Expansion of Hong Kong International Airport into a Three-Runway System

Construction Phase Annual EM&A Report No.5

July 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents

Abbreviations

Executive Summary

1      Introduction

1.1    Background

1.2    Scope of this Report

1.3    Project Organization

1.4    Contact information for the Project

1.5    Summary of Construction Works

1.6    Summary of EM&A Programme Requirements

2      Environmental Monitoring and Auditing

2.1    Air Quality Monitoring

2.1.1     Action and Limit Levels

2.1.2     Monitoring Results

2.1.3     Conclusion

2.2    Noise Monitoring

2.2.1     Action and Limit Levels

2.2.2     Monitoring Results

2.2.3     Conclusion

2.3    Water Quality Monitoring

2.3.1     Action and Limit Levels

2.3.2     Monitoring Results

2.3.3     Conclusions

2.4    Waste Monitoring

2.4.1     Action and Limit Levels

2.4.2     Summary of Monitoring Results

2.4.3     Marine Sediment Management

2.5    Chinese White Dolphin Monitoring

2.5.1     Action and Limit Levels

2.5.2     Summary of Monitoring Results

2.5.3     Discussions on CWD Monitoring Results

2.5.4     Conclusions of CWD Monitoring Results

2.5.5     Site Audit for CWD-related Mitigation Measures

2.6    Environmental Site Inspection

2.6.1     Landscape and Visual Mitigation Measures

2.7    Audit of the SkyPier High Speed Ferries

2.8    Audit of the Construction and Associated Vessels

2.9    External Stakeholder Engagement

2.9.1     Community Liaison Groups

2.9.2     Professional Liaison Group and Green Non-Governmental Organizations

2.9.3     Other Stakeholders

2.10  Review of the Key Assumptions Adopted in the EIA Report

2.11  Key Environmental Issues for the Coming Reporting Period

3      Report on Non-compliance, Complaints, Notifications of Summons and Prosecutions

3.1    Compliance with Other Statutory Environmental Requirements

3.2    Analysis and Interpretation of Complaints, Notification of Summons and Status of Prosecutions

3.2.1     Complaints

3.2.2     Notifications of Summons or Status of Prosecution

3.3    Cumulative Statistics

4      Conclusion and Recommendation

 

 

 

Tables

Table 1.1:             Contact Information of Key Personnel 9

Table 1.2:             Contact Information of the Project 12

Table 1.3:             Summary of status for all environmental aspects under the Manual 12

Table 2.1:             Impact Air Quality Monitoring Stations  16

Table 2.2:             Percentage of Air Quality Monitoring Results within Action and Limit Levels  16

Table 2.3:             General Meteorological Condition during Impact Air Quality Monitoring  17

Table 2.4:             Impact Noise Monitoring Stations  17

Table 2.5:             Percentage of Noise Monitoring Results within Action and Limit Levels  17

Table 2.6:             General Weather Condition during Impact Noise Monitoring  18

Table 2.7:             Monitoring Locations and Parameters for Impact Water Quality Monitoring  18

Table 2.8:             Action and Limit Levels for General Water Quality Monitoring and Regular DCM Monitoring  20

Table 2.9:             The Control and Impact Stations during Flood Tide and Ebb Tide for General Water Quality Monitoring and Regular DCM Monitoring  20

Table 2.10:           General Weather Condition and Sea Condition during Impact Water Quality Monitoring  21

Table 2.11:           Percentage of Water Quality Monitoring Results within Action and Limit Levels  21

Table 2.12:           Action and Limit Levels for Construction Waste  22

Table 2.13:           Statistics of Construction Waste Generated in the Reporting Period  23

Table 2.14:           Land-based Survey Station Details  25

Table 2.15:           Derived Values of Action Level and Limit Level for Chinese White Dolphin Monitoring  25

Table 2.16:            Monitoring Programme for Landscape and Visual 42

Table 2.17:            Event and Action Plan for Landscape and Visual 42

Table 2.18:            Landscape and Visual – Construction Phase Audit Summary  43

Table 2.19:            Summary of the Number of Retained, Transplanted and To-be-transplanted Trees as of December 2020  45

Table 2.20:            Summary of the Tree Status Changes between the LVP and end 2020  46

Table 2.21:            Summary of the Transplanted Trees in the Reporting Period  46

Table 2.22:            Photos of the Existing Transplanted Trees in the Reporting Period  49

Table 2.23:           Summary of Key Audit Findings against the SkyPier Plan  51

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figures

Figure 1.1

Locations of Key Construction Activities in this Reporting Period

Figure 2.1

Locations of Air and Noise Monitoring Stations and Chek Lap Kok Wind Station

Figure 2.2

Water Quality Monitoring Stations

Figure 2.3

Vessel based Dolphin Monitoring Transects in Construction, Post-Construction and Operation Phases

Figure 2.4

Land based Dolphin Monitoring in Baseline and Construction Phases

Figure 2.5

Location for Autonomous Passive Acoustic Monitoring in Baseline and Construction Phases

Figure 2.6

Locations of Newly Transplanted Trees During the Reporting Period

 

Appendices

Appendix A

Contract Description

Appendix B

Project Organization Chart

Appendix C

Environmental Mitigation Implementation Schedule (EMIS) for Construction Phase

Appendix D

Monitoring Results

Appendix E

Chinese White Dolphin Monitoring Results

Appendix F

Summary of Environmental Complaints and Cumulative Statistics on Exceedances, Notification of Summons, and Prosecution

Appendix G

Tree Schedule

 

 

 

 

 

 


Abbreviations

3RS

Three-Runway System

AAHK

Airport Authority Hong Kong

AECOM

AECOM Asia Company Limited

AFCD

Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department

AIS

Automatic Information System

ANI

Encounter Rate of Number of Dolphins

APM

Automated People Mover

AW

Airport West

BHS

Baggage Handling System

CAP

Contamination Assessment Plan

CAR

Contamination Assessment Report

CTP

Coral Translocation Plan

CWD

Chinese White Dolphin

DCM

Deep Cement Mixing

DEZ

Dolphin Exclusion Zone

DO

Dissolved Oxygen

DPSE

Number of Dolphins per 100 Units of Survey Effort

EAR

Ecological Acoustic Recorder

EIA

Environmental Impact Assessment

EM&A

Environmental Monitoring & Audit

EP

Environmental Permit

EPD

Environmental Protection Department

ET

Environmental Team

FCZ

Fish Culture Zone

HDD

Horizontal Directional Drilling

HKBCF

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities

HKIA

Hong Kong International Airport

HSF

High Speed Ferry

IEC

Independent Environmental Checker

LKC

Lung Kwu Chau

MTCC

Marine Traffic Control Centre

MMHK

Mott MacDonald Hong Kong Limited

MMWP

Marine Mammal Watching Plan

MSS

Maritime Surveillance System

MTRMP-CAV

Marine Travel Routes and Management Plan for Construction and Associated Vessel

NEL

Northeast Lantau

NWL

Northwest Lantau

PAM

Passive Acoustic Monitoring

PM

Partial Mortality

PVD

Prefabricated Vertical Drain

SC

Sha Chau

SCLKCMP

Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park

SPSE

Number of On-effort Sightings per 100 Units of Survey Effort

SS

Suspended Solids

STG

Encounter Rate of Number of Dolphin Sightings

SWL

Southwest Lantau

The Project

The Expansion of Hong Kong International Airport into a Three-Runway System

The SkyPier Plan

Marine Travel Routes and Management Plan for High Speed Ferries of SkyPier

TSP

Total Suspended Particulates

WL

West Lantau

WMP

Waste Management Plan

 

Executive Summary

The “Expansion of Hong Kong International Airport into a Three-Runway System” (the Project) serves to meet the future air traffic demands at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). On 7 November 2014, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report (Register No.: AEIAR-185/2014) for the Project was approved and an Environmental Permit (EP) (Permit No.: EP-489/2014) was issued for the construction and operation of the Project.

Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) commissioned Mott MacDonald Hong Kong Limited (MMHK) to undertake the role of Environmental Team (ET) for carrying out the Environmental Monitoring & Audit (EM&A) works during the construction phase of the Project in accordance with the Updated EM&A Manual (the Manual).

This is the 5th Construction Phase Annual EM&A Report for the Project which summarizes the monitoring results and audit findings of the EM&A programme during the reporting period from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020.

Key Activities in the Reporting Period

Key activities of the Project carried out in the reporting period were related to the following contracts:

Advanced Works:

Contract P560 (R) Aviation Fuel Pipeline Diversion Works

    Stockpiling of compressed materials

Reclamation Works:

Contract 3205 DCM Works

    Trimming; and

    DCM works.

Contract 3206 Main Reclamation Works

    Land-based ground improvement works;

    Seawall construction;

    Marine filling; and

    Sorting and reuse of inert waste from other 3RS contracts.

Airfield Works:

Contract 3301 North Runway Crossover Taxiway

    Cable ducting works;

    Subgrade compaction and paving works;

    Drainage construction works;

    Operation of aggregate mixing facility; and

    Precast of duct bank and fabrication of steel works.

Contract 3302 Eastern Vehicular Tunnel Advance Works

    Site establishment.

    Cable laying and ducting works;

    Trench excavation works;

    Backfilling and reinstatement works;

    Piling and structure works; and

    King Post construction.

Contract 3303 Third Runway and Associated Works

    Site establishment.

    Plant and equipment mobilisation

    Footing and utilities work;

    Preparation works for box culvert construction;

    Piling works;

    Bored piling for approach light; and

    Cable laying and ducting works.

Contract 3307 Fire Training Facility

    Site establishment.

    Excavation; and

    Drainage works.

Third Runway Concourse and Integrated Airport Centres Works:

Contract 3402 New Integrated Airport Centres Enabling Works

    Potable water and seawater works;

    Footing construction;

    Road works; and

    Sewerage and pipe works.

Contract 3403 New Integrated Airport Centres Building and Civil Works

    Site establishment;

    Excavation works;

    Foundation works; and

    Piling works.

    Installation of cable and lightning pit

Contract 3405 Three Runway Concourse Foundation and Substructure Works

    Site establishment;

    Plant mobilisation;

   Piling works; and

    Laying of pipes.

Terminal 2 (T2) Expansion Works:

Contract 3501 Antenna Farm and Sewage Pumping Station

    Site clearance.

Contract 3503 Terminal 2 Foundation and Substructure Works

    T2 demolition;

    Site establishment;

    Excavation works;

    Utilities, drainage, and road works; and

    Piling and structure works.

Contract 3508 Terminal 2 Foundation and Substructure Works

    Excavation and footing construction;

    Piling works;

    Pre-drilling; and

    Builders’ works

Automated People Mover (APM) and Baggage Handling System (BHS):

Contract 3601 New Automated People Mover System (TRC Line)

    Construction of site office;

    Plinth construction works; and

    Drilling works and rebar fixing.

Contract 3602 Existing APM System Modification Works

    Modification works at APM depot

Baggage Handling System (BHS) Works:

Contract 3603 3RS Baggage Handling System

    BHS modification work at Terminal 1.

Construction Support (Facilities):

Contract 3721 Construction Support Infrastructure Works

    Site clearance and establishment;

    Construction of utilities and logistic facilities;

    Excavation and backfilling;

    Laying of drainage pipes and dusts; and

    Road works.

Contract 3722 Construction Support Facilities

    Site establishment;

    Site clearance;

    Formboard erecting and concreting;

    Erection of superstructure; and

    Foundation works.

Airport Support Infrastructure:

Contract 3801 APM and BHS Tunnels on Existing Airport Island

    Cofferdam installation for box culvert and shaft;

    Construction of temporary traffic steel deck;

    Construction of box culvert and ventilation building;

    Construction of working platform and ventilation ducts;

    Rising main installation;

    Drilling and grouting works;

   Piling and foundation works;

    King Post installation;

    Backfilling work; and

    Site clearance.

Contract 3802 APM and BHS Tunnels and Related Works

    Site establishment;

    Set up storage area and temporary haul road;

    Pre drilling;

    Piling works;

    Ground investigation

    Installation of storm drain pipes; and

    Foundation works.

Construction Support (Services / Licences):

Contract 3901A Concrete Batching Facility

    Excavation works;

    Foundation works;

    Erection of superstructure; and

    Concreting.

Contract 3901B Concrete Batching Facility

    Foundation works;

    Footing construction;

    Erection of steelwork;

    Erection of superstructure; and

    Operation of concrete batching plant.

EM&A Activities Conducted in the Reporting Period

The EM&A programme was undertaken in accordance with the Manual. Summary of monitoring activities during this reporting period is presented as below:

Monitoring/ Audit Activities

Number of Sessions

Air Quality Monitoring

384

Noise Monitoring

208

Water Quality Monitoring

155

Vessel line-transect surveys for Chinese White Dolphin (CWD) monitoring

24

Land-based theodolite tracking survey effort for CWD monitoring

24

Environmental auditing works, including weekly site inspections of construction works conducted by the ET and bi-weekly site inspections conducted by the Independent Environmental Checker (IEC), audit of SkyPier High Speed Ferries (HSF), audit of construction and associated vessels, and audit of implementation of Marine Mammal Watching Plan (MMWP) and Dolphin Exclusion Zone (DEZ) Plan, were conducted in the reporting period. Based on the information including ET’s observations, records of Maritime Surveillance System (MSS), and contractors’ site records, it is noted that the environmental pollution control and mitigation measures were properly implemented and the construction operation of the Project in the reporting period did not introduce adverse impact to the environment.

Summary Findings of the EM&A Programme

The monitoring works for construction dust, construction noise, water quality, construction waste, landscape & visual, and CWD were conducted during the reporting period in accordance with the Manual.

Monitoring results of construction dust, construction noise, construction waste, and CWD did not trigger the corresponding Action and Limit Levels in the reporting period.

