Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (Cap. 499)
Section 5 (7)

Environmental Impact Assessment Study Brief No. ESB-015/1998

Project Title : East Rail Extensions - Tai Wai to Ma On Shan
The name of Applicant : Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation


1.1 An application (No. ESB-015/1998) for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study brief under section 5(1) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO) was submitted by the captioned Applicant on 15th October 1998 with a project profile (No. PP-024/1998) on the captioned project.

1.2 The Applicant proposes to design and implement the construction of a railway line from Tai Wai in Sha Tin to Lee On in Ma On Shan (complete with ancillary facilities such as a railway depot and nine stations, etc.) in order to meet the projected population growth and rail ridership demands. The project covered in the project profile is a Designated Project under the EIAO by virtue of Sections A.2 and A.4 of Schedule 2 under the Ordinance.

1.3 Pursuant to section 5(7)(a) of the EIAO, the Director of Environmental Protection (the Director) issues this EIA study brief to the captioned Applicant to carry out an EIA study.

1.4 The purpose of this EIA Study is to provide information on the nature and extent of environmental impacts arising from the construction, operation of the proposed project and all related activities taking place concurrently. This information will contribute to decisions by the Director on :

  1. the overall acceptability of any adverse environmental consequences that are likely to arise as a result of the proposed project;

  2. the conditions and requirements for the detailed design, construction, operation, of the proposed project; and

  3. the acceptability of residual impacts after the proposed mitigation measures are implemented.


2.1 The Objectives of the EIA Study are as follows:

  1. to describe the proposed project and associated works together with the requirements for carrying out the proposed project;

  2. 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;

  3. to identify and quantify emission sources and determine the significance of impacts on sensitive receivers and potential affected uses;

  4. to identify and quantify any potential losses or damage to flora, fauna and wildlife habitats;

  5. to identify any potential landscape and visual impacts and to propose measures to mitigate these impacts;

  6. to identify any potential impacts to the historical, archaeological and cultural resources within the study area and propose measures to mitigate these impacts;

  7. to propose the provision of infrastructure or mitigation measures so as to minimize pollution, environmental disturbance and nuisance during construction, operation of the proposed project;

  8. to identify, predict and evaluate the residual (i.e. after practicable mitigation) environmental impacts and cumulative effects expected to arise during the construction, operational phases of the proposed project in relation to the sensitive receivers and potential affected uses;

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

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

  11. to design and specify the environmental monitoring and audit requirements necessary to ensure the implementation and the effectiveness of the environmental protection and pollution control measures adopted.


3.1 The purpose of this study brief is to scope the key issues of the EIA study. The Applicant has to demonstrate in the EIA report that the criteria in the relevant sections of the Technical Memorandum on the Environmental Impact Assessment Process of the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (thereafter refer to as the TM), are fully complied with.

The Scope

3.2 The scope of this EIA study covers the proposed project mentioned in section 1.2 above, including :

  1. construction and operation of approximately 11.4 km of railway track, with ancillary facilities including a railway depot, nine stations, five public transport interchanges, two infeed substations, and five rectifier stations; and

  2. provision of mitigation measures which may be identified and/or recommended in this EIA study.

Technical Requirements

3.3 The Applicant shall conduct the EIA study to address all environmental aspects of the activities as describe in the scope as set out above. They are to include the following technical requirements as specific impacts :

3.4 Noise Impact Study

3.4.1 The "study area" shall be within 300m from either side and along the full stretch of the proposed railway alignment and associated facilities. However, the study area can be reduced accordingly if the first layer of the noise sensitive receivers (NSRs), closer than 300m from the Project, provides acoustic shielding to those receivers at further distance behind subject to the agreement with the Director.

3.4.2 The Applicant shall follow the criteria and guidelines for evaluating and assessing noise impact stated in Annexes 5 and 13 of the TM respectively.

  1. Provision of Background Information

    The Applicant shall provide all background information relevant to the project, e.g. relevant previous or current studies.

