1.                         INTRODUCTION

1.1                      Background

1.1.1                 The revitalization of the Yau Tong Bay brownfield site has been encouraged by Government under numerous planning studies and its implementation has been largely established in the Outline Zoning Plan.  The bay, upon completion not only satisfies the community needs for school, open space, housing as introduced by Government, but also will bring back the brownfield land for more environmentally friendly and non-polluting productive use.  The Yau Tong Bay Development project was initiated by a group of owners who hold significant interests in Yau Tong Bay (YTB).  The owners have joined together to form a joint venture and have appointed Main Wealth Development Ltd as the Project Manager for the proposed redevelopment.

1.1.2                 In the past 20 years, a great deal of attention has been given to the redevelopment of the Yau Tong Bay area.  On 17.6.1992, the then Governor directed the Town Planing Board to expand the coverage of the draft Cha Kwo Ling, Yau Tong, Lei Yue Mun Outline Zoning Plan to include Yau Tong Bay.  Majority of the marine lot owners, in response to the Government new planning intention, has subsequently agreed to form the joint venture in cleaning up the dilapidated marine lots and redeveloping the area into productive and more friendly land uses.

1.1.3                 In recycling the dilapidated bay for a sustainable new land use, high regards have been given to the residential land use in the surrounding, the accessibility of environmentally-friendly transit in the door step, the new criteria of environmental protection as well as public expectation to early urban renewal actions.  It is highly essential to both Government and Community that this environmentally damaging brownfield site is able to be recycled in a timely manner, thereby removing the stigma of further contamination, accelerated environmentally degradation and potential liability associated with the bay area. 

1.1.4                 Broadly speaking, the recommended engineering works and the refined development scheme as a result of careful evaluation of options are able to accomplish and contribute to the following major public benefits:

Ÿ        protects the healthy harbour;

Ÿ        aquatic habitat safeguarded;

Ÿ        eliminates further contamination to land, sea and air;

Ÿ        removing undesirable, incompatible and environmentally damaging uses;

Ÿ        land reserved for new community and recreational facilities;

Ÿ        a public transport oriented community;

Ÿ        a healthful living environment;

Ÿ        use of public fill materials as main source of fill;

Ÿ        sustainable layout design e.g. school in less noise sensitive locations, step-height pattern, urban-design approach;

Ÿ        sensitive construction program to eliminate the industrial/residential interface;

Ÿ        environmentally friendly reclaimation method without dredging.

1.1.5                 Maunsell Consultants Asia Ltd. have been commissioned by Main Wealth Development Ltd as the EIA Coordinator for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Study of Yau Tong Bay Development.  A team of environmental consultants are also appointed to undertake the EIA Study in order to assess the potential environmental impacts during the construction and operation phases of Yau Tong Bay Development.  The environmental team comprises of the following consultants:

Ÿ        CH2M Hill (China) Ltd.

Ÿ        David C Lee Surveyors Ltd.

Ÿ        Dennis Lau & Ng Chun Man Architects & Engineers (H.K) Ltd

Ÿ        Maunsell Consultants Asia Ltd.

Ÿ        Maunsell Environmental Management Consultants Ltd.

Ÿ        Maunsell Geotechnical Services Ltd.

Ÿ        MVA Hong Kong Ltd.

Ÿ        Westwood Hong & Associates Ltd.

1.1.6                 The Environmental Impact Assessment Study for Yau Tong Bay Development is divided into two packages, namely, “Reclamation of Yau Tong Bay” and “Engineering Feasibility Study for the Comprehensive Development at Yau Tong Bay” under the Study Brief No. ESB-0010/1998 and ESB-0028/1999 respectively.

1.1.7                 The first application for approval of the EIA Report for Package 1 (EIA-046/2000) and Package 2 (EIA-048/2000) EIA Study were formally submitted under the EIA Ordinance on 25 July and 29 August 2000 respectively.  Both of the approval applications were unsuccessful because the EIA reports did not meet the requirements of the EIA Study Brief and TM as advised by the Director of Environmental Protection.

1.1.8                 A series of discussions among EPD, various government departments and the environmental consultants have been made.  Several working papers and Draft Final EIA Report have been submitted to substantiate the assessment results on the environmental impacts of the development to the environment. Taking into account the comments from EPD on the previous submitted EIA reports, this Final EIA report has been revised to include the assessment results on the environmental impacts generated from all possible development scenarios.