The water quality monitoring results for turbidity and total alkalinity obtained during the reporting period were within the corresponding Action and Limit Levels stipulated in the EM&A programme. Relevant investigation and follow-up actions will be conducted according to the EM&A programme if the corresponding Action and Limit Levels are triggered. For dissolved oxygen (DO), suspended solids (SS), chromium and nickel, some of the monitoring results triggered the relevant Action or Limit Levels, and the corresponding investigations were conducted accordingly. The investigation findings concluded that all cases were not related to the Project. To conclude, the construction activities in the monitoring period did not introduce adverse impact to all water quality sensitive receivers.

Summary Table

The Key findings of the EM&A programme during the reporting period are summarised as below:

 

Yes

No

Details

Analysis / Recommendation / Remedial Actions

Breach of Limit Level^

 

No exceedance of project-related Limit Level was recorded.

Nil

Breach of Action Level^

 

No exceedance of project-related Action Level was recorded.

Nil

Complaints Received

 

Ten complaints were received on 6 Jul, 13 Jul, 28 Aug, 6 Oct, 15 Oct, 20 Oct, 6 Nov, 19 Nov (2 complaints received) and 27 Nov 2020.

The complaint investigations were   carried out in accordance with the Complaint Management Plan. Details are presented in S3.2.1.

Notification of any summons and status of prosecutions

 

No notification of summons or prosecution were received.

Nil

Changes that affect the EM&A

 

There was no change to the construction works that may affect the EM&A.

Nil

Remarks: ^ Only triggering of Action or Limit Level found related to Project works is counted as Breach of Action or Limit Level.   

 

 

1        Introduction

1.1      Background

On 7 November 2014, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report (Register No.: AEIAR-185/2014) for the “Expansion of Hong Kong International Airport into a Three-Runway System” (the Project) was approved and an Environmental Permit (EP) (Permit No.: EP-489/2014) was issued for the construction and operation of the Project.

Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) commissioned Mott MacDonald Hong Kong Limited (MMHK) to undertake the role of Environmental Team (ET) for carrying out the Environmental Monitoring & Audit (EM&A) works during the construction phase of the Project in accordance with the Manual submitted under EP Condition 3.1[1]. AECOM Asia Company Limited (AECOM) was employed by AAHK as the Independent Environmental Checker (IEC) for the Project.

The Project covers the expansion of the existing airport into a three-runway system (3RS) with key project components comprising land formation of about 650 hectares and all associated facilities and infrastructure including taxiways, aprons, aircraft stands, a passenger concourse, an expanded Terminal 2, all related airside and landside works and associated ancillary and supporting facilities. The existing submarine aviation fuel pipelines and submarine power cables also require diversion as part of the works. 

Construction of the Project is to proceed in the general order of diversion of the submarine aviation fuel pipelines, diversion of the submarine power cables, land formation, and construction of infrastructure, followed by construction of superstructures.

The summary of construction works programme can be referred to the corresponding Monthly EM&A Reports. Description of relevant contracts in the reporting period is presented in Appendix A.

1.2      Scope of this Report

This is the 5th Construction Phase Annual EM&A Report for the Project which summarizes the key findings of the EM&A programme during the reporting period from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020.

1.3      Project Organization

The Project’s organization structure and the contact details of the key personnel are provided in Appendix B and Table 1.1 respectively.

Table 1.1:         Contact Information of Key Personnel

Party

Position

Name

Telephone

Project Manager’s Representative

(Airport Authority Hong Kong)

Principal Manager, Environmental Compliance, Sustainability

Lawrence Tsui

2183 2734

Environmental Team (ET)

(Mott MacDonald Hong Kong Limited)

Environmental Team Leader

Terence Kong

2828 5919

Deputy Environmental Team Leader

Heidi Yu

2828 5704

Deputy Environmental Team Leader

Daniel Sum

2585 8495

Independent Environmental Checker (IEC)

(AECOM Asia Company Limited)

Independent Environmental Checker

Jackel Law

3922 9376

 

Deputy Independent Environmental Checker

Roy Man

3922 9141

 

Advanced Works:

Party

Position

Name

Telephone

Contract P560(R) Aviation Fuel Pipeline Diversion Works

(Langfang Huayuan Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Co., Ltd.)

Project Manager

 

Wei Shih

 

2117 0566

 

Environmental Officer

Lyn Liu

 

5172 6543

 

 

Reclamation Works:

Party

Position

Name

Telephone

Contract 3205 DCM (Package 5)

(Bachy Soletanche - Sambo Joint Venture)

Deputy Project Director

Min Park

9683 0765

Environmental Officer

Steven Chan

6288 0189

Contract 3206 Main Reclamation Works

(ZHEC-CCCC-CDC Joint Venture)

Project Manager

Alan Mong

3763 1352

Environmental Officer

Kwai Fung Wong

3763 1452

 

Airfield Works:

Party

Position

Name

Telephone

Contract 3301 North Runway Crossover Taxiway (FJT-CHEC-ZHEC Joint Venture)

Deputy Project Director

Kin Hang Chung

9800 0048

Environmental Officer

Joe Wong

6182 0351

Contract 3302 Eastern Vehicular Tunnel Advance Works

(China Road and Bridge Corporation)

Project Manager

 

Dickey Yau

5699 4503

Environmental Officer

Dennis Ho

5645 0563

Contract 3303 Third Runway and Associated Works

(SAPR Joint Venture)

Project Manager

Andrew Keung

6277 6628

Environmental Officer

Max Chin

6447 5707

Contract 3307 Fire Training

Facility

(Paul Y. Construction

Company Limited)

Project Manager

Steven Meredith

6109 1813

Environmental Officer

Albert Chan

9700 1083

 

Third Runway Concourse and Integrated Airport Centres Works:

Party

Position

Name

Telephone

Contract 3402 New Integrated Airport Centres Enabling Works

(Wing Hing Construction Co., Ltd.)

Contract Manager

Michael Kan

9206 0550

Environmental Officer

Lisa He

5374 3418

Contract 3403 New

Integrated Airport Centres

Building and Civil Works

(Sun Fook Kong

Construction Limited)

Project Manager

Alice Leung

9220 3162

Environmental Officer

Alpha Chia

9626 1114

Contract 3405 Third

Runway Concourse

Foundation and

Substructure Works

(China Road and Bridge

Corporation – Bachy

Soletanche Group Limited –

LT Sambo Co., Ltd. Joint

Venture)

Project Manager

 

Francis Choi

9423 3469

Environmental Officer

Jacky Lai

9028 8975

 

Terminal 2 (T2) Expansion Works:

Party

Position

Name

Telephone

Contract 3501 Antenna Farm and Sewage Pumping Station

(Build King Construction Ltd.)

Contracts Manager

 

Vincent Kwan

 

9833 1313

 

Environmental Officer

Edward Tam

9287 8270

Contract 3503 Terminal 2 Foundation and Substructure Works

(Leighton – Chun Wo Joint Venture)

Project Manager

Eric Wu

3973 1718

Environmental Officer

Gomez Yuen

9098 7807

Contract 3508 Terminal 2

Expansion Works

(Gammon Engineering &

Construction Company

Limited)

Project Manager

Richard Ellis

6201 5637

Environmental Officer

Gena Tsang

9511 2283

 

Automated People Mover (APM) and Baggage Handling System (BHS):

Party

Position

Name

Telephone

Contract 3601 New

Automated People Mover

System (TRC Line)

(CRRC Puzhen Bombardier

Transportation Systems

Limited and CRRC Nanjing

Puzhen Co., Ltd. Joint

Venture)

Project Manager

Hongdan Wei

158 6180 9450

Environmental Officer

P L Wong

9143 2185

Contract 3602 Existing APM System Modification Works

(Niigata Transys Co., Ltd.)