  2. Identification of Noise Sensitive Receivers

    1. The Applicant shall select assessment points to present all identified NSRs for carrying out quantitative noise assessment described below. The assessment point shall be agreed with the Director prior to the quantitative noise assessment. A map showing the location and description such as a name of building, use and floors of each and every selected assessment point shall be given.

    2. The NSRs shall include all existing NSRs and all planned/committed noise sensitive developments and uses earmarked on the relevant Outline Zoning Plans, Outline Development Plans & Layout Plans.

  3. Provision of an Emission Inventory of the Noise Sources

    The Applicant shall provide an inventory of noise sources for both the construction noise assessment and operational noise assessment. From a knowledge of the likely type, sequence and duration of construction activities required for the project implementation, identify those construction activities likely to cause noise problems to the receivers.

  4. Construction Noise Assessment

    1. The Applicant shall carry out assessment of noise from construction activities (excluding percussive piling) of the project during daytime, i.e. 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., on weekdays other than general holidays in accordance with the methodology stipulated in para 5.3 and 5.4 of Annex 13 of the TM. The criteria in Table 1B of Annex 5 of the TM shall be adopted in the assessment.

    2. To minimise the construction noise impact, alternative construction methods to replace percussive piling shall be proposed as far as practicable.

    3. If the unmitigated construction noise levels are found exceeding the relevant criteria, the Applicant shall propose practicable direct mitigation measures (including but not limited to movable barriers, enclosures, quieter alternative methods, re-scheduling and restricting hours of operation of noisy task) to minimise the impact. If the mitigated noise levels are still exceeding the relevant criteria, the duration of the noise exceedance shall be given.

  5. Operational Noise Assessment

    1. The Applicant shall assess the impacts during the operational phase of the proposed railway and the associated facilities, involving worst case scenario, normal, abnormal, transient and emergency operations, with respect to the acceptable levels contained in Table 1A in Annex 5 in the TM. The assessment methodology including the railway/train design noise level shall be agreed with the DEP prior to the commencement of the assessment.

    2. In assessing the noise level, the Applicant shall allow for a deterioration in rail and rolling stock condition from brand new to an operating level, address the worst case scenario, taking into account any other planned noise source. Noise contours in the maximum Leq(30 min) and Lmax during the day and at night shall be presented on plans of suitable scales showing the identified NSRs. Quantitative assessment at the identified NSRs for different alignment of the rail shall be compared against the relevant criteria or limits. The potential noise impact of each proposed alignment on the existing and planned NSRs shall be quantified by estimating the total number of dwellings and/or classrooms that will be exposed to levels above the relevant planning criteria and statutory limits.

    3. The Applicant shall make recommendations for noise amelioration for an existing or planned NSR which would be subject to predicted cumulative noise level in excess of the relevant planning criteria and statutory limits in the appropriate design year. A manual detailing the schedule of maintaining/capping the wheel/rail noise to suit the design specification shall be provided.

    4. For fixed noise sources (ventilating systems and fixed plants at stations and depot), the Applicant shall calculate the expected noise using standard acoustic principles. Calculations for the expected noise shall be based on assumed plant inventories and utilisation schedule for the worst case scenario. The Applicant shall calculate the noise levels taking into account of correction of tonality, impulsiveness and intermittency in accordance with the Technical Memorandum for the Assessment of Noise from Places other than Domestic Premises, Public Places or Construction Sites. The Applicant shall present the existing and future noise levels in Leq(30 min) at the NSRs on tables and plans of suitable scale. Quantitative assessment at the NSRs for proposed fixed noise source(s) shall be carried out and compared against the criteria set out in Table 1A of Annex 5 of the TM. The Applicant shall propose direct technical remedies within the project limits in all situations where the predicted noise level exceeds the criteria in Table 1A of Annex 5 of the TM to protect affected NSRs.

  6. Assessment of Side Effects and Constraints

    The Applicant shall identify, assess and propose means to minimize any side effects and to resolve any potential constraints due to the inclusion of the recommended direct technical remedies.