1.2                      Project Description

1.2.1                 To proceed with the Yau Tong Bay Development, the YTB will be reclaimed and the existing marine lots will be amalgamated for the future Comprehensive Development Area (CDA) development.

1.2.2                 The site is located in the eastern side of Kowloon to the south of the Eastern Harbour Crossing and is in an area of existing development. The site is bounded on the north and to the east by Cha Kwo Ling Road and existing development, to the south by Ko Fai Road and existing development and to the west by Victoria Harbour.  Figure 1 shows the location of the existing Yau Tong Bay.

1.2.3                 The proposed reclamation site is significantly zoned as Comprehensive Development Area (CDA) on the current Cha Kwo Ling, Yau Tong, Lei Yue Mun Outline Zoning Plan No. S/K/15/13 (Figure 4).  At present, the current CDA zone at Yau Tong Bay covers a total area of about 17.4 ha for accommodating 18,000 persons.  In the proposed Yau Tong Bay CDA which was endorsed by Town Planning Board in December 1998, the population of the development is about 39,000 persons.

1.2.4                 The extent of Yau Tong Bay reclamation will be changed with the alignment of the proposed Western Coast Road (WCR).  As advised by Territory Development Department, there are two different options on the alignment of the WCR – Coastal Option and Tunnel Option.  Corresponding to these two alignment options, two different reclamation options, Full Reclamation and Minimised Reclamation are proposed in the EIA report respectively.  There is still no final decision on which alignment to be adopted for the WCR.

1.2.5                 In the WCR – Coastal Option, the viaduct of WCR will be built at the waterfront of Yau Tong Bay.  It is recommended to extend the limit of YTB reclamation such that the viaduct foundation of the WCR could be constructed on land rather than an expensive marine structure construction originally proposed by the consultant of TDD.  In addition, the extra-reclaimed land can provide a continuous waterfront promenade as recommended by the government.  This reclamation option is named Full Reclamation and the area of YTB reclamation is about 18 hectares.

1.2.6                 Tunnel Option is an alternative alignment for the WCR.  The occurrence of this option was due to the strong objection from the public on the proposed coastal option of the WCR.  The tunnel alignment of the WCR runs from Tseung Kwan O to South East Kowloon via an inland tunnel instead of running along the existing coastline.  As such, the additional reclamation at the mouth of YTB for the foundation of the coastal option of WCR to be built on will be no longer required.  Under the provision of the Protection of 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 area of YTB reclamation was reviewed and subsequently reduced.  For Tunnel Option of WCR, Minimised Reclamation is proposed for YTB reclamation and the area of reclamation is reduced to about 12 hectares.  The two reclamation options are shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3.

1.2.7                 With due consideration of the environmental impacts caused by reclamation to the harbour, a more environmental friendly reclamation method and construction sequence among other possible alternatives are recommended for the proposed reclamation.  As the release of contaminants in the seabed could not be avoided during the process of dredging, and treatment and disposal of both contaminated and uncontaminated dredged marine sediment will create another environmental impacts, the reduced amount of dredging can minimize the adverse impact caused by dredging.  “Drained” reclamation method is proposed for general reclamation area in order to expedite the rate of settlement.  By this method, except the dredging of soft marine deposit for the foundation of new seawall and the proposed box culverts, which is considered essential in engineering points of view, no additional dredging of marine sediment will be required. 

1.2.8                 Apart from this reclamation method, the construction sequence is carefully designed in order to minimize the adverse environmental impacts arising from reclamation.  The existing stormwater culvert will be diverted to the harbour by a temporary channel such that the discharge will not enter into the reclamation site.  The permanent seawalls, which will be built prior to the bulk filling, together with the existing seawall and the temporary diversion channel will enclose the entire reclamation site, preventing the dispersal of fill material to the harbour.

1.2.9                 In order to alleviate the acute shortage of filling capacity to minimize the need of new public dump site and to help extend the existing land fill life in Hong Kong, except the use of rockfill for the foundation of new seawall and sandfill for the drainage blanket to be overlay directly onto the marine deposit, it is recommended to maximize the use of public filling material for reclamation of Yau Tong Bay in principle.  Imported sandfill will only be used for reclamation in the case of unstable or insufficient supply of public filling material which affect the construction programme.

