1.                  INTRODUCTION


Purpose of the Manual


1.1              The purpose of this Environmental Monitoring and Audit (EM&A) Manual is to guide the set up of an EM&A programme to ensure compliance with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study recommendations, to assess the effectiveness of the recommended mitigation measures and to identify any further need for additional mitigation measures or remedial action.  This Manual outlines the monitoring and audit programme for the construction and operation phases of the proposed Project, namely “Improvements to San Tin Interchange” (hereinafter referred to as “the Project”).  It aims to provide systematic procedures for monitoring, auditing and minimising environmental impacts associated with construction works and operational activities.


1.2              Hong Kong environmental regulations and the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines have served as environmental standards and guidelines in the preparation of this Manual.  In addition, the EM&A Manual has been prepared in accordance with the requirements stipulated in Annex 21 of the Technical Memorandum on the EIA Process (EIAO TM).


1.3              This Manual contains the following information:

·         responsibilities of the Contractor, the Engineer or Engineer’s Representative (ER), Environmental Team (ET) and Independent Checker (Environment) (IC(E)) with respect to the environmental monitoring and audit requirements during the course of the Project;

·         project organisation for the Project;

·         the basis for, and description of the broad approach underlying the EM&A programme;

·         requirements with respect to the construction programme schedule and the necessary environmental monitoring and audit programme to track the varying environmental impact;

·         details of the methodologies to be adopted, including all field laboratories and analytical procedures, and details on quality assurance and quality control programme;

·         definition of Action and Limit levels;

·         establishment of Event and Action plans;

·         requirements for reviewing pollution sources and working procedures required in the event of non-compliance with the environmental criteria and complaints;

·         requirements for presentation of environmental monitoring and audit data and appropriate reporting procedures; and

·          requirements for review of EIA predictions and the effectiveness of the mitigation measures / environmental management systems and the EM&A programme.

1.4              For the purpose of this Manual, the ET leader, who shall be responsible for and in charge of the ET, shall refer to the person delegated the role of executing the EM&A requirements.



Project Description


Project Background


1.5              In 1999, Lok Ma Chau Crossing carried an average daily flow of 18,000 vehicles (two-way). Based on the Crosslinks Further Study and the assessment of Transport Department, the total cross-boundary traffic is predicted to increase at an average rate of 9% per annum in the coming years before the opening of the Deep Bay Link and the Sheung Shui to Lok Ma Chau Spur Line. However, Lok Ma Chau Crossing, being situated on the preferred route of cross-boundary traffic, is envisaged to be heavily used in the longer term. While the road system of Lok Ma Chau Crossing will be improved in stages to cope with the projected traffic growth, capacity deficiency is envisaged in the future at San Tin Interchange.


1.6              According to Transport Department’s assessment, the design flow/ capacity ratios of the two approaches to San Tin Roundabout from San Tin Highway slip road and the Fanling Highway slip road will exceed the allowable capacity in 2011. As such, improvements by means of elevated roads are required to segregate the cross-boundary goods vehicles in order to relieve the traffic queues in the existing San Tin roundabout.


1.7              Apart from improving the capacity of San Tin Interchange, there is a need to provide a large enough vehicle northbound holding area at Lok Ma Chau corridor to accommodate the excessive goods vehicle demand during traffic incidents or emergencies so as to reduce the resulting adverse traffic impact of cross-boundary traffic queues on the strategic and local road networks. As such, the capacity of the existing vehicle holding area is required to be increased from 350 to about 830 goods vehicle spaces. The net increase of 480 vehicles would help reduce the queues of goods vehicles on approach roads by a total of about 6km i.e. 3km on San Tin Highway and 3km on Fanling Highway.  An emergency vehicle holding area (EVHA) will be provided to assist the existing vehicle holding area in handling the goods vehicle traffic and the usage of the EVHA will be limited to emergency situation only. 


1.8              In addition, Transport Department identified the need for earlier completion and operation of the proposed EVHA and link bridges prior to the completion of the slip roads so as to provide early relieving of traffic queues in the existing road networks.


1.9              Following the submission of the draft EIA Report in April 2003, the road scheme for the Improvements to San Tin Interchange was revised significantly due to the objections during the public consultation through Yuen Long District Council and San Tin Rural Committee in May 2003.  The major concerns were regarding the land use and potential development of San Tin Village, and also the adverse environmental and traffic impacts caused by heavy good vehicles using the new roads. In the revised scheme, the originally proposed EVHA and the two associated link bridges connecting the EVHA and the existing vehicle holding area have been deleted.   However, a local widening of Castle Peak Road, realignment of the road connecting San Tin Highway and Castle Peak Road, construction of three at-grade roads alongside the EMDC and a new bridge connecting the existing access track to the proposed slip road have been added.


