1                    INTRODUCTION

1.1              Project Background

1.1.1          The Central and Wan Chai Reclamation Feasibility Study, completed in 1989, examined the development of approximately 108 hectares of new reclamation and 60 hectares of water basin, together with existing land to be redeveloped, along the Central, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay shoreline.  The study also identified the need for an east-west strategic route along the northshore of Hong Kong Island, to relieve the overloaded traffic on the existing east-west routes.  This trunk route comprised a tunnel section through Central and Wan Chai (the Central-Wan Chai Bypass) and an elevated roadway along the Causeway Bay shoreline (the Island Eastern Corridor Link), connecting to the existing Island Eastern Corridor.

1.1.2          The Central and Wan Chai Reclamation Feasibility Study proposed development to be carried out in five stages.  Central Reclamation Phase I, for accommodating the Hong Kong Central Station of the Airport Railway, was completed in June 1998.  Central Reclamation Phase II, at the previous Tamar Basin, was completed in September 1997.  Wan Chai Reclamation Phase I, for the extension to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), was completed in July 1997.  Detailed design for Central Reclamation Phase III (CRIII) is currently in progress.

1.1.3          The Wan Chai Development Phase II (WDII) project (formerly known as Wan Chai Reclamation Phase II) is the fifth phase in the implementation of the Central and Wan Chai Reclamation, following Central Reclamation Phases I, II and III and Wan Chai Reclamation Phase I.  Figure 1.1 indicates the site location of the WDII project.

1.1.4          As a result of considerable public concern over reclamation in the Victoria Harbour, the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance was enacted on 30 June 1997, and was amended by the Protection of the Harbour (Amendment) Ordinance 1999 enacted on 2 December 1999 (the Harbour Ordinances).  Under the Harbour Ordinances, the Harbour is to be protected and preserved as a special public asset and a natural heritage and there shall be a presumption against reclamation in the Harbour.  The reclamation for CRIII as proposed in the original scope of the Central and Wan Chai Reclamation was reviewed and subsequently reduced.  To comply with the Harbour Ordinances, the WDII project (hereafter the ‘Project’) has also to be reviewed.

1.1.5          The main objective of the Project is, now, not to reclaim land for development, but to provide land for key transport infrastructure and facilities.  The key transport infrastructure for which land needs to be provided comprises the Central-Wan Chai Bypass (CWB), the Island Eastern Corridor Link (IECL) and the associated connections to the existing road network, the proposed North Hong Kong Island Line (NIL) and the proposed fourth rail harbour crossing section of the Shatin to Central Link (SCL).  In addition, the Project will also include the reprovisioning of any existing waterfront facilities affected by the Project as well as any necessary measures to improve the resultant shoreline so that an attractive waterfront promenade would be created for the enjoyment of the public.

1.2              Objectives of the EIA Study

1.2.1        According to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Study Brief, registered under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO) as "Wanchai Reclamation Phase II - Studies, Site Investigation, Design and Construction - Environmental Impact Study (Ref No. SB-001/BC)",  the objectives of this EIA Study is to provide information on the nature and extent of environmental impacts arising from the WDII development works.  All related activities taking place concurrently shall also be assessed to investigate the potential cumulative impacts.  This information will contribute to decision on whether or not:

(a)    the adverse environmental impacts are within the established  standards / guidelines;

(b)    there are any conditions and requirements for the detailed design, construction and operation, of the proposed Project; and

(c)    the residual impacts (impacts after the proposed mitigation measures are implemented) are within the established standards / guidelines.

1.2.2          In respect to the requirements of an EIA study specified under the Technical Memorandum on Environmental Impact Assessment Process (EIAO-TM), the objectives and contents of this EIA Report should also include the following:

·       to describe the Project and associated works together with the requirements and environmental benefits for carrying out the proposed Project;

·       to identify and describe the elements of the community and environment likely to be affected by the proposed Project, and/or likely to cause adverse impacts upon the proposed Project, including both the natural and man-made environment;

·       to identify and quantify emission sources and determine the severity of impacts on sensitive receivers and potential affected uses;

·       to identify and quantify any potential losses or damage to flora, fauna and natural habitats;

·      to identify existing landscape and visual quality in the Study Area so as to evaluate the landscape and visual impacts of the Project;

·       to propose the provision of mitigation measures so as to minimise pollution, environmental disturbance and nuisance during construction and operation of the Project;

·       to identify, predict and evaluate the residual (that is, after practicable mitigation) environmental impacts and cumulative effects expected to arise during the construction and operation phases of the Project in relation to the sensitive receivers, potential affected uses, neighbouring construction works, reclamation, dredging of seabed and water pollution activities within Victoria Harbour, land uses and water current movement;

·       to identify, assess and specify methods, measures and standards, to be included in the detailed design, construction and operation of the Project, which are necessary to mitigate these residual impacts and reduce them to allowable levels within the established standards / guidelines;

·       to identify and justify the need for environmental monitoring and audit and to define the scope of the requirements necessary to ensure the implementation and the effectiveness of the environmental protection and pollution control measures adopted;

·       to investigate the extent of side-effects of proposed mitigation measures that may lead to other forms of impacts;

·       to identify constraints associated with the mitigation measures recommended in the study; and

·       to identify any additional studies necessary to fulfil the objectives of this EIA Study.


