Following is a question on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on the decommissioning of a shipyard near the proposed Disney theme park by the Ir Dr HON HO Chung-tai and a written reply by the Secretary for Works, Mr Lee Shing-see, in the Legislative Council meeting today (Wednesday) :
It was reported that the soil on the proposed site for the construction of the Disney theme park, currently occupied by a ship-breaking plant has been seriously polluted over the years by oils, heavy metals, dyes and organic solvents brought about by ship-breaking activities. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council :
(a) whether it has assessed the extent to which the site in question has been polluted; if it has, when the assessment results will be made public; and
(b) of the specific measures in place to ensure that the pollutants will not affect the health of the staff of and visitors to the future theme park ?
(a) First of all, the proposed site for the Disney theme park is not within the area currently occupied by Cheoy Lee Shipyard. The Shipyard area will be mainly used for construction of roads leading to the park. Concerning the probable land contamination issue at the Shipyard, Civil Engineering Department (CED) is currently conducting a preliminary assessment in the Northshore Lantau Development Feasibility Study and expects that it will not be an insurmountable problem to the development of the Northshore Lantau as a recreation/tourism area. The concerned Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report will be submitted to the Director of Environmental Protection for approval. It is expected that the Report will be exhibited for the public to comment in March/April this year and the advice from the Advisory Council on the Environmental will also be sought.
(b) To ascertain the detailed methods and procedures to decontaminate the Shipyard site, CED will conduct a decommissioning EIA and such would require detailed site investigation. However, as the Shipyard is located within a private lot and at the moment the Government cannot obtain the lot owner's consent to carry out site investigation, the Government may need to wait until the land is resumed. Based on the current land resumption programme, the decommissioning EIA Report will be completed and submitted to Director of Environmental Protection for approval by 2002. The Report will be exhibited for the public to comment and the advice from the Advisory Council on the Environment will also be sought.
Finally, it should be noted that the decommissioning of the Shipyard is a designated project under the EIA Ordinance. CED will commence the decommissioning works only after the Director of Environmental Protection has approved the EIA Report and issued the corresponding Environmental Permit.
End/Wednesday, 12 January, 2000