Published: 11:03, April 23, 2024 | Updated: 11:23, April 23, 2024
EPD to review San Tin tech hub eco impact report
By Wang Zhan in Hong Kong
Located at the heart of Northern Metropolis and in close proximity to Shenzhen’s I&T zone in Huanggang and Futian, San Tin Technopole is strategically positioned to be a hub for clustered I&T development that creates synergy with Shenzhen I&T Zone. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVT)

The Environmental Protection Department of Hong Kong has said it will review in detail the environmental impact assessment report on the San Tin/Lok Ma Chau Development Node before deciding whether to approve the report and impose any conditions.

The department made the statement following a decision by the Advisory Council on the Environment to endorse the report with conditions in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance after discussion at a meeting on Monday.

The department stressed that the statutory EIA process in Hong Kong is a professional, objective, and open system.

READ MORE: Firms eye Lok Ma Chau Loop and San Tin Technopole

“The Technical Memorandum on EIA Process and EIA Study Briefs lay down objective and clear principles, procedures, guidelines, requirements and criteria for various EIA matters,” an EPD spokesman said, adding that the EIAO aims to assess the environmental acceptability of the development proposal submitted by the project proponent.

The CEDD completed the EIA report for the project and it was exhibited for public inspection from Feb 2 to March 2

The director of Environmental Protection will review the report in detail, with comprehensive and careful consideration of the requirements of the EIA Study Brief and the technical memorandum as well as comments on the environment raised by the public and the Athe CE during the public inspection period, before making a decision.

Asked about the environment assessment report, Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said on Tuesday that the government placed huge emphasis on environmental protection and it was important to strike a balance between development and the environment.

The government should follow the established procedures and the Town Planning Board would make decision in the statutory processes to ensure all rules and regulations would be complied with, he added.

The Civil Engineering and Development Department has completed the EIA report for the project and it was exhibited for public inspection from Feb 2 to March 2.

Responding to media inquiries regarding the project, the EPD said in a statement on April 18 that the CEDD had engaged a professional environmental consultant to conduct the EIA study, which included an ecological impact assessment and a 12-month ecological survey.

ALSO READ: HK must make all-out effort to increase land supply, says Chan

“In order to compensate for the ecological impact caused by the development of San Tin Technopole, the EIA report has proposed mitigation measures including creating environmental capacity through the proposed Sam Po Shue Wetland Conservation Park to ensure that there will be no net loss in ecological functions and carrying capacity of the wetlands concerned,” reads the statement.

Regarding a claim by the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society that the photos in the EIA report did not match the names of the birds, the CEDD explained that this was due to editing problems when the consultant team compiled its attachments to the report.

The CEDD has submitted amended attachments to the EPD, explaining in detail the causes of the mistakes and follow-up work undertaken.

READ MORE: Openness to fuel growth of HK Park in Hetao tech zone

It explained that prior to announcing the revised development area last year, the CEDD notified the EPD in writing of the revised project scope, with the study area of the ecological impact assessment including an area extending 500 meters beyond the revised boundary of the project.