Project Manager

Kunihiro Tatecho

9755 0351

Environmental Officer

Carrie Kwan

9276 0551

Contract 3603 3RS Baggage Handling System (VISH Consortium)

Project Manager

K C Ho

9272 9626

Environmental Officer

Eric Ha

9215 3432

 

Construction Support (Facilities):

Party

Position

Name

Telephone

Contract 3721 Construction Support Infrastructure Works

(China State Construction Engineering (Hong Kong) Ltd.)

Site Agent

Thomas Lui

9011 5340

Environmental Officer

Xavier Lam

9493 2944

Contract 3722 Western

Support Area –

Construction Support

Facilities

(Tapbo Construction Company Limited and Konwo Modular House Limited Joint Venture)

Deputy Project Director

Philip Kong

9049 3161

Environmental Officer

Sampson Lo

9752 9118

 

Airport Support Infrastructure:

Party

Position

Name

Telephone

Contract 3801 APM and

BHS Tunnels on Existing

Airport Island

(China State Construction

Engineering (Hong Kong)

Ltd.)

Project Manager

Kingsley Chiang

9424 8437

Environmental Officer

Federick Wong

9842 2703

Contract 3802 APM and

BHS Tunnels and Related

Works

(Gammon Engineering &

Construction Company

Limited)

Project Manager

John Adams

6111 6989

Environmental Officer

Phoebe Ng

9869 1105

 

Construction Support (Services / Licences):

Party

Position

Name

Telephone

Contract 3901A Concrete

Batching Facility (K. Wah

Concrete Company Limited)

Project Manager

Benedict Wong

9553 2806

Environmental Officer

C P Fung

9874 2872

Contract 3901B Concrete

Batching Facility (Gammon

Construction Limited)

Project Manager

Gabriel Chan

2435 3260

Environmental Officer

Rex Wong

2695 6319

1.4      Contact information for the Project

The contact information for the Project is provided in Table 1.2. The public can contact us through the following channels if they have any queries and comments on the environmental monitoring data and project related information.

Table 1.2:         Contact Information of the Project

Channels

Contact Information

Hotline

3908 0354

Email

env@3rsproject.com

Fax

3747 6050

Postal Address

Airport Authority Hong Kong

HKIA Tower

1 Sky Plaza Road

Hong Kong International Airport

Lantau

Hong Kong

Attn: Environmental Team Leader Mr Terence Kong

c/o Mr Lawrence Tsui (TRD)

1.5      Summary of Construction Works

The key activities of the Project carried out in the reporting period included reclamation works and land-based works. Works in the reclamation areas included DCM works, marine filling, seawall and facilities construction, together with runway and associated works such as bored piling for approach lights. Land-based works on existing airport island involved mainly airfield works, foundation and substructure works for Terminal 2 expansion, modification and tunnel work for APM and BHS, and preparation work for utilities, with activities including site establishment, site office construction, road and drainage works, cable ducting, demolition of existing facilities, piling, and excavation works. Due to the challenges from the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Project programme was affected in 2020 which included the slippage of the reclamation related critical works and the labour deployment due to quarantine requirements.  With the implementation of alternative and contingency plans measures which include re-sequencing of works to provide timely access for follow-on contractors to commence works in the critical areas, and optimizing the reclamation design to identify more suitable areas for receiving public fill, the 3RS construction work were anticipated to proceed according to the planning schedule, which would support the project programme to commission the Third Runway in 2022 and 3RS in 2024.

The locations of the works areas are presented in Figure 1.1.

1.6      Summary of EM&A Programme Requirements

The status for all environmental aspects is presented in Table 1.3.

Table 1.3:         Summary of status for all environmental aspects under the Manual

Parameters

EM&A Requirements

Status

Air Quality

Baseline Monitoring

At least 14 consecutive days before commencement of construction work

The baseline air quality monitoring results were reported in Baseline Monitoring Report and submitted to EPD under EP Condition 3.4.

Impact Monitoring

At least 3 times every 6 days

On-going

Noise

Baseline Monitoring

Daily for a period of at least two weeks prior to the commencement of construction works

The baseline noise monitoring results were reported in Baseline Monitoring Report and submitted to EPD under EP Condition 3.4.

Impact Monitoring

Weekly

On-going

Water Quality

General Baseline Water Quality Monitoring for reclamation, water jetting and field joint works

Three days per week, at mid-flood and mid-ebb tides, for at least four weeks prior to the commencement of marine works.

The baseline water quality monitoring results were reported in Baseline Water Quality Monitoring Report and submitted to EPD under EP Condition 3.4.

General Impact Water Quality Monitoring for reclamation, water jetting and field joint works

Three days per week, at mid-flood and mid-ebb tides.

On-going for reclamation works. General impact water quality monitoring for water jetting works was completed on 23 May 2017.

Initial Intensive Deep Cement Mixing (DCM) Water Quality Monitoring

At least four weeks

The Initial Intensive DCM Monitoring Report was submitted and approved by EPD in accordance with the Detailed Plan on DCM.

Regular DCM Water Quality Monitoring

Three times per week until completion of DCM works.

On-going

Sewerage and Sewage Treatment

Methodology for carrying out annual sewage flow monitoring for concerned gravity sewer

Methodology to be prepared and submitted to EPD at least one year before commencement of the operation of 3RS

To be prepared and submitted to EPD

Details of the routine H2S monitoring system for the sewerage system of 3RS

Details to be prepared and submitted to EPD at least one year before commencement of the operation of 3RS

To be prepared and submitted to EPD

Waste Management

Waste Monitoring

At least weekly

On-going

Land Contamination

Supplementary Contamination Assessment Plan (CAP)

At least 3 months before commencement of any soil remediation works.

The Supplementary CAP was submitted and approved by EPD pursuant to EP condition 2.20.

Contamination Assessment Report (CAR)

CAR to be submitted for golf course

The CAR for Golf Course was submitted and accepted by EPD.

CAR to be submitted for Terminal 2 Emergency Power Supply Systems

The CARs for Terminal 2 Emergency Power Supply Systems were submitted and accepted by  EPD.

Terrestrial Ecology

Pre-construction Egretry Survey Plan

Once per month in the breeding season between April and July, prior to the commencement of HDD drilling works.

The revised Egretry Survey Plan was submitted and approved by EPD under EP Condition 2.14.

Ecological Monitoring

Monthly monitoring during the HDD construction works period from August to March.

The terrestrial ecological monitoring at Sheung Sha Chau was completed in January 2019.

Marine Ecology

Pre-Construction Phase Coral Dive Survey

Prior to marine construction works

The Coral Translocation Plan was submitted and approved by EPD under EP Condition 2.12.

Coral Translocation

-

The coral translocation was completed on 5 January 2017.

