Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (Cap. 499)
Section 5 (7)
Environmental Impact Assessment Study Brief No. ESB-143/2006
Project Title: EIA Study for a Proposed Helipad on Rooftop of the Proposed North Lantau Hospital at Yu Tung Road, Tung Chung, Lantau
Name of Applicant: Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food, Hong Kong SAR Government
(hereinafter known as the “Applicant”)
1.1 An application (No. ESB-143/2006) 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 14 March 2006 with a project profile (No. PP-280/2006).
1.2 The Project is to construct and operate a helipad of about 40m in diameter on the rooftop of the proposed North Lantau Hospital. (Location Plan in Figure 1). The helipad is mainly for “casevac” (casualty evacuation) operations to facilitate rapid transfer of patients to receive urgent medical attention in an emergency. The proposed helipad will require construction of the North Lantau Hospital complex first.
1.3 Pursuant to section 5(7)(a) of the EIAO, the Director of Environmental Protection (the Director) issues this Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study brief to the 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 and operation of the proposed designated project and related activities that take place concurrently. This information will contribute to decisions by the Director on:
(i) the overall acceptability of any adverse environmental consequences that are likely to arise as a result of the proposed project;
(ii) the conditions and requirements for the detailed design, construction and operation of the proposed project to mitigate against adverse environmental consequences wherever practicable; and
(iii) the acceptability of residual impacts after the proposed mitigation measures are implemented.
2. OBJECTIVES OF THE EIA STUDY
2.1 The objectives of the EIA study are as follows:
(i) to describe the proposed project and associated works together with the requirements for carrying out the proposed project;
(ii) to provide information on the consideration of alternative sites, design and construction method(s) to avoid and minimize the potential adverse environmental impacts, and to provide justifications and constraints for selecting the proposed option and to describe the part environmental factors played in the selection process;
(iii) 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;
(iv) to identify and quantify emission sources and determine the significance of impacts on sensitive receivers and potential affected uses;
(v) to propose the provision of or mitigation measures so as to minimize pollution, environmental disturbance and nuisance during construction and operation of the project;
(vi) to investigate the feasibility, practicability, effectiveness and implications of the proposed mitigation measures;
(vii) to identify, predict and evaluate the residual environmental impacts (i.e. after practicable mitigation) 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;
(viii) 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 reducing them to acceptable levels;
(ix) to investigate the extent of the secondary environmental impacts that may arise from the proposed mitigation measures and to identify constraints associated with the mitigation measures recommended in the EIA study, as well as the provision of any necessary modification; and
(x) 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.
3. DETAILED REQUIREMENTS OF THE EIA STUDY
3.1 The purpose of this study brief is to scope the key issues of the EIA study and to specify the environmental issues that are required to be reviewed and assessed in the EIA report. 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 (hereinafter referred to as the TM), are fully complied with.
3.2 The scope of the EIA study shall cover the Project proposed in the Project Profile and the associated works mentioned in Section 1.2 above. The EIA study shall address the likely key issues described below, together with any other key issues identified during the course of the EIA study:
(i) the potential helicopter noise impacts from the operation of the proposed helipad on the nearby sensitive receivers;
(ii) the potential air quality impacts due to operation of the helipad, in particular on the nearby air sensitive receivers such as any fresh air intakes of the hospital;
(iii) the potential glare impacts on the nearby residents due to floodlights installed for the operation of the helipad; and
(iv) the potential noise, air quality and waste impacts during construction of the Project.
Background Information and Considerations in Choosing the Current Site
3.3 In meeting the objectives of the EIA study as stated in sections 2.1(i) and 2.1(ii) above, the EIA report shall include the following information:
3.3.1 Background Information of the Project
The Application shall provide information on the background and reason for the Project. The Applicant shall also explain clearly the purpose and objectives of the Project and describe the scenarios with and without the Project.
3.3.2 Considerations of Alternative Site
The Applicant shall provide information on their selection of the current site for the Project, in particular if consideration was given to use the existing helicopter landing facilities at the Chek Lap Kok Airport. Factors that had been taken into account to avoid or reduce the potential environmental impacts of the Project shall be included. Other factors or constraints affecting the site selection and operation of the Project shall also be stated if appropriate.