1.2.10              As the scale of Full Reclamation Option is larger than that of Minimised Reclamation Option, it will be taken as the worst scenario for the environmental impact assessment (EIA).  The EIA study is conducted with respect to noise, water quality, waste management, biogas risk, land contamination and visual and landscape impacts.  Potential sensitive receivers and the relevant standards and assessment criteria were identified for the assessments.  The present EIA study for the YTB reclamation indicated that there would be no insurmountable environmental impacts arising from the reclamation works in YTB.  The major findings of the EIA study are discussed in the following sections.

1.3                      Overall Approach to the EIA Study

1.3.1                 In accordance with the Study Brief for the EIA Study, environmental issues related to the following aspects are addressed:

Ÿ        noise impact;

Ÿ        water quality impact;

Ÿ        waste management implications;

Ÿ        land contamination impact; and

Ÿ        visual and landscape impacts.

1.3.2                 The scope also includes recommendation of mitigation measures for all identified adverse environmental impacts for the different reclamation phases, identification of residual impacts and proposing environmental monitoring and auditing (EM&A) requirements for the project.  The assessment methodology adopted in the EIA Study is in accordance with the TM on EIA Process.

2.                         Key environmental outcomes and PUBLIC BENEFITS OF THE PROJECT

2.1                      Solution for Seabed Contamination

2.1.1                 The existing seabed of Yau Tong Bay is proved to be highly contaminated.  The odour arising from the contaminated seabed may have the possibility to cause nuisance to the nearby residents especially during summer time.  Furthermore, when marine vessels go moorings, their anchors may disturb the seabed causing the dispersal of seabed contaminants.  These released contaminated substances may migrate towards the Harbour under water current or ship movement.  Continuation of the existing industrial operations may further worsen the situation.

2.1.2                 Apart from the direct impacts to the nearby residents, the contaminated seabed may also endanger the public indirectly.  Fishing at seafront promenade is a popular leisure activity nowadays in Hong Kong.  However, fishes caught at the contaminated Yau Tong Bay waterfront may be polluted. Consumption of these polluted fishes would be harmful if not hazardous to health. 

2.1.3                 The proposed reclamation at Yau Tong Bay (both Minimised and Full Reclamation Options) covers up the main portion of the contaminated seabed such that the contaminated seabed can be concealed and isolated from the public.  This can effectively prevent contaminants or poisonous substances in the highly contaminated Yau Tong Bay seabed from migrating into the marine water.

2.2                      Removal of Nuisance from Industrial Operation

2.2.1                 Yau Tong Bay is currently characterised by industrial operations such as shipyards, timber yards, sawmills, construction materials storage, industrial building and vehicle repair workshops.  The existing environment of YTB is considered poor and is suspected to be polluted by the existing industry.

2.2.2                 Several large-scale housing projects in the vicinity of Yau Tong Bay have already been commenced or substantially completed.  Reclamation of Yau Tong Bay and the subsequent development on the reclaimed land provide an opportunity to remove the existing polluting industrial operations at Yau Tong Bay.  It is undoubtedly to the benefits of everyone who lives or studies in Yau Tong for the bay to be reclaimed such that the nuisance caused by the polluting industrial operations such as noise impact, air quality impact, water quality impact, land contamination and visual impact could be removed as well.

2.3                      Provision of Land for Public Facilities

2.3.1                 The decommissioning of shipyards and demolition of building structures in the YTB reclamation project not only relieve the pollution problems caused by the existing industries, but also provide land to achieve important community development objectives, such as provisions of schools, residential area and government facilities.

2.3.2                 The YTB reclamation will provide sufficient land for the foundation works of the viaduct of the WCR - Yau Tong Section to be carried out on land instead of constructing over water.  Besides that, the height of the bridge deck of the WCR (coastal option) can be reduced significantly as the requirement of providing sufficient headroom for marine access to YTB will be waived.  As a result, the construction cost of the WCR can be reduced.  The implementation of the YTB reclamation project would be directly beneficial to the Coastal Option of the WCR project.

2.3.3                 There is an inadequate provision of school facilities in the Kwun Tong area, the proposed development will be able to provide land resources for school provision, on top of the school facilities already provided within the gazetted CDA to support the population growth in Yau Tong and the surrounding areas.  In total, there will have 8 schools (5 primary and 3 secondary schools) in the proposed Yau Tong Bay Development.