Coral Post-translocation Monitoring

As per an enhanced monitoring programme based on the Coral Translocation Plan

The post-translocation monitoring programme according to the Coral Translocation Plan was completed in April 2018.

Chinese White Dolphins (CWD)

Baseline Monitoring

6 months of baseline surveys before the commencement of land formation related construction works.

Vessel line transect surveys: Two full surveys per month;

Land-based theodolite tracking surveys: Two days per month at the Sha Chau station and two days per month at the Lung Kwu Chau station; and

Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM): For the whole duration of baseline period.

Baseline CWD results were reported in the CWD Baseline Monitoring Report and submitted to EPD in accordance with EP Condition 3.4.

Impact Monitoring

Vessel line transect surveys: Two full surveys per month;

Land-based theodolite tracking surveys: One day per month at the Sha Chau station and one day per month at the Lung Kwu Chau station; and

PAM: For the whole duration for land formation related construction works.

On-going

Landscape and Visual

Landscape and Visual Plan

At least 3 months before the commencement of construction works on the formed land of the Project.

The Landscape & Visual Plan was submitted to EPD under EP Condition 2.18.

Baseline Monitoring

One-off survey within the Project site boundary prior to commencement of any construction works

The baseline landscape & visual monitoring result has been reported in Baseline Monitoring Report and submitted to EPD under EP Condition 3.4.

Impact Monitoring

Weekly

On-going

Environmental Auditing

Regular site inspection

Weekly

On-going

Marine Mammal Watching Plan (MMWP) implementation measures

Monitor and check

On-going

Dolphin Exclusion Zone (DEZ) Plan implementation measures

Monitor and check

On-going

SkyPier High Speed Ferries (HSF) implementation measures

Monitor and check

On-going

Construction and Associated Vessels implementation measures

Monitor and check

On-going

Complaint Hotline and Email channel

Construction phase

On-going

Environmental Log Book

Construction phase

On-going

Silt Curtain Deployment Plan implementation measures

Monitor and check

On-going

Spill Response Plan implementation measures

Monitor and check

On-going

Taking into account the construction works in the reporting period, impact monitoring of air quality, noise, water quality, waste management, landscape and visual, and CWD were carried out in the reporting period.

The EM&A programme also involved weekly site inspections and related auditing conducted by the ET for checking the implementation of the required environmental mitigation measures as recommended in the approved EIA Report. To promote the environmental awareness and enhance the environmental performance of the contractors, environmental briefings, environmental trainings, and regular environmental management meetings were conducted during the reporting period which are summarized as below:

    24 skipper trainings provided by ET;

    7 environmental briefings on EP and EM&A requirements of the 3RS provided by ET;

    165 environmental management meetings for EM&A review with works contracts; and

    7 dolphin observer training session provided by ET;

The EM&A programme has been undertaken in accordance with the recommendations presented in the approved EIA Report and the Manual. Despite that, the implementation of the EM&A programme was slightly affected by various events in the reporting period. In view of the local COVID-19 pandemic situation, special work arrangement, such as working from home, was implemented among government departments in several periods to reduce the flow of people and social contacts in the community. Sporadic COVID-19 cases were also recorded among some of the contractors and sub-contractors under the Project in 2020. Besides, inclement weather events including tropical cyclones, rainstorms, and thunderstorms have also affected the regular schedules for water quality monitoring and site inspections. A summary of implementation status of the environmental mitigation measures for the construction phase of the Project during the reporting period is provided in Appendix C.

 

 

2        Environmental Monitoring and Auditing

2.1      Air Quality Monitoring

Impact 1-hour Total Suspended Particulates (TSP) monitoring was conducted three times every six days at two representative monitoring stations during the reporting period. The locations of monitoring stations are described in Table 2.1 and presented in Figure 2.1.

2.1.1   Action and Limit Levels

The Action and Limit Levels of the air quality monitoring stipulated in the EM&A programme for triggering the relevant investigation and follow-up procedures under the programme are provided in Table 2.1.

Table 2.1:         Impact Air Quality Monitoring Stations

Monitoring Station

Location

Action Level (mg/m3)

Limit Level (mg/m3)

AR1A

Man Tung Road Park

306

500

AR2

Village House at Tin Sum

298

 

2.1.2   Monitoring Results

The graphical plots of impact air quality monitoring results during the reporting period are presented in Appendix D. Percentage of monitoring results within their corresponding Action and Limit Levels in the reporting period are presented in Table 2.2.

Table 2.2:         Percentage of Air Quality Monitoring Results within Action and Limit Levels

AR1A

AR2

 

Jan 2020

100%

100%

 

Feb 2020

100%

100%

 

Mar 2020

100%

100%

 

Apr 2020

100%

100%

 

May 2020

100%

100%

 

Jun 2020

100%

100%

 

Jul 2020

100%

100%

 

Aug 2020

100%

100%

 

Sep 2020

100%

100%

 

Oct 2020

100%

100%

 

Nov 2020

100%

100%

 

Dec 2020

100%

100%

 

Overall

100%

100%

 

Note: The percentages are calculated by dividing the number of monitoring results within their corresponding Action and Limit Level by the total number of monitoring results.

All monitoring results at AR1A and AR2 were within their corresponding Action and Limit Levels.

General meteorological conditions throughout the impact monitoring period were recorded and summarized in Table 2.3.

Table 2.3:         General Meteorological Condition during Impact Air Quality Monitoring

Weather

Wind Direction

Jan – Mar 2020

Sunny to Rainy

North or East

Apr – Jun 2020

Sunny to Cloudy

Southwest or West

Jul – Sep 2020

Sunny to Cloudy

Southwest

Oct – Dec 2020

Sunny to Cloudy

Northeast

2.1.3   Conclusion

No dust emission source was observed at the monitoring stations during the monitoring sessions. As the sensitive receivers were far away from the construction activities, with the implementation of dust control measures, there was no adverse impact at the sensitive receivers attributable to the works of the Project.

2.2      Noise Monitoring

Impact noise monitoring was conducted at four representative monitoring stations once per week during 0700 and 1900 in the reporting period. The locations of monitoring stations are described in Table 2.4 and presented in Figure 2.1.

2.2.1   Action and Limit Levels

The Action and Limit levels of the noise monitoring stipulated in the EM&A programme for triggering the relevant investigation and follow-up procedures under the programme are provided in Table 2.4.

Table 2.4:         Impact Noise Monitoring Stations

Monitoring Station

Location

Action Level

Limit Level

NM1A

Man Tung Road Park

When one documented complaint is received from any one of the sensitive receivers

75 dB(A)

NM4

Ching Chung Hau Po Woon Primary School

65dB(A) / 70 dB(A) (i)

NM5

Village House in Tin Sum

75 dB(A)

NM6

House No. 1, Sha Lo Wan

75 dB(A)

Note:

 (i) The Limit Level for NM4 is reduced to 70dB(A) for being an educational institution. During school examination period, the Limit Level is further reduced to 65dB(A).

2.2.2      Monitoring Results

The graphical plots of impact noise quality monitoring results during the reporting period are presented in Appendix D. Percentage of monitoring results within their corresponding Action and Limit Levels in the reporting period are presented in Table 2.5.

