ES1.1 Background of the Project
In July 1992 the main findings of the West Kowloon Planning and Urban Design Study were published. That Study included an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which concluded that the generation of significant noise and air pollution from the West Kowloon Expressway placed major constraints on the extent to which the remaining land area could be used. A comprehensive package of mitigation measures were proposed and carried forward into the detailed design in order to achieve the environmental performance standards set in Chapter 9 of the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines (the prevailing standards of the time).
Changes in planning horizons as well as standards and guidelines have required some modifications to the detailed design of infrastructure associated with the development of the West Kowloon Reclamation. The changes which necessitated the current Study relate to the design criteria for the Link Road L (refer to Figure 1.1) which Transport Department instructed should be designed such that the radius increases from 44m to 63m. The implications of such a changes is that the Link Road L is closer to the sensitive receivers in Mei Foo Sun Chuen. In addition to which, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the overall project was conducted and approved before the EIA Ordinance was effected. This implies that any material changes to the design now need to be assessed in accordance with the requirements of the EIAO.
ES1.2 The Approach
The Project is for the construction of two link roads in the West Kowloon Reclamation Area as shown on Figure 1.1. The project is a Designated Project under Schedule 2, A.1 of the EIAO viz : “A road which is an expressway, trunk road, primary distributor or district distributor road including new roads, and major extensions or improvements to existing roads”. Accordingly the current Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Study Brief which was issued on 25th April 2000, reference No. PP-078/2000) under Section 5(1) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO). The purpose of this EIA Study is to provide information on the nature and extent of the environmental impacts which could arise from the construction and operation of this Project and any related activities, such as Route 9, which may be scheduled to take place concurrently.
This EIAR identifies sensitive receivers (SRs) within the Study Area, defines environmental parameters and features likely to be affected by the Project and sets out the criteria to be achieved. The mitigation measures which are necessary to ensure compliance with the relevant standards and criteria, as recommended by the Technical Memorandum (TM) to the EIAO have been defined along with any environmental monitoring and audit (EM&A) requirements.
For the purposes of this EIA the boundary of the Study Area for the air quality assessment defined by a distance of 500m from the boundary of the project area. For the noise impact assessment all potentially affected sensitive receivers within 300m of the project boundary have been assessed.
ES1.3 Objectives of the EIA
The specific objectives of the EIA study, as given in the Study Brief, are :
(i) to describe the proposed project and associated works together with the requirements for carrying out the proposed project;
(ii) 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 to the proposed project, including both the natural and man-made environment;
(iii) to identify and quantify emission sources and determine the significance of impacts on sensitive receivers and potential affected uses;
(iv) to propose the provision of infrastructure or mitigation measures so as to minimize pollution, environment disturbance and nuisance during construction and operation of the project;
(v) to identify, predict and evaluate the residual (i.e. after practicable mitigation) environmental impacts and the cumulative effects expected to arise during the construction and operation phases of the project in relation to the sensitive receivers and potential affected uses;
(vi) to identify, assesses 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 environmental impacts and to reduce them to acceptable levels;
(vii) to investigate the extent of side-effects of proposed mitigation measures that may lead to other forms of impacts;
(viii) to identify constraints associated with the mitigation measures recommended in the EIA study;
(ix) to design and specify the environmental monitoring and audit requirements, if required, to ensure the implementation and the effectiveness of the environmental protection and pollution control measures adopted; and
(x) to identify, within the study area, any individual project(s) that fall under Schedule 2 of the EIA Ordinance; to ascertain whether the findings of this EIA study have adequately addressed the environmental impacts of those projects; and where necessary, to identify the outstanding issues that need to be addressed in any further detailed EIA studies.
ES2 EVALUATION OF IMPACTS
ES2.1 Air Quality
The air quality assessments were carried out in accordance with the requirements of Annexes 4 and 12 of the Technical Memorandum to the EIAO.
The conclusions drawn for the construction phase were that construction of the Link Roads G & L will inevitably lead to dust generation. It is predicted that various construction activities during the establishment of embankment would give rise to high hourly TSP levels. Mitigation measures are therefore necessary to suppress dust emissions from construction activities through good site practice. In order to ensure full compliance with the criterion for dust, it is recommended that baseline dust monitoring and dust impact monitoring should be carried out prior to and during the construction works.
The results of the air quality assessment for the operational phase of the Link Roads G & L demonstrate that the predicted pollutant concentrations at ASRs comply with the criteria set in Hong Kong Air Quality Objectives for RSP and NO2. It may therefore be surmised that the air quality impacts associated with the operation of the Project are acceptable.
The assessments were carried out in accordance with the requirements of Annexes 5 and 13 of the Technical Memorandum of the EIAO.
The assessments concluded that the cumulative noise impact of both unmitigated construction activities of Link Roads G & L and mitigated construction activities of Route 9, would cause exceedance of the daytime construction noise criterion at the nearby noise sensitive receivers (NSRs) during the normal working hours. The most seriously affected areas are Mei Foo Sun Chuen, Phase 8, Block 112 (at MF3) by 77dB(A).
Therefore, adequate control measures will be necessary for the works at Link Roads G & L in order to meet the criterion. Mitigation measures including the use of quiet plant are proposed which will allow the residual noise level to be achieved. It is also recommended that regular monitoring of noise at NSRs will be required during the construction phase.
The assessment has predicted that the traffic noise levels including the contribution from Link Roads G & L at the year 2018 will result in exceedances of the road traffic noise criterion at the nearby NSRs such as Mei Foo Sun Chuen, KMB Bus Depot CDA site and Site 10 (designated for housing development).
The main noise contribution at all of these NSRs will be from existing roads and the relative contribution to the background noise level from the Link Roads G and L (new roads) is less than 1 dB(A). As a result, the traffic noise impact arising from the operation of Link Roads G & L can be complied with the EIAO-TM criteria. None of these NSRs will be eligible for indirect noise mitigation as a result of the construction of the Link Roads G and L as the contribution from the new road is less than 1.0 dB(A) in every case.
ES2.3 Waste Management
The potential environmental impacts associated with the handling and disposal of waste arising from the construction of Link Road G & L have been assessed. Operational impacts on the proposed route are not expected to be a key concern and as such no detailed assessment is necessary. Key issues include the need for effective waste management planning during the construction phase. The assessment has concluded that the potential environmental impacts associated with the handling, storage, treatment and disposal of waste arising for the construction of Link Roads G & L meet the requirements of the EIAO-TM.
ES2.4 Environmental Monitoring and Audit
In accordance with the requirements of the Study Brief the need for environmental monitoring and audit has been reviewed. It is considered that in view of the close proximity of the works to the residential developments at Mei Foo Sun Chuen that monitoring should be conducted during the construction phase to ensure that the recommendations of the EIA Report are being achieved. Monitoring of noise and dust levels should be carried out during construction. In addition to which, it is recommended that for one year after the construction phase has been complete operational road traffic noise monitoring is undertaken.
In addition to the foregoing there should be site audits conducted on a regular basis to ensure that the recommendations of the EIA for minimising environmental impacts are being complied with.
ES3 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION
The overall conclusion is that there is no residual impact on the environment following implementation of this Project. Recommendations are made for monitoring of the construction and operational phases of the work to ensure compliance with the findings of the EIA Report.