  7. Evaluation of Constraints on Planned Noise Sensitive Developments/Land Uses

    1. In the event that there are planned noise sensitive uses which will still be affected even with all practicable direct technical remedies in place, the Applicant shall propose, evaluate and confirm the practicality of additional measures within the planned noise sensitive uses and shall make recommendations on how these noise sensitive uses will be designed for the information of relevant parties.

    2. The Applicant shall take into account the agreed environmental requirements/constraints identified by the study to assess the development potential of the concerned sites which shall be made known to the relevant parties.

3.5 Air Quality Impact

3.5.1 The Applicant shall follow the requirements of the Air Pollution Control (Construction Dust) regulation in dust control and shall initiate an audit and monitoring programme during construction to ensure construction dust impacts within 500m of the Project are controlled within the relevant standard as stipulated in Annex 4 of the TM.

3.6 Water Quality Impact

3.6.1 The "study area" shall be within 300m from either side and along the full stretch of the proposed railway alignment and associated facilities.

3.6.2 The Applicant shall follow the criteria and guidelines for evaluating and assessing water pollution as stated in Annexes 6 and 14 of the TM respectively. Assess and evaluate the adverse effects on water quality of the watercourses/water bodies traversed by the route and the adverse effects of any discharge from railway stations and the depot, during the operation of the railway. They should include surface runoff and spillages due to railway accidents. Recommend mitigation measures to minimize any adverse effects identified. Specifically, the assessment shall address the following:

  1. collection and review of background information on the existing water system(s) and physical characteristics such as soil types and erodibility of the respective catchment(s) in particular for areas which might be affected by the proposed project during construction works;

  2. characterisation of water quality on the surrounding water systems and sensitive receivers which might be potentially affected by the proposed project both during construction and operation;

  3. identification of any activities such as filling and excavation which might lead to alteration of water courses, natural streams/ponds, changes of flow regimes, increase of in-stream erosion potential and changes of catchment area(s);

  4. prediction and quantification of impacts on the water system(s) and sensitive receivers due to changes identified in (iii) above. Possible impacts in particular during construction include changes in sediment erosion (both overland and in-stream) and deposition and the effects on the aquatic organism due to such changes. The prediction shall take into account and include possible different construction stages or sequences. Cumulative impacts due to other projects, activities or pollution sources within a boundary of 300 m from both sides along the identified water system(s) and sensitive receivers, shall be predicted and quantified;

  5. establishment of pertinent water quality objectives, criteria and standards for the water system(s) and all the sensitive receivers;

  6. assessment and evaluation of any potential water quality impacts on the identified water system(s) and sensitive receivers due to sewage arising from on-site construction workforce. Any effluent generated will require appropriate treatment and disposal. This assessment also shall include all future wastewater generation activities such as train washing facilities, analysis of the wastewater of these activities and assessment of the adequacy of existing and future sewerage infrastructure in particular the Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works;

  7. identification, assessment and evaluation of any potential stormwater pollution on the identified water system(s) and sensitive receivers during construction stages as to reduce the water and sediment quality impacts to within standards, objectives and criteria established in item (v) above. Best management practices shall be recommended to reduce any potential impacts arising from stormwater runoff during both construction and operational phases;

  8. erosion control plan during construction shall be established as per assessments carried out as described in item (iv) above. This erosion control plan shall incorporate details such as locations, sizes and types of best management practices, which will be used to reduce stormwater pollution arising during construction works. These requirements shall be incorporated in the project contract document and formed part of the permit conditions.

3.7 Waste Management Impact

3.7.1 The "study area" shall be generally within 500m from either side and along the full stretch of the proposed railway alignment and associated facilities. Where off-site impact may be caused (e.g. waste disposal or dumping), the study area shall also include locations beyond this limit.

3.7.2 The Applicant shall assess the waste management implications arising from the construction and operation of the project in accordance with Annex 7 and 15 of the TM. The assessment of waste management impacts shall cover the following:

  1. Land Contamination

    The Applicant shall identify any landuse within the Study Area boundary which have the potential to cause land contamination. An assessment shall be conducted to examine whether any leakage or spillage could have migrated to the works boundary. Mitigation and/or precautionary measures shall be proposed for any contamination identified.

