7 January 2002
EIA report on Lok Ma Chau Spur Line published
The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) today (Monday) published the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report on the Combined Tunnel and Viaduct Scheme of the Sheung Shui to Lok Ma Chau Spur Line following the decision by the Director of Environmental Protection under the EIA Ordinance that the report is suitable for public inspection.
A KCRC spokesman said, "The report takes into account extensive work undertaken during the past few years, and has been further refined by consultation with ecological experts during the appeal period.
"Most recently, the EIA study has drawn together all available evidence to demonstrate that the Spur Line project can be constructed and operated fully in compliance with the noise, air, water quality and environment impact ordinances currently in force in Hong Kong," the spokesman said.
The Spur Line passes under Long Valley in tunnel with total avoidance of disturbance to both natural and human environments at the ground surface.
The railway continues in tunnels to clear the hilly terrain before it emerges at Chau Tau and rises gradually onto viaduct, to terminate at Lok Ma Chau.
The EIA report contains extensive geotechnical analysis ofthe hydrology in Long Valley in relation to tunnel construction by the advanced technology of the Earth Pressure Balanced Tunnel Boring Machine.
The analysis confirmed that by constructing the tunnels below the water-bearing layer, disturbance to the ground water regime is avoided.
Furthermore, potential problems of conventional tunnelling methods, such as ground settlement, and ground water loss and contamination, are addressed by the TBM technology which has been proven to be very successful in the construction of the Kwai Tsing Tunnels of West Rail where ground conditions were more severe than Long Valley.
The report also covers in detail issues related to the construction of the viaduct from Chau Tau to Lok Ma Chau.
The Lok Ma Chau Terminal building, which will provide facilities for boundary-crossing passengers including immigration and customs clearance, will be constructed on a 9.1 ha footprint, of which 2.1 ha is heavily disturbed by the presence of the existing road boundary crossing and fences.
To mitigate the impact on the environment, the report recommends enhancement of 27.1 ha of fishponds to the west of the terminal building. This is achievable by re-profiling the bunds to create shallow water for waterbirds to feed on the ponds, regulating water levels to maximize feeding opportunities and stocking the ponds with suitable sizes and types of fish. These mitigation measures take into account the need of the migratory bird, the Black-faced Spoonbill.
To mitigate the disturbance during the operation of the railway, a marsh area will be created within 100 metres of the terminal building. Bamboos, mixed trees and shrubs will be planted as a buffer around the terminal building.
The Corporation will be directly responsible for the creation and permanent management of the enhanced areas.
The spokesman said, "We will make a presentation on the EIA report to the EIA-Sub-committee of the Advisory Council on the Environment later this month. KCRC is committed to building the Spur Line as quickly as possible and in an environmentally-friendly manner so as to meet the growing cross-boundary rail passenger traffic and to relieve congestion at Lo Wu.We aim to bring the Spur Line into operation no later than mid-2007."
The EIA report is available for inspection at the EIA Ordinance Register Office at Southorn Centre, EPD's Environmental Resource Centres at Wan Chai and Tsuen Wan, North and Yuen Long District Offices, KCRC's East Rail Extensions Office at Hung Hom Station and also on websites of EPD (www.info.gov.hk/epd/eia) and KCRC (www.KCRC.com).
Roving Exhibition on Lok Ma Chau Spur Line EIA Report will be launched in January 2002 at Landmark North, New Town Plaza, East Rail Hung Hom, Kowloon Tong, Mongkok, Fanling stations.For details, please refer to posters at stations and KCRC website.