3.3.3 Consideration of Alternative Design, Alternative Approach and Departure Paths and Operation Details
The Applicant shall consider alternative design, layout and construction methods for the proposed project with an aim to avoiding or minimising the potential environmental impacts of the project. The EIA study shall also explore different approach and departure paths, and operation details such as frequency of flight and type of helicopters with a view to avoid or minimising the potential helicopter nuisances to the noise sensitive receivers (NSRs). The Applicant shall compare the environmental impacts, environmental benefits and dis-benefits of each of possible options, and provide justifications and recommend the preferred option with layout and design that will avoid or minimise adverse environmental effects arising from the Project. The Applicant shall describe the part that environmental factors played in arriving the final selection.
3.4 The Applicant shall conduct the EIA study to address all environmental aspects of the activities as described in the scope as set out above. The EIA study shall include the following technical requirements on specific impacts:
3.4.1 Noise Impact
220.127.116.11 The Applicant shall follow the criteria and guidelines for evaluating and assessing noise impact as stated in Annexes 5 and 13 of the TM respectively.
18.104.22.168 The noise impact assessment shall include the followings:
(i) Determination of Assessment Area
The noise impact assessment shall generally include all areas within 400m from the project helipad location and the flight paths within Tung Chung town area. Subject to the agreement of the Director, the assessment area could be reduced accordingly if the first layer of noise sensitive receivers, closer than 400m from the project boundary, provides acoustic shielding to those receivers located further away. If the assessment indicates likely exceedances of the noise standards in the TM at the NSRs, the assessment area shall be expanded to include NSRs at greater distance which would also be affected by construction or operation of the Project such as residential buildings in Yat Tung Estate, Fu Tung Estate, Tung Chung Crescent, Man Wan New Village, Coastal Skyline and Caribbean Coast.
(ii) Provision of Background Information
The Applicant shall provide all background information relevant to the project including relevant previous and current studies.
(iii) Identification of Noise Sensitive Receivers
(a) The Applicant shall refer to Annex 13 of the TM when identifying the NSRs. The NSRs shall include all existing and all planned or committed noise sensitive developments and uses earmarked on the relevant Outline Zoning Plans, Outline Development Plans and Layout Plans and other relevant published land use plans.
(b) The Applicant shall select assessment points to represent all identified NSRs for carrying out quantitative noise assessment described below. The assessment points shall be agreed with the Director prior to the quantitative noise assessment. A map shall be given showing location and description, such as name of building, use, and number of floors of each and every selected assessment points.
(iv) Provision of an Emission Inventory of the Noise Sources
The Applicant shall provide an inventory of noise sources including construction equipment for construction noise assessment; and, for operational noise assessment, helicopter types, noise emission level, flight frequency, flight path and fixed plant equipment.
(v) Construction Noise Assessment
(a) The Applicant shall carry out assessment of noise impact from construction (excluding percussive piling) of the project during day time, i.e. 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., on weekdays other than general holidays in accordance with the methodology stipulated in paragraphs 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.
(b) If the unmitigated construction noise levels are found to exceed the relevant criteria, the Applicant shall propose practicable direct mitigation measures (including movable barriers, enclosures, quieter alternative methods, re-scheduling and restricting hours of operation of noisy task(s) to minimize the impact. If the mitigated noise levels still exceed the relevant criteria, the duration of the noise exceedance shall be given.
(c) In case the Applicant would like to evaluate whether construction works in restricted hours as defined under the Noise Control Ordinance (NCO) are feasible or not in the context of programming construction works, reference should be made to the relevant technical memoranda issued under the NCO. Regardless of the results of construction noise impact assessment for restricted hours, the Noise Control Authority will consider a well-justified Construction Noise Permit (CNP) application, once filed, based on the NCO, the relevant technical memoranda issued under the NCO, and the contemporary condition/situations of adjoining land uses and any previous complaints against construction activities at the site before making his decision in granting a CNP. This aspect should be explicitly stated in the noise chapter and the conclusions and recommendations chapter in the EIA report.
(vi) Operational Noise Assessment
(a) The Applicant shall carry out assessment of noise impact from operation of the Project during both daytime and night-time in accordance with the methodology stipulated in Annex 13 of the TM. The criteria in Table 1A of Annex 5 of the TM shall be adopted in the assessment. The impact shall cover helicopter operation at the helipad and during its approach and departure from the helipad. Where applicable, noise contours should be provided to facilitate appreciation of the extent of the potential noise impacts. The Applicant shall evaluate the worst-case scenarios in terms of flight types, flight paths and frequency.
