Advisory Council on the Environment

Report of the 46th Environmental Impact Assessment Subcommittee Meeting


(ACE Paper 36/99)
For advice


At its meeting on 6 September 1999, the Subcommittee endorsed the following EIA reports:

  1. "Route 9 between Tsing Yi and Cheung Sha Wan Detailed Feasibility Study"; and
  2. the "Sai Sha Road Widening between Kam Yin Road and Proposed Road T7 Junction".

2.The Subcommittee also commented on the Initial Assessment Report (IAR) of the "KCRC East Rail Extensions - Sheung Shui to Lok Ma Chau Spur Line".


3.Members are requested to advise whether the two EIA reports mentioned in paragraph 1 above should be endorsed and are invited to note the Subcommittee's comments on the IAR mentioned in paragraph 2.


Route 9 between Tsing Yi and Cheung Sha Wan Detailed Feasibility Study
(ACE EIA Paper 19/99)

4.Route 9 is intended to provide a strategic link between Northwest Tsing Yi and West Kowloon, to allow for forecast growth in traffic demand between the Northwest New Territories, Lantau Island and the urban areas as a result of the developments in Tung Chung, Tai Ho, Yuen Long, Tuen Mun and Tin Shui Wai, as identified in the Territorial Development Strategy Review. The route alignment which runs through predominantly industrial areas was examined as part of the Feasibility Studies carried out for Route 3 in 1988 and 1990. Environmental factors were considered at an early stage and the alignment was chosen to avoid sensitive receivers as far as possible.

5.The EIA has addressed the noise impact on all existing and planned sensitive receivers. Noise mitigation measures including low noise surfacing on all new roads and noise barriers are recommended. The residual noise contribution from Route 9, on top of those contributed by the existing road network, is less than 1 dB(A).

6.The alignment of Route 9 runs mostly through industrial and urban areas and the only areas with potential ecological impacts are the portal areas adjacent to the Nam Wan Tunnel. The ecological assessment has not revealed any key habitats or species of particular ecological interest and the extent of damage to existing habitats will be minimal. Mitigation measures include minimizing damage through detailed design and good site practice during construction and the replanting of disturbed areas with native species.

Views and Recommendations of EIA Subcommittee's Members

7.Members' concerns mainly focussed on the noise and ecological impacts. The Highways Department, the project proponent, provided written responses to address Members' concerns. The Subcommittee agreed to recommend to the Council to endorse the report without condition.

Sai Sha Road Widening between Kam Yin Road and Proposed Road T7 Junction
(ACE EIA Paper 20/99)

8.To meet the anticipated traffic growth upon completion of the various proposed developments in Ma On Shan, the section of Sai Sha Road between Kam Ying Road and the proposed Trunk Road T7 needs to be widened as recommended in the Shatin and Ma On Shan District Traffic Study completed in 1995.

9.The EIA has addressed the noise impact on all existing and a number of planned sensitive receivers. Mitigation measures such as noise barriers were recommended. About 170 dwellings not meeting the standard would still be benefited by 1 to 2 dB(A) from the prevailing noise levels of 2001. As the residual noise contribution from proposed widening works is less than 1 dB(A), these dwellings are not eligible for provision of Indirect Technical Remedies.

10.The landscape quality of the study area is classified as medium. To alleviate the impacts arising from the extension of road infrastructure, introduction of footbridge and roadside noise barriers, compensatory planting and soft landscape treatment are recommended.

Views and Recommendations of EIA Subcommittee's Members

11.Members' concerns mainly focussed on the impacts on air and water quality as well as compensatory planting. The Highways Department, the project proponent, provided written response to address Members' concerns. The Subcommittee agreed to recommend to the Council to endorse the report without condition.

KCRC East Rail Extensions - Sheung Shui to Lok Ma Chau Spur Line
(ACE EIA Paper 21/99 & 22/99)

12.The project is a designated project under Schedule 2 Part 1, A.2 of the EIA Ordinance. An EIA Study is being conducted for the project in accordance with the EIA Study Brief issued by Environmental Protection Department (EPD). While the completion of the statutory EIA report is currently planned for early 2000, the Initial Assessment Report (IAR) has been prepared to provide preliminary assessments of the most important environmental issues identified.

13.The scope the project will involve:

  1. construction of Lok Ma Chau station; including associated supporting facilities;
  2. construction of a permanent way of total route length of 7.4km between Lok Ma Chau and Sheung Shui station;
  3. a two level pedestrian bridge linking Lok Ma Chau and Huanggang Stations; and
  4. the diversion of Dong Jiang raw water mains north of the Sheung Shui Station and construction of other reprovisioning works.

14.Director of Environmental Protection and other relevant authorities consider that the IAR generally shows there are no insurmountable environmental impacts and that the overall environmental performance of the proposed project could meet the requirements as stipulated in the Study Brief and Technical Memorandum on EIA Process. However, further mitigation measures should be developed in the full EIA report to take into account the future development plan for North East New Territories when such development plans are published.

Views and Recommendations of EIA Subcommittee's Members

15.Members discussed the IAR at the meeting. Queries mainly focussed on potential noise, water quality and ecological impacts, sewage discharge as well as waste disposal.

16.The project proponent confirmed that the proposed viaduct option was the best approach as compared to the tunnel or at-grade alternatives in terms of their environmental performance in various aspects. The viaduct option also allowed flexibility for potential future developments along the Spur Line.

17.The project proponent undertook that an effective noise attenuation system which was developed for the West Rail would be adopted on the Spur Line to ensure compliance with the statutory limits. This system would provide the flexibility for future enhancement as edge wall barrier heights could be incrementally extended up to full enclosure if necessary. The proponent also undertook to look into the potential noise impact on wild life.

18.On water quality, the project proponent clarified that the potential impacts from stormwater run-off from the railway would be minimal. On-site sewage treatment works with disinfection facilities would be provided at Lok Ma Chau Station. An equivalent pollution load extracted from the adjacent San Tin Drainage Channel would be treated in order to offset the pollution load to Deep Bay. The system would be operated by KCRC itself. In addition, a contingency plan which was similar to the one for the West Rail would be put in place in case the biological treatment system failed. The proponent also promised that a solid waste disposal plan would be incorporated as one of the contractual obligations of the contractor.

19.On ecological impact, the project proponent confirmed that the width and length of the access roads for the construction works would be minimized and taken into account when calculating the habitat loss in the project. Cumulative impacts of other on-going and planned projects in the vicinity would also be accounted for in the final report. The proponent further stated that no problems were anticipated in acquiring a piece of government land adjacent to Lok Ma Chau Station as ecological compensatory area. Further information on the approach to habitat creation and management for ecological enhancement of the area would be provided in the EIA report.

20.On the whole, the project proponent was advised to finalize the EIA report in the context of the on-going planning study of the concerned area. The Noise Control Ordinance would be complied with and the noise impact would be reduced to the minimal through adopting appropriate mitigation measures including full enclosures if necessary. The potential impact on wild life would also be studied in more details in the final report. While stormwater run-off was confirmed by the project proponent to cause insignificant impact , it was agreed that a contingency plan for biological treatment system as well as a solid waste disposal plan would be put in place. The proponent was well aware of the ecological significance of the site area and would ensure the availability of adequate compensatory area for implementing appropriate mitigation measures. Not only the size of the compensatory area but also the habitat creation and management proposal for enhancing ecological value of the area would be accounted for in the EIA report. Finally, an environmental management system would also be adopted for monitoring and auditing the overall mitigated impacts of the project on the same basis as that developed for the West Rail.

Planning, Environment and Lands Bureau
September 1999


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