1.10          The revised scheme avoids encroachment upon the Conservation Area (CA) by the originally proposed link bridges and occupation of a large area in Wetland Buffer Area (WBA) for the proposed EVHA.  Also, the road alignments are shifted away from San Tin Village.  It is believed that the revised scheme will induce less impact to the environment.  The draft Final EIA report is prepared based on the revised scheme.


Project Location and Scope


1.11          The proposed site of the Project is located at the San Tin Interchange in the San Tin region of the North-West New Territories.  The two proposed elevated slip roads from westbound Fanling Highway and eastbound San Tin Highway will merge to form a 4-lane carriageway and then connect to San Sham Road leading to the existing vehicle holding area at the Lok Ma Chau Boundary Crossing.  The preliminary layout of the Project is shown in Figure 1.1. 


1.12          The scope of this Project of Improvements to San Tin Interchange comprises:


(a)        provision of two elevated 2-lane slip roads of totally about 1.4 km in length from the westbound Fanling Highway and northbound San Tin Highway which will merge to form a 4-lane carriageway and then connect to San Sham Road leading to the existing vehicle holding area;


(b)        provision of two at-grade slip roads to connect Kwu Tung Road and Castle Peak Road to the elevated slip roads and San Sham Road;  


(c)        provision of a local widening of the existing Castle Peak Road with a box culvert extension; 


(d)        realignment of the at-grade existing slip roads connecting Castle Peak Road and San Tin Highway;


(e)        provision of a bridge crossing the San Tin Eastern Main Drainage Channel (EMDC) and realignment of the EMDC maintenance access road to connect the existing access track to Castle Peak Road;


(f)          provision of associated landscape, drainage street lighting, traffic aids and E&M works;


(g)        provision of associated noise mitigation measures in the study area along the proposed elevated structures; and


(h)        provision of associated drainage mitigation measures.


1.13          The Project is a Designated Project under Schedule 2, Part I A.8 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO) (Cap. 499) and requires an environmental permit under the EIAO for its construction and operation. 



1.14          The main objective of the EIA Study is to provide information on the nature and extent of potential environmental impacts arising from the construction and operation of the proposed Project and related activities taking place concurrently, and to contribute to decisions on the overall environmental acceptability of the Project, after the implementation of environmental mitigation measures.


Construction Programme


1.15          The construction of the Project will commence in April 2005 and complete in March 2007. The preliminary construction programme is presented in Figure 1.2. 


Environmental Monitoring and Audit Requirements


1.16          The following sub-sections summarise the EM&A requirements recommended in the draft Final EIA Report.


Noise Impact


1.17          Owing to the potential noise impact arising from the construction activities of the Project on the nearby noise sensitive receivers, the EIA recommended that a monitoring and audit programme for construction noise be undertaken.  The EM&A is required to monitor compliance with permissible noise levels and to check the effectiveness of the recommended mitigation measures.  Details of the EM&A are provided in Section 2.


1.18          It was recommended that traffic noise monitoring be carried out after the completion of the Project to check the effectiveness of the direct mitigation measure for road traffic noise impact.  The monitoring procedures and locations are presented in Section 2.

Air Quality Impact


1.19          The air quality assessment concluded that the TSP level at the air sensitive receivers are well within the dust criteria with the implementation of mitigation measures stipulated in the Air Pollution Control (Construction Dust) Regulation.  Dust monitoring during the construction of the Project was considered not necessary, but weekly site audits are required to ensure that the dust control measures are properly implemented.


Water Quality Impact


1.20          The water quality assessment concluded that the identified water quality impacts could be minimized by implementing the recommended mitigation measures for the construction works, such as control measures on runoff and drainage from the works areas to minimise construction run-off and proper site management and good housekeeping practices.  No unacceptable residual water quality impact was expected.  Any effluent discharges from the site would be required to comply with the terms and conditions of a discharge licence, issued by EPD, under the WPCO.  It was recommended that regular site inspections be undertaken to inspect the construction activities and works areas in order to ensure the recommended mitigation measures are properly implemented.  In addition, a specific water quality EM&A programme was recommended during the site clearance and formation of the at-grade road sections for slip roads E and F and for Bridge A and the local widening of the existing Castle Peak Road, in view of these construction works being located in the vicinity of the San Tin River.


Waste Management Implications


1.21          The mitigation measures recommended in the EIA Report should form the basis of the site Waste Management Plan to be developed by the Contractor at the construction stage.  It was recommended that the waste arisings should be audited periodically to determine if wastes are being managed in accordance with approved procedures and the site Waste Management Plan.  The audits should look at all aspects of waste management including waste generation, storage, transport and disposal.  An appropriate audit programme would be to undertake a first audit near the commencement of the construction works, and then to audit on a quarterly basis thereafter.  In addition, the routine site inspections should check the implementation of the recommended good site practices and other waste management mitigation measures.