(b) Observing Section 4.4.2(c) of the TM, where specific methodologies are not listed in the annexes or where the methodologies for certain issues can only be established on a case-by-case basis, the Applicant shall propose a methodology to assess the impact which is consistent with the methodologies adopted for Hong Kong projects having similar issues or with methodologies accepted by recognized national/international organization.
(vii) Proposals for Noise Mitigation Measures
(a) The Applicant shall propose direct technical remedies in all situations where the noise level exceedances are predicted following the principle of Annex 13, section 6 of the TM such as alternative land use arrangement, alternative siting or treatment at source etc.
(b) The total number of noise sensitive receivers that will be benefited by the provision of direct technical remedies should be provided. The total number of other noise sensitive receivers that will still be exposed to noise above the criteria with the implementation of all recommended direct technical remedies shall be quantified.
(viii) 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 arising from the inclusion of any recommended direct technical remedies.
3.4.2 Air Quality Impact
22.214.171.124 The Applicant shall follow the criteria and guidelines for evaluating and assessing air quality impact as stated in section 1 of Annex 4 and Annex 12 of the TM respectively. The assessment shall be based on the best available information at the time of the assessment.
126.96.36.199 The study area for air quality impact assessment shall generally be defined by a distance of 500 m from the boundary of the project site, yet it shall be extended to include major emission sources that may have a bearing on the environmental acceptability of the Project. The assessment should include but not limited to the existing, planned and committed sensitive receivers within the study area.
188.8.131.52 The air quality impact assessment shall include the following:
(i) Background and analysis of activities
(a) Provide background air quality levels in the assessment area and background information relating to air quality issues relevant to the Project.
(b) Give an account, where appropriate, of the consideration/measures that had been taken into consideration in the planning of the Project to abate the air pollution impact. That is, the Applicant shall consider alternative construction methods/phasing programmes and alternative modes of operation to minimize the constructional and operational air quality impact respectively.
(ii) Identification of Air Sensitive Receivers and Examination of Emission Characteristics
(a) Identify and describe representative existing and planned/committed air sensitive receivers (ASRs) that would likely be affected by the Project, including those earmarked on the relevant Outline Zoning Plans, Development Permission Area Plans, Outline Development Plans and Layout Plans and other relevant published land use plans. The Applicant shall select the assessment points of the identified ASRs such that they represent the worst impact point of these ASRs. A map clearly showing the location and a description such as the name of the buildings, the uses and height of the selected assessment points shall be given. The separation distances of these ASRs from the nearest emission sources shall also be given.
(b) Provide an exhaustive list of air pollutant emission sources, including any nearby emission sources which are likely to have impact on the Project.
(iii) Constructional air quality impact
The Applicant shall follow the requirements of the Air Pollution Control (Construction Dust) Regulation in dust control to ensure construction dust impacts are controlled within the relevant standards as stipulated in section 1 of Annex 4 of the TM.
(iv) Operational air quality impact
The Applicant shall assess the expected air pollutant impact at the identified ASRs, in particular the potential air quality impacts due to operation of the helipad on the nearby air sensitive receivers such as any fresh air intakes of the hospital. If the assessment indicates likely exceedances of the recommended limits in the TM at the ASRs, a quantitative impact evaluation following the requirements in Appendix 1 shall be carried out.
(v) Mitigating measures for non-compliance
The Applicant shall propose remedies and mitigating measures where the predicted air quality impact exceeds the criteria set in section 1 of Annex 4 in the TM and assess the associated residual impacts.
3.4.3 Waste management
184.108.40.206 The Applicant shall follow the criteria and guidelines for evaluating and assessing waste management implications as stated in Annexes 7 and 15 of the TM, respectively.
220.127.116.11 The EIA report shall cover the following:-
(i) the quantity, quality and timing of the waste arising as a result of the construction and operation activities, such as any emergency helicopter maintenance, based on the sequence and duration of these activities, including the locations, duration, means of transportation of waste, potential routes of transportation, and air and noise impacts caused by the associated traffic trips.
(ii) the consideration of the opportunities for reducing waste generation and on-site or off-site re-use prior to considering the disposal options for various types of wastes. Measures which can be taken in the planning and design stages, e.g. by modifying the design approach and in the construction stage for maximizing waste reduction shall be separately considered;
(iii) having taken into account all the opportunities for reducing waste generation and maximising reuse, the Applicant shall estimate the types and quantities of the wastes required to be disposed of as a consequence and shall describe the disposal options for each type of waste in detail. The disposal method recommended for each type of wastes shall take into account the result of the assessment set out below. The EIA report shall state clearly the disposal outlets for the wastes identified;
(iv) the impact caused by handling (including labelling, packaging & storage), collection, and disposal of wastes shall be addressed in detail and appropriate mitigation measures proposed.