  2. Analysis of Activities and Waste Generation

    Identify the quantity, type, quality and timing of the liquid and solid waste arising as a result of the construction, based on the sequence and duration of these activities.

  3. Proposal for Waste Management

    1. Prior to considering the disposal options for various types of wastes, opportunities for waste reduction/ reuse/ recycle shall be fully evaluated.

    2. Apart from taking into account all the opportunities for reducing waste generation, the types and quantities of the wastes required to dispose of as a consequence shall be estimated and the disposal options for each type of waste described in detail. The disposal method recommended for each type of wastes shall take into account the result of the assessment in section (c) below. All solid waste, wastewater and sludge, both during construction and operational phases, shall be conveyed by suitable means to be disposed properly outside the water gathering grounds.

    3. the impact caused by handling (including labelling, packaging and storage), collection, and disposal of wastes shall be addressed in detail. This assessment shall cover but not be limited to the following areas:

      • potential hazards;

      • air and odour emission;

      • noise;

      • wastewater discharge; and

      • public transport.

3.8 Ecological Impact (Both Aquatic And Terrestrial)

3.8.1 No ecological impact assessment is required. However, a brief description of the existing ecological conditions, within 500m from either side and along the full stretch of the proposed railway alignment and associated facilities, shall be provided.

3.9 Landscape And Visual Impact

3.9.1 For landscape impact, the "study area" shall be within 500m from either side and along the full stretch of the proposed railway alignment and associated facilities. As for visual impact, all sensitive receivers shall be assessed within the visual envelope outlining the area of land which there is a view of any part of the proposed Project and its structures.

3.9.2 The Applicant shall follow the criteria and guidelines for evaluating and assessing landscape and visual impact as stated in Annexes 10 and 18 of the Technical Memorandum, respectively. Both the impacts during construction and operation phases shall be assessed. Landscape and visual impact assessment shall cover the following:

  1. a baseline study to provide a comprehensive and accurate description of the baseline landscape and visual character;

  2. a review of the relevant planning and development control framework;

  3. impact studies to identify the potential landscape and visual impacts and predict their magnitude and potential significance; and

  4. recommendations on mitigation measures and implementation programme.

3.9.3 Assessment of Landscape Impacts The Applicant shall describe, appraise and analyse the existing landscape resource and character of the Study Area. It shall focus particularly on the sensitivity of the landscape framework such as open space, etc., and its ability to accommodate change. The Applicant shall identify the degree of compatibility of the proposed project with the existing landscape.

3.9.4 Assessment of Visual Impacts The Applicant shall assess the visual impacts of the proposed project. The assessment shall include the following:

  1. identification and plotting of visibility contours and visual envelope of the proposed project. The Study Area visual impact assessment shall be defined by the visual envelope of the proposed project.

  2. identification of the key groups of sensitive receivers within the visibility contours with regard to views from both ground level and elevated vantage points;

  3. description of the visual compatibility of the project with the surrounding, and its obstruction and interference with key views of the adjacent areas; and

  4. the severity of visual impacts in terms of distance, nature and number of sensitive receivers shall be identified. The visual impacts of the project with and without mitigation measures shall be assessed.

3.9.5 Review of Planning and Development Control Framework The Applicant shall review relevant outline zoning plans, outline development plans, layout plans, planning briefs and studies which may contain guidelines on urban design concepts, designated view corridors, open space networks and other design specifications that may affect the appearance of the project. Such review will give an insight to the future outlook of the area affected and ways the project can be assimilated into the environment. Any conflict with the statutory town plan shall be highlighted and appropriate follow up action shall be recommended.

