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3.

POTENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS, KEY


FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The following environmental impacts have the potential to be generated during
the construction and operation of the Project:

Dust and odour nuisance


Water quality impacts due to emergency discharge of untreated sewage or
discharge of treated effluent during maintenance.
Solid waste management issues related to the construction and demolition
materials and the generation of additional sludge.
Noise impacts due to the construction and operation activities.
Landfill gas hazards associated with the adjacent landfill site.

The assessment approach, key findings and recommendations of the Study are
summarised in the following sections.
3.1

Air Quality
Potential emission of dust and odour from the TPSTW was identified as key air
quality issues. A comprehensive assessment was undertaken to evaluate both the
impact from the Project (Stage V) and the cumulative impact from the existing
Stage I/II and IV and the proposed Stage V. Odour emission rates at the STW
were estimated from appropriate empirical equations. The dispersion of odours
was simulated using the AUSPLUME model, to predict the worst case impacts at
the identified air sensitive receivers.

3.1.1 Construction Phase


A qualitative assessment was carried out to address the potential for dust nuisance
during the construction phase. Given the small scale of construction works, dust
impact at the air sensitive receivers (ASRs) is not expected to be significant.
Construction works will follow the mitigation measures proposed in the Study and
specified in the Air Pollution Control (Construction Dust) Regulation. An
environmental audit programme is recommended to ensure the control measures
are implemented effectively during the construction phase.
3.1.2 Operation Phase
Based on odour modelling results, mitigation measures are recommended for the
Project. It is recommended that the mechanical screen, grit removal units and
raw sewage channel be covered. The sludge treatment facilities including gravity
sludge thickener, sludge digestion tank outlet chamber, sludge consolidation

tanks, screening unit and wet well of sludge pumping stations should also be
controlled by enclosure to ensure no leakage of odorous gas. The foul air from the
sludge gravity thickener and sludge consolidation tanks would be treated by
passing through deodorizer before being discharged into atmosphere. Odour
emission from the Stage I/II and Stage IV primary sedimentation tanks could be
controlled by covering the weir launders. In addition, chemical addition (e.g.
addition of calcium nitrate) in sewage at Tai Yuen Sewage Pumping Stations No.
4 before the sewage is conveyed to the Stage IV works of TPSTW could also
effectively reduce the odour strength in inlet work channel and primary
sedimentation tanks. Good house keeping, including regular maintenance and
cleansing, should also be conducted to minimise odour generation. With the
proposed mitigation measures, the residual odour impacts at the ASRs are
expected to be in compliance with the odour criterion. A detailed odour
monitoring programme is presented in the Environmental Monitoring and Audit
(EM&A) Manual.
3.2

Water Quality
Potential water quality impacts associated with the Project include:

Water quality impact within Victoria Harbour when treated effluent from
TPSTW is discharged into Victoria Harbour via Kai Tak Nullah under the
Tolo Harbour Effluent Export Scheme (THEES).

Water quality impact within Tolo Harbour when untreated sewage or


treated effluent is discharged into Tolo Harbour under emergency
conditions or during shut-down of the THEES effluent tunnel for
maintenance.

3.2.1 Construction Phase


An evaluation indicates that the potential impacts on water quality from general
construction activities are minimal, provided that site drainage is well maintained
and good construction practices are observed to ensure that litter, fuels, and
solvents are managed, stored and handled properly. A comprehensive
environmental audit program is recommended in the EM&A Manuel to be carried
out during construction of the Project to ensure that the proposed site management
practices are enforced.
3.2.2

Operation Phase
An assessment of water quality impacts due to operation of the Project has been
made using the Delft3D model. Impacts are assessed over a series of one-year
simulation periods for both Victoria Harbour and Tolo Harbour. The years of
assessment are 2003 (baseline), 2010 (interim operation) and 2016 (full
operation).

Despite conservative input parameters being used in the model, a comparison


between the baseline and the operational water quality modelling results indicates
that there will be no adverse impact on the marine water quality in Victoria
Harbour during normal operation of the TPSTW in the operation phase of the
Project.
The discharge of treated effluent during THEES maintenance and untreated
effluent under emergency conditions would have potential water quality impacts
on Tolo Harbour. Nonetheless, the modelling results indicate that, despite the
very conservative nature of the assessment, the predicted increases in pollutant
concentrations in Tolo Harbour are short-term. It is further noted that the
frequency of such occurrences is very low. For the THEES tunnel maintenance,
the anticipated frequency is once in five years. The duration of maintenance,
assumed to be four weeks in the model, will in practice be shortened as far as
possible, and the work will be conducted during low-flow periods or the winter
months to avoid the "blooming" season of algae (normally from April to June) if
practicable. For emergency bypass, according to DSDs record, emergency
discharge of untreated effluent had occurred only once in the past decade, with a
duration less than three hours, due to power supply failure at the inlet works. To
further minimize the likelihood of bypass, mitigation measures including dual or
ring main power supply and standby treatment units and equipment will be
provided under the Project. Thus the chance of emergency discharge would be
extremely remote.
Despite the infrequent nature of Tolo Harbour discharge, an emergency
contingency plan has been formulated to minimize its impact and facilitate
subsequent management of the emergency. Close communication between DSD
and WSD is an effective means to avoid adverse impact on the seawater intakes.
No insurmountable water quality impact is expected provided that all the
recommended mitigation measures are properly implemented.
To cope with the potential impact of treated effluent overflow from TPSTW (and
STSTW) into Tolo Harbour during normal operation of the TPSTW in 2016, the
inclusion of upgrading the Tai Po effluent pumping station into the public works
programme is being undertaken by EPD. In the interim operation phase in 2010
after completion of the Phase I works, overflow at TPSTW may also occur
occasionally during storm events. Modelling results indicate that the extent of
such impact is only minor if present.
An EM&A programme is recommended to collect water quality information
prior to and after commissioning of the Project. The monitoring results should be
employed to identify areas for any further mitigation measures necessary to
avoid, rectify and eliminate environmental damage associated with the Project.

3.3

Waste Management Implications


In order to manage the various wastes from the construction and operation of the
project, potential sources of waste were identified and their associated impacts
were assessed. Wastes generated by the construction activities are likely to
include construction and demolition material from the demolition works at the
existing TPSTW site, and general refuse from the workforce. Provided that these
identified waste are handled, transported and disposed of using approved
methods and that the recommended good site practices are followed, adverse
environmental impacts are not expected.

3.4

Landfill Gas Hazard


As the Project Site falls within the 250m Consultation Zone of Shuen Wan
Landfill, a detailed qualitative landfill gas hazard assessment was conducted. The
results of the risk assessment suggest that the overall level of landfill gas hazard
is High. However, provided that the recommended protection measures are
implemented properly, the health and safety of site workers/ personnel working
at TPSTW will be safeguarded and there would be no adverse impact arisen from
the proposed project.

3.5

Noise Impact
The potential noise impact arising from daytime construction activities on
representative noise sensitive receivers (NSR) located in the vicinity of the work
sites at the TPSTW was assessed. With the adoption of quiet equipment and good
site practices, no exceedance of noise standards at the representative NSR was
predicted.

3.6

Environmental Monitoring and Audit


In order to ensure that the proposed mitigation measures for the control of dust,
odour, water quality, waste, landfill gas hazard and noise impacts during both
construction and operation phases are effective, a detailed schedule for the
implementation of mitigation measures has been developed and an environment
audit programme has been proposed. Details of the specific requirements for the
operational issues are provided in a stand-alone Environmental Monitoring and
Audit Manual.