2.4                      Enhancement to Open Space Provision

2.4.1                 Another shortcoming within the Kwun Tong area is the general shortage of open space.  The proposed waterfront promenade at Yau Tong Bay provides a public open space for recreational / tourism facilities and enjoyment of the public.  The promenade will also serve as a mode of transport that facilitates travel for pedestrians and possibly cyclists.  Cycle routes may be provided to promote tourism and encourage travel in an environmentally-friendly manner.  Moreover, the promenade will also be suitable to house various utilities.  The proposed development on the reclamation provides a natural sightline of the waterfront and will provide an ideal space for passive and even active recreation uses.

2.4.2                 The key environmental outcomes and public benefits of the project are summarized in the attached photomontages.

3.                         Major findings of the Environmental Impact Assessment Study for the Reclamation of YAU TONG BAY

3.1                      Noise Impacts

3.1.1                 An environmental noise impact assessment on the proposed Yau Tong Bay Development Reclamation has been conducted to predict the construction noise impacts at the Noise Sensitive Receivers (NSRs) in the Yau Tong neighbourhood.

3.1.2                 The potential noise sources identified include the construction noise from reclamation works and demolition of existing buildings and, noise impact from vehicular movement on haul roads. The EIA study will cover the combined impacts of all these works on the NSRs in the vicinity in accordance with the requirements laid down in the relevant Technical Memoranda.

3.1.3                 The predicted facade noise levels caused by the construction works will be within the 75dB(A) daytime construction noise standard for domestic premises throughout the whole reclamation period.

3.1.4                 Prediction results show that the nearby new schools located to the north and east of the site will not be adversely affected by the reclamation works.

3.1.5                 Recommendations including scheduling of work, siting of facilities, use of quiet Powered Mechanical Equipment (PME), use of temporary noise barriers and adopt good site practice have been given to further reduce the construction noise impacts.

3.2                      Water Quality

Assessment Criteria and Water Sensitive Receivers

3.2.1                 The water quality impacts of the YTB reclamation during the construction and operation phases were assessed against the Water Quality Objective (WQO) for the Victoria Harbour Water Control Zone (VHWCZ) and the relevant standards at the salt water intakes in the YTB area.  Water sensitive receivers (WSRs) most likely to be affected are:

Ÿ        The salt water intakes of the existing Cha Kwo Ling Salt Water Pumping Station (CKLSPS) and the potentially reprovisioned CKLSPS on the new waterfront of the YTB Reclamation (Full Reclamation option);

Ÿ        The salt water intakes of the existing and future reprovisioned Yau Tong Salt Water Pumping Station (YTSPS); and

Ÿ        The existing Dairy Farm Ice Factory salt water intake (DFSI).

Construction Phase Water Quality Impacts

3.2.2                 Sediment plume modeling was conducted to assess the water quality impact for the different construction phases of the proposed YTB reclamation.  Due to the larger reclamation extent for the Full Reclamation option than that of the Minimized Reclamation option, the former is taken as the worst case scenario for the water quality impact assessment.  Nevertheless, the construction sequence and methodology will be the same for the two reclamation options and thus mitigation measures proposed at present will be applicable to both options.

3.2.3                 According to the provisional construction programme, bulk filling will commence after the seawall construction and thus the plume is effectively confined in YTB.  Modeling results show that no major impact is expected in the Victoria Harbour during the construction phase.

3.2.4                 As a result of the dredging and filling activities for the YTB reclamation, an elevation of suspended solids in the water column was predicted at the WSRs.  The works schedule was carefully programmed so that the production rate, and thus the water quality impact, is minimized.  Furthermore, appropriate mitigation measures were recommended for the YTB reclamation as follows:

Ÿ        Closed grab dredgers with silt curtain should be used for the dredging and filling of seawall foundation and dredging of stormwater box culvert;

Ÿ        A silt curtain should be placed across the seawall opening during the Phase 1 and Phase 2 reclamations using bottom dumping;

Ÿ        Double layers of silt screen should be installed at the salt water intakes of the YTSPS, CKLSPS and DFSI; and

Ÿ        The filling rates of Phase 1 and Phase 2 reclamations should be limited to 10,000 m3day-1 and 6,000 m3day-1 respectively.

3.2.5                 With the proposed mitigation measures fully implemented, it is anticipated that the size of the sediment plume of the YTB reclamation (Full Reclamation option) will be reduced, minimizing the impact on Victoria Harbour. It is also expected that the SS concentration at the WSRs will satisfy the WSD tolerable limit for SS (20 mgL-1) at the CKLSPS and YTSPS, and the in-house standard of 20mgL-1 for SS at the DFSI at all times.