3.9.6 Proposals for Mitigation Measures The Applicant shall recommend mitigation measures to minimise the adverse effects identified in 3.9.3 and 3.9.4 above, including the provision of a landscape design. The mitigation measures shall include the preservation of vegetation, transplanting of mature trees, provision of screen planting, revegetation of disturbed land, compensatory planting, reprovisioning of amenity areas and open spaces, design of structures, provision of finishes to structures, colour scheme and texture of materials used and any measures to mitigate the disturbance to the existing landuse. Parties shall be identified for the on-going management and maintenance of the proposed mitigation works to ensure their effectiveness throughout the operational phase of the project. A practical programme and funding proposal for the implementation of the recommended measures shall be presented.

3.9.7 Presentation Materials Perspective drawings, plans and section/elevation diagrams, photographs of scaled physical models, oblique aerial photographs, photo-retouching and computer generated photomontages shall be adopted to illustrate the landscape and visual impacts of the project. The Applicant shall record the technical details in preparing the illustration which may need to be submitted for verification of the accuracy of the illustration.

3.10 Heritage Impact Assessment

3.10.1 The "study area" shall be within 500m from either side and along the full stretch of the proposed railway alignment and associated facilities.

3.10.2 The historical, archaeological and cultural heritage impact study shall take into account the importance of cultural heritage within the study area in Hong Kong and address the potential impacts to the historical, archaeological and cultural resources within the study area.

3.10.3 The examination of the study area shall also allow a more general appraisal of archaeology, architectural history and historic landscapes of the areas that the development will take place. The project shall be modified and, if necessary, supplemented to accommodate off-site areas of spoil disposal, construction site and traffic routes which can affect archaeological, historic and cultural resources as these are identified during the evolution of the engineering design.

3.10.4 The historical, archaeological and cultural heritage impact assessment shall focus on:

  1. Investigation of archaeological potential of the study area by :

    1. developing a field evaluation programme to identify areas to be investigated;

    2. producing field evaluation protocols to determine the sampling technique, the sample rationale to be applied and the site record forms to be used, the evaluation protocols shall be compatible with the data capture requirements of the Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO);

    3. undertaking field evaluations.

  2. Identification of historical buildings and structures which will be affected by the remaining development within the study area including :

    1. historic buildings and structures include a variety of forms with a wide range of different functions like domestic, working and cultural uses, places of workshop, houses, agricultural buildings, boundary and milestones, industrial buildings and workshops; and

    2. landscape features include sites of historical events, historic field patterns, tracks and fish ponds and cultural elements such as fung shui woodlands and clan grave sites.

  3. Evaluation of impacts on cultural heritage and proposals for any mitigation measures with detailed elaboration on scope of work including:

    1. heritage resources within the study area shall be identified as far as practicable through reference to appropriate records, such as the archives of the AMO, and through consultations with relevant village representatives, appropriate academic sources and other Government sources, including the Lands Department, District Offices, etc.;

    2. if the Applicant identifies any additional buildings and structures within the study area which are of potential historic or cultural importance and not recorded by AMO, the office shall be reported as soon as possible. The historic and cultural value of the items will be further assessed by the AMO; and

    3. the criteria to be adopted to assess the level of direct and indirect impacts to the heritage resources and to develop appropriate mitigation measures, shall be established in close liaison with AMO during the course of the EIA Study.

3.10.5 The Applicant shall follow the criteria and guidelines for evaluating and assessing impacts on cultural heritage as stated in Annexes 10 and 19 of the TM respectively.

3.11 Hazard Assessment

3.11.1 The Applicant shall complete an hazard assessment for the Project in relation to the Towngas pipeline system, following the criteria and guidelines for evaluating and assessing hazard to life as stated in Annex 4 of the TM. The assessment shall cover both construction and operation stages. The objectives of the hazard assessment shall include the following:

  1. The Applicant shall notify and seek the views from the gas supply company in relation to any proposed railway alignment and associated development in the vicinity of gas pipelines.

  2. The Applicant shall conduct a study to identify and evaluate the extent of any potential impact or cumulative effect arising during the construction and operation of the proposed project, which is likely to threaten the integrity of gas pipelines or the associated facilities, in the vicinity of the proposed railway alignment, depots or stations, including areas such as:

    1. the effects of stray current inducted by the railway system on the corrosion protection system of the gas pipeline in the vicinity;

    2. the effects of vibration induced during the construction and operation of rail;

    3. the effects of any additional structural loading caused by any construction directly above the gas pipelines.