Table 2.5:         Percentage of Noise Monitoring Results within Action and Limit Levels

 

NM1A

NM4

NM5

NM6

Jan 2020

100%

100%

100%

100%

Feb 2020

100%

100%

100%

100%

Mar 2020

100%

100%

100%

100%

Apr 2020

100%

100%

100%

100%

May 2020

100%

100%

100%

100%

Jun 2020

100%

100%

100%

100%

Jul 2020

100%

100%

100%

100%

Aug 2020

100%

100%

100%

100%

Sep 2020

100%

100%

100%

100%

Oct 2020

100%

100%

100%

100%

Nov 2020

100%

100%

100%

100%

Dec 2020

100%

100%

100%

100%

Overall

100%

100%

100%

100%

Note: The percentages are calculated by dividing the number of monitoring results within their corresponding Action and Limit Level by the total number of monitoring results.

No complaints were received from any sensitive receiver that triggered the Action Level. All monitoring results were also within the corresponding Limit Levels at all monitoring stations in the reporting period.

General weather conditions throughout the impact monitoring period were recorded and summarized in Table 2.6.

Table 2.6:         General Weather Condition during Impact Noise Monitoring

Weather

Jan – Mar 2020

Sunny to Drizzle

Apr – Jun 2020

Sunny to Cloudy

Jul – Sep 2020

Sunny to Cloudy

Oct – Dec 2020

Sunny to Cloudy

2.2.3      Conclusion

Major sources of noise dominating the monitoring stations observed during the construction noise impact monitoring were road traffic noise near NM1A, school activities at NM4, and aircraft noise near NM5 and NM6 during the reporting period. As the sensitive receivers were far away from the construction activities, with the implementation of noise control measures, there was no adverse impact at the sensitive receivers attributable to the works of the Project.  

2.3      Water Quality Monitoring

Impact water quality monitoring of the Project commenced on 4 Aug 2016. During the reporting period, water quality monitoring was conducted three days per week, at mid-ebb and mid-flood tides, at 23 water quality monitoring stations, comprising 12 impact (IM) stations, 8 sensitive receiver (SR) stations, and 3 control (C) stations in the vicinity of the water quality sensitive receivers around the existing airport island in accordance with the Manual. The purpose of water quality monitoring at the IM stations is to promptly capture any potential water quality impacts from the Project before the impacts could become apparent at sensitive receivers (represented by the SR stations). Table 2.7 describes the details of the monitoring stations. Figure 2.2 shows the locations of the monitoring stations.

With the completion of all marine-based DCM works in December 2020, regular DCM monitoring was proposed to be ceased at all monitoring stations starting within January 2021 and would be resumed if there are marine-based DCM works in the coming future.

Table 2.7:         Monitoring Locations and Parameters for Impact Water Quality Monitoring

Monitoring Stations

Description

Coordinates

Parameters

Easting

Northing

C1

Control Station

804247

815620

General Parameters:

DO, pH, Temperature, Salinity, Turbidity, SS

DCM Parameters

Total Alkalinity, Heavy Metals (2)

 

C2

Control Station

806945

825682

C3(3)

Control Station

817803

822109

IM1

Impact Station

807132

817949

IM2

Impact Station

806166

818163

IM3

Impact Station

805594

818784

IM4

Impact Station

804607

819725

IM5

Impact Station

804867

820735

IM6

Impact Station

805828

821060

IM9

Impact Station

808811

822094

IM10

Impact Station

809794

822385

IM11

Impact Station

811460

822057

IM12

Impact Station

812046

821459

SR1A(1)

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF) Seawater Intake for cooling

812660

819977

General Parameters

DO, pH, Temperature, Salinity, Turbidity, SS

SR2 (3)

Planned marine park / hard corals at The Brothers / Tai Mo To

814166

821463

General Parameters

DO, pH, Temperature, Salinity, Turbidity, SS

DCM Parameters

Total Alkalinity, Heavy Metals (2)(4)

SR3

Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park / fishing and spawning grounds in North Lantau

807571

822147

General Parameters

DO, pH, Temperature, Salinity, Turbidity, SS

 

SR4A

Sha Lo Wan

 

807810

817189

SR5A

San Tau Beach SSSI

810696

816593

SR6A(5)

Tai Ho Bay, Near Tai Ho Stream SSSI

814739

817963

SR7

Ma Wan Fish Culture Zone (FCZ)

823742

823636

SR8A(6)

Seawater Intake for cooling at Hong Kong International Airport (East)

811623

820390

Notes:

(1)     With the operation of HKBCF, water quality monitoring at SR1A was commenced on 25 October 2018.

(2)   Details of selection criteria for the two heavy metals for early regular and regular DCM monitoring refer to the Detailed Plan on Deep Cement Mixing available on the dedicated 3RS website (http://env.threerunwaysystem.com/en/ep-submissions.html). DCM specific water quality monitoring parameters (total alkalinity and heavy metals) were only conducted at C1 to C3, SR2, and IM1 to IM12.

(3)   According to the baseline water quality monitoring report, C3 station is not adequately representative as a control station of IM / SR stations during the flood tide. The control reference has been changed from C3 to SR2 from 1 September 2016 onwards.

(4)      Total alkalinity and heavy metals results are collected at SR2 as a control station for regular DCM monitoring.

(5)   As the access to SR6 was obstructed by the construction activities and temporary structures for Tung Chung New Town Extension, the monitoring location was relocated to SR6A starting from 8 August 2019.

(6)      The monitoring station for SR8 is subject to future changes due to silt curtain arrangements and the progressive relocation of this seawater intake.

2.3.1   Action and Limit Levels

The Action and Limit Levels for general water quality monitoring and regular DCM monitoring stipulated in the EM&A programme for triggering the relevant investigation and follow-up procedures under the programme are presented in Table 2.8. The control and impact stations during flood tide and ebb tide for general water quality monitoring and regular DCM monitoring are presented in Table 2.9. The weather and sea conditions during the reporting period are recorded and summarized in Table 2.10.

Table 2.8:    Action and Limit Levels for General Water Quality Monitoring and Regular DCM Monitoring

Parameters

Action Level (AL)

Limit Level (LL)

Action and Limit Levels for general water quality monitoring and regular DCM monitoring  

(excluding SR1A & SR8)

General Water Quality Monitoring

DO in mg/l (Surface, Middle & Bottom)

Surface and Middle

4.5 mg/l

Surface and Middle

4.1 mg/l

5 mg/l for Fish Culture Zone (SR7) only

Bottom

3.4 mg/l

Bottom

2.7 mg/l

Suspended Solids (SS) in mg/l

23

or 120% of upstream control station at the same tide of the same day, whichever is higher

37

or 130% of upstream control station at the same tide of the same day, whichever is higher

Turbidity in NTU

22.6

36.1

Regular DCM Monitoring(6)

Total Alkalinity in ppm

95

99

Representative Heavy Metals for regular DCM monitoring (Chromium)

0.2

0.2

Representative Heavy Metals for regular DCM monitoring (Nickel)

3.2

 

3.6

 

Action and Limit Levels SR1A

 

 

 

SS (mg/l)

33

42

Action and Limit Levels SR8

 

 

 

 

SS (mg/l)

52

 

60

 

Note:

1. For DO measurement, Action or Limit Level is triggered when the monitoring result is lower than the limits.

2. For parameters other than DO, Action or Limit Level of water quality results is triggered when monitoring results is higher than the limits.