3.2.6                 Taking into account the impacts of other concurrent construction activities in Victoria Harbour, including:

Ÿ        The Western Coast Road – Coastal Option;

Ÿ        The Tseung Kwan O New Town Intensification and Extension;

Ÿ        The Tseung Kwan O Cargo Working Area; and

Ÿ        The South East Kowloon Development.

It was found that the YTB reclamation only contributes to a minor impact on the water quality near YTB.  With the implementation of the recommended mitigation measures, the concurrent construction activities in the Victoria Harbour are not expected to cause any unacceptable adverse impact to the Victoria Harbour and the identified water sensitive receivers.

3.2.7                 The model results indicate that temporary diversion of the YTB stormwater culvert to the existing water front, south of YTB, would have negligible impact on the water quality in the Victoria Harbour and other sensitive receivers.

3.2.8                 Laboratory analysis of marine sediment samples from YTB revealed that the potential release of contaminants during the dredging and surcharging works will not cause any exceedance of the UK Water Quality Standards for Coastal Surface Water, and thus, unacceptable adverse impact is not anticipated.

3.2.9                 An EM&A program is recommended to ensure that the YTB reclamation works would not cause unacceptable deterioration of water quality at the neighbouring salt water intakes and in Victoria Harbour.

Operation Phase Water Quality Impacts

3.2.10              A major concern of the YTB reclamation is the potential impact on the flow through Victoria Harbour and, in turn, the water quality.  Hydrodynamic modelling reveal that the changes in flow discharge rates through Victoria Harbour before and after the YTB reclamation (Full Reclamation option) would be very small and the tidal flow patterns would be similar with minor deviation near YTB.  With a reduction in the reclamation area and a more streamlined waterfront for the Minimized Reclamation option, the associated hydrodynamic and water quality impacts are expected to be even smaller than those predicted for the Full Reclamation option.  The results indicate that the YTB reclamation is unlikely to have any noticeable effect on the tidal flow regime and hence water quality in Victoria Harbour.

3.2.11              Although the predicted water quality at the existing CKLSPS intake will comply with the WSD target limit for saltwater intakes, a potential site have been proposed for future potential relocation of the CKLSPS to the new waterfront of YTB reclamation (Full Reclamation option).  The potential water quality impact of an emergency discharge from the Yau Tong Sewage Pumping Station on the reprovisioned CKLSPS has been assessed.  The model results indicate that the depth averaged water quality in terms of BOD5, SS and ammoniacal nitrogen is expected to meet the WSD standards at the reprovisioned CKLSPS; however, the E. coli standards will be exceeded.  The sewage plume is shown to attach to the shoreline and is buoyant at the surface with a thickness of less than 0.4m.  To avoid abstracting the sewage plume water, it is recommended that the salt water intake should be located below -2.0 mPD.  The intake water would then be expected to comply with the WSD water quality standards.  The optimal intake configuration should be reviewed and decided at the detailed design stage if relocation of the intake is intended by WSD.

3.2.12              The existing YTB stormwater culvert will eventually be extended to the new waterfront of YTB reclamation under whichever reclamation option.  The model results indicate that the polluted stormwater in the new Kwun Tong nullah and the new YTB stormwater culvert is not expected to have any noticeable water quality impact in Victoria Harbour, and at the existing and the potentially reprovisioned CKLSPS and YTSPS.

3.3                      Waste Management

3.3.1                 The drained reclamation method is recommended for YTB reclamation to minimize the volume of dredged sediments and the potential environmental impacts.  The estimated dredged volume for the Full Reclamation option is 175,150 m3, among which 82,800 m3 are classified as Category H mud. The estimated dredged volume for the Minimized Reclamation option is 112,170 m3,with 53,270 m3 classified as Category H mud.  It is considered that the potential impacts of the dredging works and associated dredged sediment disposal will be minimized provided that the recommended mitigation measures, including the procedures detailed in Works Bureau Technical Circular No. 3/2000 ‘Management of Dredged/Excavated Sediment’, are implemented. 