      The study shall also include:

    4. the execution of a Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) expressing population risks in both individual and societal terms; and

    5. a comparison of individual and societal risks with Government Risk Guidelines and comment on the acceptability of the assessed risk;

  3. Identification of the risk management strategies required to render the risks acceptable;

  4. Determination of the social perception and acceptability of the potential risks;

  5. Identification and assessment of practicable and cost effective risk mitigation measures.

The methodology of hazard assessment, the risk/hazard ranking system shall be agreed and approved by the Director of Environmental Protection and the Director of Electrical & Mechanical Services prior to commencing with detailed studies.


4.1 Environmental Monitoring & Audit (EM&A) Requirements

4.1.1 The Applicant shall identify in the EIA study whether there is any need for EM&A activities during the construction and operational phases of the project and, if affirmative, to define the scope of the EM&A requirements for the project in the EIA study.

4.1.2 Subject to the confirmation of the EIA study findings, the Applicant shall comply with the requirements as stipulated in Annex 21 of the TM.

4.1.3 The Applicant shall prepare a project implementation schedule, in the form of a check list as shown in annex I attached, containing all the EIA study recommendations and mitigation measures with reference to the implementation programme.


5.1 This EIA study brief is valid for 24 months after the date of issue. If the EIA study does not commence within this period, the Applicant shall apply to the Director for another EIA study brief afresh before commencement of the EIA study.


6.1 In preparing the EIA report, the Applicant shall refer to Annex 11 of the TM for the contents of an EIA report. The Applicant shall also refer to Annex 20 of the TM which stipulates the guidelines for the review of an EIA report.

6.2 The Applicant shall supply the Director with the following number of copies of the EIA report and the executive summary :

  1. 40 copies of the EIA report in English and 40 copies of the executive summary (each bilingual in both English and Chinese) as required under section 6(2) of the EIAO to be supplied at the time of application for approval of the EIA report.

  2. when necessary, addendum to the EIA report and the executive summary submitted in (i) above as required under section 7(1) of the EIAO, to be supplied upon advice by the Director for public inspection.

  3. 40 copies of the EIA report in English and 40 copies of the executive summary (each bilingual in both English and Chinese) with or without Addendum as required under section 7(5) of the EIAO, to be supplied upon advice by the Director for consultation with the Advisory Council on the Environment.

6.3 In addition, to facilitate the public inspection of the EIA Report via the EIAO Internet Website, the Applicant shall provide electronic copies of both the EIA Report and the Executive Summary Report prepared in HyperText Markup Language (HTML) (version 4.0 or later) and in DynaDoc Format (version 3.0 or later) [for Chinese documents] and in Portable Document Format (PDF version 3.0 or later) [for English documents], unless otherwise agreed by the Director. For the HTML version, a content page capable of providing hyperlink to each section and sub-section of the EIA Report and the Executive Summary Report shall be included in the beginning of the document, and all graphics in the report shall be in interlaced GIF format.

6.4 The electronic copies of the EIA report and the Executive Summary shall be submitted to the Director at the time of application for approval of the EIA Report.

6.5 When the EIA Report and the Executive Summary are made available for public inspection under s.7(1) of the EIA Ordinance, the content of the electronic copies of the EIA Report and the Executive Summary must be the same as the hard copies and the Director shall be provided with the most updated electronic copies.


7.1 During the EIA study, if there is any change in the name of the Applicant for this EIA study brief, the Applicant mentioned in this study brief must notify the Director immediately.

7.2 If there is any key change in the scope of the project mentioned in section 1 of this EIA study brief and in the Project Profile (No. PP-024/1998), the applicant must seek confirmation from the Director in writing on whether or not the scope of issues covered by this EIA study brief can still cover the key changes, and the additional issues, if any, that the EIA study must also address. If the changes to the project fundamentally alter the key scope of the EIA study brief, the Applicant shall apply to the Director for another EIA study brief afresh.


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