Advisory Council on the Environment

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Subcommittee of The Advisory Council on the Environment


(ACE-EIA Paper 5/2001)
for advice

EIA Study on the Decommissioning of Cheoy Lee Shipyard (CLS)


This paper informs Members of the progress and tentative schedule of the EIA study on the decommissioning of CLS (paragraphs 5 - 9). It also seeks Members' views on the proposal to remove asbestos-containing materials at CLS ahead of completion of the decommissioning EIA study (paragraphs 10 - 14).


2. CLS is located at the north and eastern shores of Penny's Bay with a site area of about 19 hectares (Annex 1). It had been in operation since 1964 and its operations included boat manufacture and boat repair / maintenance. In early April 2001, the CLS site was reverted to Government for the implementation of Hong Kong Disneyland (HKD) Phase 1, which includes construction of the necessary supporting infrastructure such as the Penny's Bay Section of Chok Ko Wan Link Road, Road P2 and a Water Recreation Centre. CLS needs to be decommissioned and demolished as a result.

3. Decommissioning of CLS is a designated project under item 17, Part II of Schedule 2 of the EIA Ordinance. The decommissioning involves demolition and removal of all buildings and structures and, where necessary, decontamination of site areas. It also includes implementation of appropriate mitigation measures to avoid and minimise any adverse environmental impacts arising from the decommissioning works so that the site would be made safe and free of hazards for future use. A decommissioning EIA study is required under the EIA Ordinance.

4. When this Council considered and endorsed the Northshore Lantau Development Feasibility Study EIA report in April 2000, the land contamination issues concerning CLS had been broadly assessed. Although the EIA report concluded that there would be no insurmountable conditions for the future use of the CLS site, Members were concerned about the extent of possible land contamination. Against this background, the Administration committed that no works within CLS, except for investigation works necessary for the completion of the decommissioning EIA study, should be commenced before completion of the decommissioning EIA study and an environmental permit obtained from DEP.


5. The decommissioning EIA study for CLS commenced in September 2000 with the submission of a Project Profile by Civil Engineering Department (CED) to Director of Environmental Protection (DEP) to apply for an EIA Study Brief. Key activities undertaken and submissions made since commencement of the decommissioning study are set out in the following table :

Key Activity / Submission Date
1. Submission of Project Profile by CED to DEP September 2000
2. Issue of EIA Study Brief by DEP November 2000
3. Environmental Study Management Group (ESMG) formed December 2000
4. Advanced Site Investigation December 2000
5. Submission of Discussion Paper on the EIA Approach, Methodology and Programme January 2001
6. Submission of Working Paper on Assessment Methodology March 2001
7. Submission of Revised Discussion Paper April 2001
8. Commencement of Detailed Site Investigation April 2001
9. Submission of Contamination Assessment Plan (CAP) May 2001
10. Approval of CAP by DEP May 2001

Site Investigation

6. As part of the decommissioning EIA study, it is necessary to carry out site investigation works at CLS in order to identify the extent and nature of land contamination, and to propose the necessary remedial measures to clean up the site. An advanced site investigation was undertaken in December 2000 within CLS to provide a preliminary indication of the extent of ground contamination. Soil and groundwater sampling at 13 boreholes for testing against ground contamination was completed on 28 December 2000.

7. Preliminary testing results indicate that soil contamination with heavy metals or Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) occurred at some sampling locations at surface level only. TPH and heavy metals were also detected in groundwater samples but none exceed levels based on the risk-based criteria. Furthermore, no contamination was found in the soil and groundwater samples taken at the waste disposal and burn pit area (a potential contamination hotspot).

8. With the reversion of CLS to Government in early April 2001, a contract for detailed site investigation was awarded on 9 April 2001. The contract comprises geophysical survey, drillholes, exploratory trenches and associated laboratory testing. Detailed site investigation has since commenced and is scheduled for completion in October 2001.

Schedule of the Decommissioning EIA Study and Shipyard Decommissioning Works

9. Overall, the decommissioning EIA study is progressing on schedule. It is expected that the study will be completed in November 2001. The key activities and milestones are as follows :

Activity / Submission Date
Completion of EIA Study November 2001
Submission of EIA Report November 2001
Public Exhibition of EIA Report Dec. 2001 - Jan. 2002
ACE deliberation on EIA Report Dec. 2001 - Feb. 2002
Approval of EIA Report by DEP March 2002
Commencement of Decommissioning Works July 2002

Subject to DEP's approval of the EIA report, the decommissioning works are expected to commence in July 2002.


10. An advanced asbestos survey was conducted at CLS in December 2000 to estimate the extent of asbestos-containing materials (ACM) of concern. During the survey, a large quantity of ACM was found at the corrugated sheet roofing of the shipyard buildings. A detailed asbestos survey was subsequently conducted in April 2001 on all accessible areas of CLS. The detailed survey confirmed existence of ACM on the building superstructures of CLS.

Statutory Requirements

11. Removal of ACM is controlled under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance (APCO). An Asbestos Investigation Report and an Asbestos Abatement Plan are required under APCO to be submitted to DEP for approval before asbestos removal work could be carried out. In the present case, as asbestos removal at CLS would involve demolition and disposal of roofing (asbestos corrugated sheets) of a number of buildings within the shipyard, they are also considered part of the shipyard decommissioning for which an environmental permit is required under the EIA Ordinance.

12. As ACM is hazardous to health, we consider it essential that asbestos removal and abatement works at CLS be carried out at the earliest possibility to reduce the risk of inadvertent disturbance and exposure to ACM by future site contractors and workers responsible for the shipyard land decontamination and decommissioning works. In this connection, we assessed that asbestos abatement works at CLS, which involve only demolition and disposal of roofing and building superstructures, would not affect the ground soil, which is key to the on-going decommissioning EIA study on land contamination. We also assessed that asbestos abatement works, if carried out with appropriate mitigation measures, should unlikely cause adverse environmental impacts. We therefore propose that asbestos abatement works be carried out at CLS as soon as possible ahead of completion of the decommissioning EIA study. Mitigation measures such as covering floor slabs with heavy-duty impervious membrane to prevent soil contamination by ACM, or washing out of contaminates in the soil by rain/surface run-off, are proposed to be implemented during the asbestos abatement works.

13. Subject to comments of this Council, we plan to apply to DEP for an environmental permit under section 5(11) of the EIA Ordinance for the proposed asbestos removal work prior to completion of the decommissioning EIA study. Although the proposed asbestos abatement works do not involve any land decontamination works, we consider it prudent to re-consult this Council on the proposed works given the Administration's undertaking not to commence any works within the CLS site before completion of the decommissioning EIA study. The proposed works, if permitted to go ahead, will need to comply with all relevant environmental standards and guidelines. The EIA report on the decommissioning of CLS, when completed, will be duly reviewed according to established statutory procedures, including consultation with this Council and the public, before DEP's consideration.


14. Members are invited to give views on the proposal to commence asbestos abatement works at CLS before completion of the decommissioning EIA study.

Civil Engineering Department
July 2001


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