and south of Yau Tong Estate (i.e. RSCH1 and RSCH2 in the EIA Report) are predicted exceeding the criteria of Annex 5 of the TM. However, there is no evaluation of noise residual impact after taking into account the recommended noise mitigation measures for the schools. The direct mitigation measures should be exhausted prior to considering indirect mitigation measures, and the residual impact should be quantified and compared with the criteria prior to taking into account of indirect mitigation measures. S.3.4.1 of the Study Brief and Annex 5 Section (c) and Annex 13 S.6 of the TM have not been met.
(b) Incomplete Information for Contaminated Soil & Groundwater
(i) There would be chances that some private lots might remain for a very long period of time [YTMLs 73 & 74 (Agincourt Industrial Building); YTMLs 1-5 (Tai Yuen Shipyards) and YTMLs 25-27 (Other 3 shipyards)]. The EIA Report has not addressed the interface problems during reclamation and decontamination works when these users are still in operation. It is also understood that some shipyard owners are legitimate to continue their operations as shipyards or sawmills or timberyards, which will cause serious environmental nuisance in terms of noise and dust emissions. S.1.4, S.2.1 and S.3.2 of the Study Brief and S.4.3.3, S.4.4.2 & S.4.4.3 of the TM have not been met.
(ii) The mitigation measures to deal with the contaminated soil and groundwater are not included in the Implementation Schedule. S.4.3 of the Study Brief and Annex 11 of the TM have not been met.
(iii) The land decontamination requirements are not included in the EM&A programme. S.4.1 of the Study Brief has not been met.
(c) Outstanding Construction Dust Monitoring Requirements
(i) The requirements for construction dust are not included in the Environmental Monitoring & Audit (EM&A) Manual. S.4.1 of the Study Brief has not been met.
(d) Outstanding Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment
(i) There is no information relating to the funding, implementation, management and maintenance of the proposed landscape and visual mitigation works. In addition, mitigation measures as recommended in the landscape and visual impact assessment have not been included in the Implementation Schedule. S.4.3 of the Study Brief and Annex 11 of the TM have not been met.
(ii) The impact on landscape character areas has not been assessed. The visual impacts have not been assessed based on the methodology in paragraph 8.3.2 of the EIA Report. Annex 10 S.1.1 of the TM has not been met.
(e) Outstanding Issues with the Reprovisioned Cha Kwo Ling Salt Water Pumping Station
(i) The location and the implementation agent of the reprovisioned Cha Kwo Ling Salt Water Pumping Station are not stated in the Implementation Schedule. S.4.3 of the Study Brief and Annex 11 of the TM have not been met.