Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (Cap. 499)
(ACE-EIA Paper 9/2001)
Environmental Impact Assessment Report for Application No. EIA-057/2001
Central - Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link
1. This paper presents the key findings and recommendations of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the Central - Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link (CWB & IECL) submitted under Section 6 (2) of the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO) as application no. EIA-057/2001. A presentation will be made by the Highways Department (HyD) and their consultants. Comments from the public and the ACE will be taken into account by the Director of Environmental Protection when he makes the decision on the approval of the EIA report under the EIAO.
2. Members' views are sought on the findings and recommendations of the EIA Report.
Need for the Project
3. According to the EIA report, the CWB & IECL is planned to relieve the traffic along the existing main east-west route of Connaught Road - Harcourt Road - Gloucester Road on the north shore of the Hong Kong Island.
Description of Designated Project
4. This is a Designated Project under section A.1, Part I of Schedule 2 of the EIAO.
5. The project involves the construction of a 4km trunk road and associated slip roads connecting the existing Rumsey Street Flyover Extension in Central and Island Eastern Corridor in Causeway Bay (Figure 1). The majority of the works for the CWB & IECL will be constructed on future land to be reclaimed under the Central Reclamation Phase III (CRIII) and Wan Chai Development Phase II (WDII) projects which are contiguous.
6. The EIA study for CWB & IECL was submitted together with the two EIA studies for CRIII and WDII in order to address the overall cumulative environmental impacts of these three projects holistically.
Specific Environmental Aspects to Highlight
7. The major environmental issues identified for this project are : noise, air, landscape and visual impacts.
8. Dwellings along elevated sections of the trunk road will be subject to traffic noise from the proposed and existing roads. The EIA has recommended the following measures to mitigate the traffic noise impact (Figure 2):
semi-enclosures of a total length of 164 m for the eastbound and westbound carriageways of IECL;
4 to 7 m high vertical and cantilevered barriers of a total length of 651 m at the westbound carriageway of IECL;
5.5 m high cantilevered noise barrier of a total length of 81 m at the central divider of IECL; and
7 m high vertical barrier of a total length of 210 m at one of the slip roads of IECL.
9. With the implementation of the above direct measures, exceedances of 1 -13 dB(A) are still predicted at most of the NSRs, with contribution predominantly due to existing roads. However, no NSRs could fulfill all eligibility criteria for indirect technical remedies in the form of window insulation and air-conditioning and none will be eligible for these measures.
10. With the implementation of measures to include the use of quite plant, reduction in the number of plants to be used simultaneously, and the provision of temporary movable noise barriers, the cumulative noise impact at nearby Noise Sensitive Receivers (NSRs) will be mitigated to within the established assessment criteria except at the City Hall, the Arts Centre and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Extension. However, as these 3 buildings are equipped with central air-conditioning system and noise insulation facilities, adverse noise impacts to their users are not anticipated.
Operational Air Quality
11. Air quality at nearby Air Sensitive Receivers subject to vehicular emissions from both the existing and planned roads would be within the Air Quality Objectives (AQO) and hence no mitigation measure is required.
12. The predicted 24-hour average NO2 concentration is expected to be the highest at the planned hotel site in the future WDII close to the existing Cross Harbour Tunnel, where the NO2 level will just comply with the AQO criterion of 150μg/m3 at 1.5m above ground. However, as the planned hotel is expected to be centrally air-conditioned, no adverse air quality impact is anticipated if the fresh air intakes are properly positioned.
Landscape and Visual
13. Due to the elevated road structures of IECL with noise barriers, receivers located in selected vantage points in Tin Hau, Tai Hang, Causeway Bay and Wan Chai Districts would generally be exposed to adverse visual impacts.
14. The EIA has recommended the following measures to mitigate the visual impacts of the project:
Erection of screen hoarding during construction to screen the construction works from sensitive receivers;
Soft landscape design around ventilation buildings to reduce the visual impacts; and
Provision of a screen wall adjacent to the Causeway Bay Waterfront Promenade to screen the elevated road section of IECL.
Environmental Monitoring and Audit
15. A framework for EM&A has been put forward in the EM&A Manual submitted in the EIA. The EM&A requirements will be enforced as Environmental Permit conditions.
16. HyD made the EIA Report, EM&A Manual and Executive Summary available for the public to comment under the EIAO on 17 July 2001. Members will be briefed about any comments received from the public at the meeting.
Environmental Assessment and Noise Division
Environmental Protection Department