To prevent, minimise and resolve environmental noise problems through intervention in the planning process, implementation of noise abatement measures and enforcement of the Noise Control Ordinance.
Noise impacts from a project are often not apparent to residents until the work is complete. This can result in complaints or dissatisfaction. To pre-empt that problem, the EPD has developed a 3-D model that includes noise impact assessments and was enhanced in 2006 with sound effects. The model allows users to walk, fly and drive through the area around a proposed project, and hear the associated level of noise.

In September 2006 we took the 3-D model to City One Shatin for a consultation with about 50 residents on a proposed retrofitted noise barrier. Some residents opposed the project because they did not think it would provide any benefits. However, after using the model to see and hear the effects with and without the barrier, a consensus emerged in support of the barrier. This very effective public communications tool will be used on at least eight retrofitted barrier projects in 2007.
A consultation with City One Shatin residents on a proposed retrofitted noise barrier uses the 3-D noise modelling tool to present the results of noise impact assessment.
Residents at the consultation get hands on experience of the 3-D tool.
The new Lok Ma Chau Spurline uses barriers as a noise mitigation measure near the Sheung Shui station.
The Lok Ma Chau spurline, a new railway cutting through Long Valley, has been a subject of interest over its potential impact on the area's natural habitat. The rail has been built underground to avoid harmful effects to the valley's ecology. But as it turns out, it has also brought noise benefits to residents in Sheung Shui. Barriers have been erected along the spurline at Sheung Shui station, where it connects with the East Rail. This has had the effect of reducing noise not only from the spurline, but also the East Rail, benefiting nearby residents.
Schematic plan of the Lok Ma Chau Spurline.
Road barriers and low noise road surfaces are the most obvious ways to reduce traffic noise for residents, although there are restrictions such as competing space for barriers and limited heavy traffic use for low noise road surfaces. After a search for suitable locations, the Government began a programme in 2001 to retrofit barriers on some 30 existing road sections and a trial to pave low noise road surfacing materials on 72 existing low-speed road sections. The barriers under the Public Works Programme will cost a total $3.2 billion and benefit some 100 000 people when completed, while the low noise road surfaces will cost about $80 million and benefit some 130 000 people.

In 2006 barriers were completed on two locations along Fanling Highway, while another was under construction on Cheung Pei Shan Road for completion in 2008. Funding for an additional 32 barriers was earmarked, totalling $2.9 billion. The Government had also completed resurfacing work on 30 road sections by the end of 2006.
Retrofit barriers under construction at Cheung Pei Shan Road in 2006.