1.3              Consideration of Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance

1.3.1          The proposed Project is an engineering feasibility study of an urban development project with a study area covering more than 20 ha.  Under the EIAO, this Project is classified as a Schedule 3 Designated Project (DP) under item 1 of the Schedule 3 “Major Designated Projects Requiring Environmental Impact Assessment Reports”.  A detailed environmental assessment for approval by the Director of Environmental Protection (DEP) is required.

1.3.2          The Project also contains various Schedule 2 DPs that, under the EIAO, require Environmental Permits (EPs) to be granted by the DEP before they may be either constructed or operated.  Table 1.1 summarises the five individual DPs under this Project.  Figure 1.2 shows the locations of these Schedule 2 DPs.

Table 1.1         Schedule 2 Designated Projects involved in the Wan Chai Development Phase II under the EIAO

Designated Project

EIAO Reference


Reclamation works (including associated dredging works)

Schedule 2, Part I, C.1

Reclamation more than 5 ha in size

WDII major roads (including Road P2)

Schedule 2, Part I, A.1

Primary / district distributor roads

Wan Chai East Sewage Outfall

Schedule 2, Part I, F.5 and F.6

Submarine sewage pipelines with a total diameter more than 1,200 mm and include sewage outfalls

Kellett Island Marina

Schedule 2, Part I, O.2

A marina designed to provide moorings for not less than 30 vessels used primary for pleasure or recreation

Cross-harbour Water Mains from Wan Chai to Tsim Sha Tsui

Schedule 2, Part I, C.12

A dredging operation which is less than 100 m from a seawater intake point.


1.3.3          While this EIA Study is undertaken as part of the Comprehensive Feasibility Study of WDII and under Schedule 3 of the EIAO, the EIA Report has also included environmental impact assessments of the Schedule 2 DPs identified in Table 1.1 above, for the application of EPs for individual Schedule 2 DPs.

1.3.4          The CWB&IECL project, which includes road sections within the WDII project area, is a trunk road and is considered as a DP under Schedule 2, Part I, A.1.  An EIA has been conducted separately by Highway Department's Consultant for the CWB&IECL project in accordance with Schedule 2 of the EIAO.

1.3.5          The WDII study has also confirmed that there will be a need, after 2016, for the North-South Link, which provides a direct link to the Wan Chai hinterland in order to overcome traffic congestion on the existing Canal Road Corridor.  However, the North-South Link and its associated slip road connections will be implemented as separate items from the current WDII project, at a later stage.  It will be subject to detailed engineering assessment to confirm the technical viability.  The North-South Link is a DP under the EIAO and an EIA will be required to confirm its environmental acceptability under the EIAO.  The current EIA for WDII has not included the North-South Link.




1.4              Structure of EIA Report

1.4.1          The EIA Report is presented in three volumes.  The following sets out the structure of Volume 1 of this EIA Report:

·         Section 2 illustrates the Project location, the scope of development, the EIA Study Area and the works programme that have been considered under the Project;

·         Section 3 identifies and assesses the potential air quality impacts associated with the construction and operation of the proposed infrastructure and development of the Project, with focus on the construction dust impacts, as well as operational traffic exhaust gas emission from the proposed CWB & IECL, and recommends necessary mitigation measures;

·         Section 4 identifies and assesses the potential noise impacts associated with the construction and operation of the Project, and recommends mitigation measures to comply with the established noise standards, wherever necessary;

·         Section 5 identifies and assesses the potential hydrodynamic and water quality impacts associated with the construction and operation of the Project, and recommends mitigation measures to comply with the established water quality standards;

·         Section 6 identifies and assesses the potential waste impacts and management associated with the construction of the Project and recommends mitigation measures to reduce waste arisings, maximise reuse / recycling and to comply with the established standards;

·       Section 7 identifies and assesses the potential impacts associated with the land contamination of the existing workshops and shipyards within the Project Area, recommends mitigation measures, and proposes a contamination assessment plan for site investigation works;

·       Section 8 identifies and assesses the potential terrestrial ecological impacts associated with the construction and operation of the Project;

·       Section 9 identifies and assesses the potential marine ecological impacts associated with the construction and operation of the Project;

·       Section 10 identifies and evaluates the potential landscape and visual impacts associated with the construction and operation of the Project, and recommends mitigation measures to comply with established standards;

·       Section 11 assess the potential biogas risk associated with the Project;

·       Section 12 presents the Environmental Monitoring and Audit (EM&A) requirements.  The scope and approach are explained in detail in a stand-alone EM&A Manual;

·       Section 13 summarises and concludes the findings of environmental impact assessment; and

·       Section 14 includes the Implementation Schedules of various environmental issues.

1.4.2          Figures are presented in Volume 2 of the EIA Report and Appendices are contained in Volume 3.

1.4.3          A cultural heritage survey has been carried out separately by the Antiquities and Monuments Office of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD).  The cultural heritage assessment is presented in Annex A to this EIA Report.