3.4.4 Glare Impact and Illustration Materials
18.104.22.168 The Applicant shall identify and evaluate the glare impact on the nearby residents due to the floodlights installed for the operation of the helipad.
22.214.171.124 The Applicant shall submit design proposal in the form of cross sectional plans, perspective drawings and photomontages, where appropriate, that covers the form and appearance of the proposed helipad and the measures to mitigate the glare impact.
3.4.5 Summary of Environmental Outcomes
126.96.36.199 The EIA report shall contain a summary of the key environmental outcomes arising from the EIA study, including the population and environmentally sensitive areas protected, environmentally friendly designs recommended, key environmental problems avoided, compensation areas included and the environmental benefits of environmental protection measures recommended.
4. ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING & AUDIT (EM&A) REQUIREMENTS
4.1 The Applicant shall identify in the EIA study whether there is any need for EM&A activities during the construction and operation phases of the project and, if affirmative, to define the scope of the EM&A requirements for the project in the EIA study.
4.2 Subject to the confirmation of the EIA study findings, the Applicant shall comply with the requirements as stipulated in Annex 21 of the TM.
4.3 The Applicant shall prepare a project implementation schedule (in the form of a checklist) containing all the EIA study recommendations and mitigation measures with reference to the implementation programme.
5. DURATION OF VALIDITY
5.1 The Applicant shall notify the Director of the commencement of the EIA study. If the EIA study does not commence within 36 months after the date of issue of this EIA study brief, the Applicant shall apply to the Director for a fresh EIA study brief before commencement of the EIA study.
6. REPORT REQUIREMENTS
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:
(i) 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.
(ii) when necessary, addendum to the EIA report and the executive summary submitted in 6.2 (i) above as required under section 7(1) of the EIAO, to be supplied upon advice by the Director for public inspection.
(iii) 20 copies of the EIA report in English and 50 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 The Applicant shall, upon request, make additional copies of above documents available to the public, subject to payment by the interested parties of full costs of printing.
6.4 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.
6.5 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.
6.6 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.
6.7 To promote environmentally friendly and efficient dissemination of information, both hardcopies and electronic copies of future EM&A reports recommended by the EIA study shall be required and their format shall be agreed by the Director.
7. OTHER PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS
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 1.2 of this EIA study brief and in Project Profile (No. PP-280/2006), 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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Quantitative Assessment Methodology
(a) The Applicant shall assess the air pollutant concentrations, where necessary, with reference to the Guidelines for Local-Scale Air Quality Assessment Using Models issued by the Modeling Section, Air Policy Group, Environmental Protection Department, HKSAR dated March, 2000 (Reference: EPD's home page under items for Air - http://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/) or other methodology as agreed by the Director.
(b) The Applicant shall apply the general principles enunciated in the modelling guidelines stated in (a) above while making allowance for the specific characteristic of each project. This specific methodology must be documented in such level of details (preferably with tables and diagrams) to allow the readers of the assessment report to grasp how the model is set up to simulate the situation at hand without referring to the model input files. Details of the calculation of the emission rates of air pollutants and a map showing all the road links for input to the modelling shall be presented in the report. The Applicant must ensure consistency between the text description and the model files at every stage of submission. In case of doubt, prior agreement between the Applicant and the Director on the specific modelling details shall be sought.
(c) The Applicant shall, based on the nature of the activities analysed in S.188.8.131.52 (i) and (ii) of this Study Brief, identify the key/representative air pollutant parameters (types of pollutants and the averaging time concentration) to be evaluated and provide explanations for choosing these parameters for the assessment of the impact of the Project.
(d) The Applicant shall assess the expected cumulative air pollutant concentrations at the identified ASRs and compare these results against the criteria set out in section 1 of Annex 4 in the TM. The predicted air quality impacts (both unmitigated and mitigated) shall be presented in the form of summary table and pollution contours, for comparison with relevant air quality standards and examination of the land use implications of these impacts. Plans of suitable scale shall be used for presentation of pollution contour to allow proper determination of buffer distances requirements.
(e) All input and output file(s) of the model run(s), if any, shall be submitted to the Director in electronic format.