Advisory Council on the Environment

Report of the 39th EIA Subcommittee

(ACE Paper 38/98)
for advice

The EIA Subcommittee (the Subcommittee) considered the EIA Report on "Yuen Long Bypass Floodway (YLBF) Feasibility Study" at its meeting on 7 September 1998. This EIA report assesses the potential environmental impact arising from the proposed work under the construction of the YLBF project.

The Project

Key activities of the project was to construct a Bypass Floodway for diverting part of the flows entering the Yuen Long Nullah drainage system for the South of Yuen Long into the Kam Tin River, hence reducing the risk of flooding in Yuen Long.

Four alignment options were studied and one was recommended, which involved the construction of a 3.8km channel extending from the Yuen Long Main Nullah in the South to the Kam Tin River in the North as well as an inflatable dam and a pumping station at the downstream and of the YLBF just prior to connection with the Kam Tin River.

The EIA Study

The EIA study assessed the ecological impact of the project and recommended mitigation measures. It concluded that because of the increased ecological value of the created habitats from the mitigation measures, the residual ecological impact of the project is negligible. Moreover, with the landscaping trees and improved ecological linkage, it will lead to a general habitat enhancement along the entire 3.8km project corridor.

EIA Subcommittee's Views and Recommendations

The Subcommittee agreed to endorse the report on the understanding that creation of the marshcrete and grasscrete habitats would compensate for the loss of existing habitats in terms of ecological value.
The Subcommittee members noted that the report had already complied with the conditions set out in the Technical Memorandum under the EIAO.

Members accepted the assurance from the proponent that they would, first of all, undertake an ecological baseline survey of the proposed YLBF alignment within 3 months prior to the commencement of construction activities to ensure no significant recent changes in the habitat conditions; then after project completion, an experienced ecologist would conduct quarterly floral & faunal surveys during the first 2 years and annual surveys for the next 3 years to monitor the achievements made by the recreated habitats.

The Subcommittee noted that the requirement for the proponent to submit an ecological baseline study report before construction works started was already included in the EIA report.

The Chairman proposed and the members agreed to recommend ACE to endorse the captioned EIA report without conditions.

Members commended the proponent for their soft engineering approach to the project and suggested that such approach should be encouraged among other projects in the future.

Advice Sought

Members are requested to advise whether the EIA report should be endorsed.

EIA Subcommittee Secretariat
September 1998



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