3.3.2                 With the recent implementation of the new sediment management framework as detailed in WBTC No. 3/2000, a sediment sampling and testing programme for the Sediment Quality Report will be required at the design stage in accordance with the requirements of WBTC No. 3/2000.  To determine the disposal requirements of dredged sediment identified as Category H (> 10 times the LCEL), Tier III biological screening (dilution test) would be required at the design stage.  Biological screening would also be required for Category M sediment.  Feasible disposal procedures for seriously contaminated sediments have been identified and no insurmountable impacts are anticipated.  These special disposal procedures will be examined in detail at the design stage, as necessary, based on the biological screening test results.

3.3.3                 Wastes generated by the reclamation works are likely to include general site wastes, workforce wastes, maintenance and chemical wastes, and construction and demolition material.  Provided that the identified waste arisings are handled, transported and disposed of using approved methods and that the recommended good site practices are adhered to, adverse environmental impacts are not anticipated.

3.4                      Biogas Risk

3.4.1                 Organically enriched material is planned to be left in-situ beneath the YTB Full Reclamation or the Minimized Reclamation option.  As methane gas could be generated under anaerobic conditions, there is a potential for this gas to be released either during construction or after development of the reclaimed area.

3.4.2                 The risk of gas generation becoming a development constraint of the YTB reclamation has been assessed.  The predicted methane gas generation potential is not expected to pose a constraint to the development of the proposed Full Reclamation or Minimized Reclamation option.

3.4.3                 As sensitive ‘at risk’ rooms have been identified at the proposed development, it is recommended that a precautionary principle be applied.  It is recommended that gas monitoring be undertaken in the immediate post-reclamation period (prior to the commencement of construction works on the reclamation) to measure methane concentrations in the fill and to determine actual rates of methane gas emissions.  The review of the monitoring results would determine the extent and type of gas protection measures to be incorporated in the building design to prevent the ingress and/or accumulation of any methane gas emissions to potentially dangerous concentrations.  Guidelines on criteria for evaluation of the gas monitoring results and gas protection measures requirements have been identified for both ground level and underground structures at the development.  As a further precaution, naked flames should not be permitted during construction involving drilling or excavation.

3.4.4                 The proposed monitoring guidelines and other precautionary mitigation measures should be examined further at the detailed design stage with regard to the specific design details of individual buildings.  With the incorporation of the recommended gas protection measures in the design of the buildings together with the implementation of the recommended precautionary measures, the risk to people and property due to biogas emissions from the YTB Full Reclamation or Minimized Reclamation option, is considered to be low.

3.5                      Land Contamination

3.5.1                 A detailed land contamination assessment for the site has been completed. Site investigation works, including soil testing for contamination level, were conducted in accordance with an endorsed Contamination Assessment Plan (CAP).  The soil and groundwater analytical results revealed that the marine lots were partly contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons and heavy metals.  High level of PCBs and PAH were also found in isolated locations.  Remediation methods for treating contaminated soil and groundwater were proposed in the Remediation Action Plan (RAP).  The detailed design and operations of the Biopile method for treating the petroleum hydrocarbons contaminant shall be submitted to EPD prior to commencement of the remediation.  The developer should implement and complete the required remediation works to the required standard prior to commencement of any development construction works.

3.6                      Visual & Landscape Impact

3.6.1                 The quality of the existing landscape of Yau Tong Bay is generally poor.  The access to waterfront is blocked by the shipyards, timberyards and open storage areas, and the bay is occupied by numerous vessels and barges.

3.6.2                 The construction activities will have low negative impact to the landscape resource and landscape character.  The negative impact would be further reduced if Reclamation Option 1 is adopted.

3.6.3                 The mitigation measures proposed will minimize the potential visual and landscape impact, although, the effect is limited.

3.6.4                 The extent of visual impact to adjacent lots will depend on the construction programme of these lots.  In general, Yau Tong Estate Redevelopment and EHC site Phase 1 and 2 will be completed and occupied by future resident during construction phase of the project, while resident for EHC site (Phase 3) will still not move in.

3.6.5                 The construction activities will have moderate negative visual impact to the future resident of Yau Tong Estate Redevelopment, EHC site (Phase 1 and 2), and Cha Kwo Ling Kaolin Mine Site, while the impact to the industrial workers at Ko Fai Road will be low. The visual impact to the existing resident at Sceneway Garden, Lam Tin Estate, Ping Tin Estate, Kwong Tin Estate, Hong Nga Court, Hong Pak Court, Ko Chun Court and Ko Yee Estate at mid level of Chiu Keng Wan Shan are considered low as their view toward the site will be mostly blocked by the housing blocks of Yau Tong Estate Redevelopment and Ko Chiu Road Estate Redevelopment (Phase 3 and 5) at year 2001, and EHC site development at year 2004 to 2006.