3. Depth-averaged results are used unless specified otherwise.

4. Details of selection criteria for the two heavy metals for early regular and regular DCM monitoring refer to the Detailed Plan on Deep Cement Mixing available on the dedicated 3RS website http://env.threerunwaysystem.com/en/ep-submissions.html)

5. The Action and Limit Levels for the two representative heavy metals chosen will be the same as that for the intensive DCM monitoring.

6. Due to the completion of all marine-based DCM works within December 2020, regular DCM monitoring was proposed to be ceased at all monitoring stations starting within January 2021 and would be resumed if there are marine-based DCM works in the coming future. 

Table 2.9:         The Control and Impact Stations during Flood Tide and Ebb Tide for General Water Quality Monitoring and Regular DCM Monitoring

 

Control Station

Impact Stations

Flood Tide

 

C1

IM1, IM2, IM3, IM4, IM5, IM6, IM7, IM8, SR3

SR2 (1)

IM7, IM8, IM9, IM10, IM11, IM12, SR1A, SR3, SR4A, SR5A, SR6A, SR8

Ebb Tide

 

C1

SR4A, SR5A, SR6A

C2

IM1, IM2, IM3, IM4, IM5, IM6, IM7, IM8, IM9, IM10, IM11, IM12, SR1A, SR2, SR3, SR7, SR8

Note (1): As per findings of Baseline Water Quality Report, the control reference has been changed from C3 to SR2 from 1 September 2016 onwards.        

Table 2.10:       General Weather Condition and Sea Condition during Impact Water Quality Monitoring

Weather

Sea Condition

Jan – Mar 2020

Sunny to Rainy

Calm to Rough

Apr – Jun 2020

Sunny to Rainy

Calm to Rough

Jul – Sep 2020

Sunny to Rainy

Calm to Rough

Oct – Dec 2020

Sunny to Cloudy

Calm to Rough

2.3.2      Monitoring Results

Percentage of monitoring results within their corresponding Action and Limit Levels in the reporting period are presented in Table 2.11. It should be noted that Hong Kong was under the effect of tropical cyclones from 12 to 14 June, 31 July to 1 August, 18 to 19 August, 11 to 14 October and 22 to 24 October 2020 respectively, and the water quality monitoring results during the said periods might be affected by the inclement weather.

Table 2.11:       Percentage of Water Quality Monitoring Results within Action and Limit Levels

 

General Water Quality Monitoring

Regular DCM Monitoring

DO

(Surface and Middle)

DO

(Bottom)

SS

 Turbidity

Alkalinity

Chromium

Nickel

Jan 2020

100%

100%

99.6%

100%

100%

100%

99.7%

Feb 2020

100%

100%

98.4%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Mar 2020

100%

100%

99.0%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Apr 2020

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

May 2020

99.8%

100%

99.8%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Jun 2020

93.4%

91.6%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Jul 2020

97.8%

97.1%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Aug 2020

99.5%

98.8%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Sep 2020

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Oct 2020

100%

100%

99.8%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Nov 2020

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Dec 2020

100%

100%

96.3%

100%

100%

99.7%

100%

Overall

99.2%

99.0%

99.4%

100%

100%

99.97%

99.97%

Note: The percentages are calculated by dividing the number of depth-averaged results within their corresponding Action and Limit Level by the total number of depth-averaged results.

The monitoring results for turbidity and total alkalinity obtained in the reporting period were within their corresponding Action and Limit Levels.

For DO, SS, chromium and nickel, some of the testing results triggered the corresponding Action or Limit Levels in the reporting period. Investigations were conducted accordingly and the details were presented in the corresponding Construction Phase Monthly EM&A Reports. The status of each water quality parameter collected in the reporting period are presented graphically in Appendix D. Some of these cases were recorded at monitoring stations located upstream of the Project based on dominant tidal flow and were considered not affected by the Project. Based on respective investigation findings, cases triggering Action or Limit Level were found not related to the Project.

2.3.3      Conclusions

During the reporting period, it was noted that the vast majority of monitoring results (from 99.0% for DO (Bottom) to 100% for turbidity and alkalinity as presented in Table 2.11) were within their corresponding Action and Limit Levels, while only a minor number of results triggered their corresponding Action or Limit Level, and investigations were conducted. Based on the findings of the investigations presented in the Construction Phase Monthly EM&A Reports for 2020, all results that triggered the corresponding Action or Limit Level were not related to the Project. Therefore, the Project did not cause adverse impact at the water quality sensitive receivers. All required actions under the Event and Action Plan were followed. These cases were considered to be due to natural fluctuation or other sources not related to the Project.

Nevertheless, the non-project related triggers have been attended to and have initiated corresponding actions and measures. As part of the EM&A programme, the construction methods and mitigation measures for water quality will continue to be monitored and opportunities for further enhancement will continue to be explored and implemented where possible, to strive for better protection of water quality and the marine environment. 

In the meantime, the contractors were reminded to implement and maintain all mitigation measures during weekly site inspection and regular environmental management meetings. These include maintaining mitigation measures properly for reclamation works including DCM works, marine filling, seawall construction, and bored piling for approach lights as recommended in the Manual.

2.4      Waste Monitoring

In accordance with the Manual, the waste generated from construction activities was audited once per week to determine if waste was being managed in accordance with the Waste Management Plan (WMP) prepared for the Project, contract-specific WMP, and any statutory and contractual requirements. All aspects of waste management including waste generation, storage, transportation, and disposal were reviewed during the audits.

2.4.1      Action and Limit Levels

The Action and Limit Levels of the construction waste are provided in Table 2.12.

Table 2.12:  Action and Limit Levels for Construction Waste

Monitoring Stations

Action Level

Limit Level

Construction Area

When one valid documented complaint is received

Non-compliance of the WMP, contract-specific WMPs, any statutory and contractual requirements

2.4.2      Summary of Monitoring Results

Weekly monitoring on all works contracts were carried out by the ET in the reporting period to check and monitor the implementation of proper waste management practices.

Recommendations made included provision and maintenance of proper chemical waste storage area, as well as proper handling, segregation, and regular disposal of general refuse. The contractors implemented the recommended measures to improve waste management issues. Waste management audits were carried out by ET according to the requirement of the Waste Management Plan, the Manual, and the implementation schedule of the waste management mitigation measures in Appendix B.

The construction waste generated in the reporting period is summarized in Table 2.13.

