This Section highlights the predicted environmental performance of the two facilities based on the information presented in Parts 2 and 3 and recommends the preferred facility. The information presented here will feed into Section 4 that also incorporates information on marine traffic impacts and cost implications.
In the comparison of facilities it is important to note that under the Strategic Assessment and Site Selection Study for Contaminated Mud Disposal (Agreement CE 105/98), a detailed review of potential sites for a new contaminated mud disposal facility was undertaken throughout Hong Kong waters. The study recommended that a site within the area East of the Airport be taken forward as the preferred site for such a facility.
Although members of ACE had no objection to proceeding with the site, they considered that the remaining portions of East of Sha Chau should still be considered. As such, this study has investigated the potential of the two areas to accommodate a new contaminated mud disposal facility.
Despite the proven acceptability and close proximity of the existing facility at East of Sha Chau, the purpose of the assessment was to thoroughly evaluate both the East of Sha Chau and South Brothers Facilities in terms of acceptability of predicted impacts to water quality, marine ecology, fisheries, hazard to health, noise and cultural heritage from dredging, backfilling and capping of the pits, as well as that from concurrent activities. Through this assessment, differences in the potential environmental performance of each facility have become apparent. These are discussed below.
Through the adoption of currently acceptable dredging, backfilling and capping rates, the construction and operation of either the East of Sha Chau or the South Brothers Facilities would result in only minor exceedances of the Water Quality Objectives. In terms of impacts to sensitive receivers, these exceedances would be likely to occur at the Airport Exclusion Zone Artificial Reef through the construction and operation of the South Brothers Facility and in the marine waters to the east of the boundary of the Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park for the East of Sha Chau Facility. In terms of acceptability, it is considered that the potential impacts to the waters adjacent to the Marine Park would be of a slightly higher concern than those to the Artificial Reef however both impacts are considered to be minor .
A detailed evaluation of both the East of Sha Chau and South Brothers Facilities has been undertaken to determine their relative suitability for the development of a contaminated mud disposal facility in terms of environmental impacts. Due to potential planning constraints on the North Lantau coastline, such as the landing point of the North Lantau Highway Connection of the Hong Kong Section of the Hong Kong Zhuhai Macau Bridge and the proposed reclamation of the Lantau Logistics Park, it is proposed that to avoid the possibility of cumulative impacts occurring during the construction of new developments, East of Sha Chau would be the preferred site.
It is important to note, however, that in terms of overall impacts, both facilities are considered to be acceptable on the grounds that both meet the relevant assessment criteria. Should the area currently selected for the East of Sha Chau Facility not be available when required, unacceptable adverse impacts associated with proceeding sequentially with the South Brothers Facility, if considered necessary, would not be expected to occur.
In order to verify this assumption, a review of potential
impacts to water quality from increases in suspended sediments arising from
East of Sha Chau Facility concurrently with the South
Brothers Facility has been conducted (Annex
A). The findings indicated that no adverse impacts would be expected to water
quality sensitive receivers when compared to the allowable increases as defined
by the WQO.
It should be noted,
however, that the assessment has been conducted on maximum operations without
the use of operational controls and include the potential impact from other
concurrent projects, such as disposal in the North Brothers Facility.
with the South Brothers Facility, it is recommended that, following the guidelines
of the EIAO TM, the precautionary principle be applied and operations in
Pit A should be activated first.
Activity in Pit B should only proceed if monitoring results for Pit A
demonstrate sufficiently the acceptability of environmental impacts. In addition, due to the proximity of
Tai Ho Bay and the, at present, uncertainty in the landing point of the North
Lantau Highway Connection of the Hong Kong Section of the Hong Kong Zhuhai
Macau Bridge and the proposed reclamation of the Lantau Logistics Park,
operations at Pit C should be avoided following the precautionary
A tentative programme of the
above works is presented
in Figure 1.3a. It
should be noted that the timeline presen ts
predict ed timeframes for each work s component.
Figure 1.3a Tentative Programme of Works