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EPD responds to media reports on alleged violation of EIA Ordinance by HZMB Hong Kong Link Road reclamation works
     In response to recent media reports on the extension of reclamation works at the eastern shore of the Airport Island of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) Hong Kong Link Road which might violate the environmental permit (EP), an Environmental Protection Department (EPD) spokesman today (February 22) said that according to the Hong Kong Link Road Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report, the project would adopt a dredged construction method for reclamation, which would affect 37 hectares of seabed of low ecological value. The Highways Department (HyD) was granted an EP in November 2009 to carry out the works.
     In October 2011, the HyD subsequently submitted an application for variation of the environmental permit (VEP) to a non-dredged method to reclaim land and construct the seawall, which included a temporary rock-filled platform outside the seawall. As the affected seabed using the new method would not be larger than the 37-hectare seabed area originally assessed in the EIA report, and the new method could also avoid producing large amount of dredged sediments and help to reduce the environmental impact, a VEP was granted by the EPD.
     Since the commencement of the HZMB construction works, the EPD has been conducting surprise inspections every month to ensure all environmental protection requirements stipulated in the EP, including the silt curtain installation outside the reclamation area, are being complied with. The Environmental Monitoring and Audit Reports submitted regularly by the HyD showed that the silt curtains were effective and the water quality standards in the vicinity of the reclamation areas were met. The EIA report also confirmed that the seabed of the concerned reclamation area was of low ecological value and the reclamation works would not cause adverse ecological impact.
     Currently, there is no evidence that the rock-filled platform extension has contravened the EP conditions or any environmental law. The EPD is still seeking further information from the HyD and the relevant contractors to verify the current findings. Enforcement action will be taken by the EPD if necessary.
Ends/Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Issued at HKT 21:57
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