3.6.6                 During the operational phase, the impact will remain the same as construction phase if the flat piece of reclaimed land is allowed to left idle.  The impact would be reduced if construction work for proposed comprehensive development are proceed continuously after completion of reclamation work, although, there will likely be some negative impact due to the construction work.

3.6.7                 Based on the above study, the landscape and visual impact are considered acceptable with mitigation measures for both Reclamation Option 1 and Option 2.

3.6.8                 If coastal option of Western Coast Road is adopted, Reclamation Option 2   would be carried out and the proposed elevated structure of Western Coast Road would be constructed at the reclaimed land on western side of the project site, it would form a dominant feature along the waterfront of East Kowloon.  The visual impact is considered negative.  It would be beneficial to the harbour views if the Western Coast Road is built at grade on the reclaimed land directly.  If such proposal is adopted, footbridges and / or subways will be provided across the Western Coast Road to improve the pedestrian linkage from Yau Tong and CDA site to the waterfront.

3.6.9                 The magnitude of negative impact on both landscape and visual quality due to the proposed reclamation works at operational phase would be reduced if Tunnel Option for the future Western Coast Road is adopted (i.e. Reclamation Option 1).  It would also help to minimize the impact to the coastal line of Victoria Harbour as the proposed extent of reclamation works are reduced.

4.                         Scenario without the project

4.1             The existing Yau Tong Bay engulfed by marine lots has now become a pool of stagnant water and a source of nuisance.  Without this project, the industrial uses on the existing marine lots such as ship repairing, vehicle repairing, sawmills, industrial building, concrete batching plant and construction material storage may continue their operations for a very long period.  No one can estimate when they will be ceased.

4.2             Housing Department has already commenced many large-scale housing projects in the vicinity of the Site.  As a matter of fact, the stagnant water in the bay, together with the current industrial operations may cause nuisance to the residents of the housing estates when completed.  The harmful pollutants generated by the highly contaminated industry may affect the health of existing and Yau Tong Bay future residents.  Additionally, there will be some new schools opposite to Cha Kwo Ling Road of which one is in operation.  These schools are vulnerable to noise nuisance generated by the operations on the marine lots.

4.3             It is foreseeable that without the implementation of the project, the environment of Yau Tong Bay will deteriorate continuously; complaints from future nearby residents against the nuisance will pose a problem and pressure for the government.

5.                         Overall Conclusion

5.1             The existing Yau Tong Bay is currently characterised by industrial operations such as shipyards, timber yards, sawmills, construction materials storage, industrial building and vehicle repair workshops.  The existing environment of YTB is considered poor and is suspected to be polluted by the existing industries.  The stagnant water in the bay, together with the current industrial operations may cause nuisance to the future residents of the adjacent large-scale housing redevelopment projects when completed.  The harmful pollutants generated by the highly contaminated industry will also affect the health of existing and Yau Tong Bay future residents.

5.2             Additionally, the future and presently operated schools in the vicinity of Yau Tong Bay are vulnerable to noise nuisance generated by the operations on the existing marine lots.  It is foreseeable that complaints from future nearby residents against the nuisance will pose a problem and pressure for the government.

5.3             Reclamation of Yau Tong Bay and the subsequent development on the reclaimed land provide an opportunity to remove the existing polluting industrial operations at Yau Tong Bay.   It is undoubtedly to the benefits of everyone who lives or studies in Yau Tong for the bay to be reclaimed such that the nuisance caused by the polluting industrial operations could be removed as well.

5.4             The reclamation provides an opportunity for decommissioning the existing shipyards and demolition of building structures.  This project not only relieve the pollution problems caused by the existing industries, but also provide land to achieve important community development objectives, such as provisions of schools and open space for continuous seafront promenade.

5.5             The present EIA study for the YTB reclamation indicated that there would be no insurmountable environmental impact arising from the reclamation works in YTB, provided that the recommended mitigation measures for the adverse impacts during the different reclamation phases are implemented.  Environmental monitoring and auditing is required to verify the efficacy of the proposed mitigation measures and to ensure that the adverse impacts are minimized and the relevant standards are complied with at all times.