Ecological Impact


1.22          The ecological assessment concluded that only minor and acceptable impacts would result from the proposed works. Therefore, aside from auditing the implementation of the recommended mitigation measures, no specific ecological EM&A programme would be required.


Fisheries Impact


1.23          Assessment of potential impacts on fisheries concluded that no direct or indirect impacts on fish pond operations or resources would be expected. There were no fish ponds along or in close proximity to the alignment of the proposed works. It was recommended that there is no requirement for fisheries specific mitigation measures.


Impact on Cultural Heritage


1.24          The assessment of potential impact on cultural heritage concluded that there would be no adverse impacts to any of the recorded built heritage features and graves within the Assessment Area.  As such, monitoring and audit would not be required during the construction phase of the Project. 


Landscape and Visual Impact


1.25          The implementation and maintenance of the landscape compensatory planting measures was considered a key aspect and should be checked to ensure that the proposal are fully realised.  The EIA Study recommended that the detail design, implementation and operational maintenance of all the proposed landscape and visual mitigation measures be included within the EM&A programme.  In the design stage, EM&A would consist of auditing the detailed landscape design.  Construction and operational stage EM&A would comprise audit of the tree transplanting, compensatory planting and planting establishment in the form of site inspection.  Details of the EM&A are presented in Section 7.


Land Contamination


1.26          The requirements for EM&A with respect to land contamination, if necessary, would be determined upon completion of all relevant land contamination assessment works.

Project Organisation


1.27          The proposed project organisation and lines of communication with respect to environmental protection works are shown in Figure 1.3.


1.28          The leader of the Environmental Team (ET) shall be an independent party from the Contractor and shall possess at least 10 years experience of EM&A and have relevant professional qualifications, which shall include being an Accredited Monitoring Professional of the HKIEIA, subject to approval of the EPD.  The Independent Checker (Environment) (IC(E)) shall have the same experience and professional qualifications as stipulated above for the ET Leader.


1.29          The responsibility of respective parties are:


The Contractor:

·             provide information/advice to the ET regarding works activities which may contribute, or be continuing to the generation of adverse environmental conditions;

·             submit proposals on mitigation measures in case of exceedances of Action and Limit levels in accordance with the Event and Action Plans;

·             implement measures to reduce impact whenever Action and Limit levels are exceeded;

·             implement the corrective actions instructed by the Engineer;

·             accompany joint site inspection undertaken by the ET; and

·             adhere to the procedures for carrying out complaint investigation in accordance with Section 9.

Environmental Team:

·             monitor various environmental parameters as required in the EM&A Manual;

·             analyse the environmental monitoring and audit data and review the success of EM&A programme to cost-effectively confirm the adequacy of mitigatory measures implemented and the validity of the EIA predictions and to identify any adverse environmental impacts arising;

·             carry out site inspection to investigate and audit the Contractors' site practice, equipment and work methodologies with respect to pollution control and environmental mitigation, and effect proactive action to pre-empt problems;

·             audit and prepare audit reports on the environmental monitoring data and site environmental conditions;

·             report on the environmental monitoring and audit results to the IC(E), Contractor, the ER and EPD or its delegated representative;

·             recommend suitable mitigation measures to the Contractor in the case of exceedance of Action and Limit levels in accordance with the Event and Action Plans; and

·             adhere to the procedures for carrying out complaint investigation in accordance with Section 9.


Engineer or Engineer’s Representative:

·             supervise the Contractor’s activities and ensure that the requirements in the EM&A Manual are fully complied with;

·             inform the Contractor when action is required to reduce impacts in accordance with the Event and Action Plans;

·             participate in joint site inspection undertaken by the ET; and

·             adhere to the procedures for carrying out complaint investigation in accordance with Section 9.

Independent Checker (Environment)(IC(E)):

·             review the EM&A works performed by the ET (at not less than monthly intervals);

·             audit the monitoring activities and results (at not less than monthly intervals);  

·             report the audit results to the ER and EPD in parallel;

·             review the EM&A reports (monthly and quarterly summary reports) submitted by the ET;

·             review the proposal on mitigation measures submitted by the Contractor in accordance with the Event and Action Plans; and

·             adhere to the procedures for carrying out complaint investigation in accordance with Section 9.


1.30          Sufficient and suitably qualified professional and technical staff shall be employed by the respective parties to ensure full compliance with their duties and responsibilities, as required under the EM&A programme for the duration of the Project.