Table 2.13:  Statistics of Construction Waste Generated in the Reporting Period

 

C&D(1) Material Stockpiled for Reuse or Recycle

(m3)

C&D Material Reused in the Project

(m3)

C&D Material Reused in other Projects

(m3)

C&D Material Transferred to Public Fill

(m3)

Chemical Waste

(kg)

Chemical Waste

(L)

General Refuse

(tonne)

Jan 2020

808

34,525

0

5,341

550

43,504

894

Feb 2020

850

41,994

0

5,074

120

6,400

1,011

Mar 2020

5,861

23,125

0

4,654

1,070

8,400

1,350

Apr 2020

2,809

14,720

0

2,700

0

4,800

998

May 2020

3,424

39,306

15

2,871

60

2,000

1,131

Jun 2020

3,903

32,271

0

3,164

0

0

736

Jul 2020

2,895

43,002

16

3,785

60

8,200

1,035

Aug 2020

6,005

70,022

0

2,735

0

1,400

1,224

Sep 2020

5,822

101,504

1,952

1,842

50

9,000

1,534

Oct 2020

7,679

121,985

1,724

10,267

60

1,800

2,242

Nov 2020

7,611

100,368

31

30,995

1,297

3,600

1,545

Dec 2020

20,497

52,073

4,879

4,027

240

5,980

2,223

Total

68,164

674,895

8,617

77,455

3,507

95,084

15,923

Notes:

1.     The excavated materials were temporarily stored at stockpiling area and will be reused in the Project.

2.     C&D refers to Construction and Demolition.

3.     Figures are rounded off to the nearest tonne.

4.     Paper, plastics, and metals were recycled in the reporting period.

There were no complaints, non-compliance of the WMP, contract-specific WMPs, statutory and contractual requirements that triggered Action and Limit Levels in the reporting period.

Along with the design and construction progress, a proposal of further development on the treatment level/details and the re-use mode for marine sediment generated from 3RS Project (hereafter referred to as “Further Development Proposal”) was prepared in accordance with the EIA recommendation and submitted to EPD for agreement. The marine sediment to be generated from the 3RS Project will be treated according to the Further Development Proposal. 

2.4.3      Marine Sediment Management

Marine sediment is managed according to the EIA Report, Updated EM&A Manual and Waste Management Plan and Further Development Proposal of the Project. The sampling process, storage conditions of the excavated marine sediment, treatment process, final backfilling location as well as associated records were inspected and checked by ET and verified by IEC to ensure they were in compliance with the requirements as stipulated in the Waste Management Plan and Further Development Proposal.

Sampling works for marine sediment generated from the reclaimed land area was on-going during the reporting period. The details of the marine sediment sampling, treatment and backfilling will be reported in the subsequent EM&A Reports upon completion.

2.5      Chinese White Dolphin Monitoring

According to Sections 10.2.1.2 and 10.2.1.3 of the EM&A Manual, CWD monitoring is required during the baseline, construction, post-construction and operation phases of the project. The aims of CWDs monitoring during construction period are:

    to monitor the effects on the potential shift in the CWD travelling areas and habitat use;

    to monitor the effectiveness of the HSF speed and routing restrictions to the CWDs;

    to provide a dataset that can be compatible with the AFCD long-term monitoring, be stratified in such a way as to allow the calculation of density and abundance for the different phases and to calculate the trends from these estimates; and

    to provide assessment of how the project and cumulative effects may be impacting the CWDs.

This section summarises the results of the CWD construction phase monitoring effort over a 12-month period between January 2020 and December 2020, to gather information on the spatial and temporal distribution patterns as well as calculate density and abundance of the CWD in the western Hong Kong waters. Supplementary information collected focusing on northwestern Lantau waters including the habitat use and behaviours of CWD during the construction phase of the Project has also been reviewed.

This reporting period is effectively the fourth full year of construction phase monitoring of CWDs.  The overall monitoring programme commenced in August 2016, although there were no marine construction works in August and September 2016, and only localised sand blanket laying and DCM trial works from October to December 2016.  This annual report reviewed the construction phase monitoring data for 2020 and compared with the construction phase monitoring data for the previous years.

CWD monitoring was conducted by undertaking vessel line-transect surveys, supplemented by land-based theodolite tracking survey and Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM). The vessel line transects covered Northeast Lantau (NEL), Northwest Lantau (NWL), Airport West (AW), West Lantau (WL) and Southwest Lantau (SWL) areas at a frequency of two full surveys per month as proposed in Section 10.2.3.2 of the Updated EM&A Manual, which are consistent with the AFCD long-term monitoring programme (except AW). The locations of the CWD vessel survey transects are shown in Figure 2.3. Additional survey effort was collected on a voluntary basis at the same frequency of two surveys per month from Deep Bay (DB) (refer to Appendix E for the location of this additional survey), which is an area that historically had CWD in the outer bay, to establish a full understanding of CWD abundance. All the DB data were considered supplemental and was only used for density and abundance estimation.

Density and abundance analysis made use of both conventional distance sampling (CDS) and a more sophisticated approach – multiple covariate distance sampling (MCDS) to estimate CWD abundance for the waters of Hong Kong.  The additional analysis using MCDS is more time-consuming and labour-intensive than DS as it uses information on environmental factors that are likely to affect detection probability (such as variables describing sighting conditions) and generally produces estimates with higher precision (i.e., lower variances and CVs).  However, datasets with small sample sizes (such as often occurs in marine mammal studies) can make it difficult or impossible to achieve model “convergence” in some MCDS analyses, and thus it is critical to always start each analysis with CDS methods (this also helps to determine the appropriate truncation distance and overall modelling approach). 

Based on the vessel survey data, seasonal differences in dolphin density and use of the study area were examined, using the solar seasons (Winter: December-February, Spring: March-May, Summer: June-August, Autumn: September-November) and/or oceanographic seasons (Dry: October-March, Wet: April-September).

The travelling pattern in different areas were reviewed by using photo-identification of individuals dolphins and their re-sighting locations, depicting the range use and cross-area movement of re-sighted individuals, where practicable. Travelling of CWDs in the north of Lung Kwu Chau were particularly supplemented with information from land-based theodolite tracking survey findings.

For the land-based theodolite tracking surveys, the monitoring frequency during the construction phase for marine works was one day per month at both the Lung Kwu Chau (LKC) station and Sha Chau (SC) station, as stipulated in Section 10.2.3.4 of the EM&A Manual. PAM was also deployed with a duty cycle of 20% for the construction phase with data supplementing the results of both vessel and land-based surveys. For details on CWD monitoring and data analysis methodologies refer to Section 10.2.4 of the EM&A Manual. The locations of land-based survey stations are described in Table 2.14 and depicted in Figure 2.4. The location of the Passive Acoustic Monitoring device at A5 (with the coordinates of 22° 20.299’ N, 113° 53.871’ E) is shown in Figure 2.5.

Table 2.14:  Land-based Survey Station Details

Stations

Location

Geographical Coordinates

Station Height (m)

Approximate Tracking Distance (km)

D

Sha Chau (SC)

22° 20’ 43.5” N

113° 53’ 24.66” E

45.66

2

E

Lung Kwu Chau (LKC)

22° 22’ 44.83” N

113° 53’ 0.2” E

70.40

3

2.5.1      Action and Limit Levels

The Action Level and Limit Level for CWD monitoring were formulated by an action response approach using the running quarterly dolphin encounter rates (Encounter Rate by Number of Dolphin Sightings ‘STG’ and Encounter Rate by Number of Dolphins ‘ANI’) derived from baseline monitoring data covering six months from mid-December 2015 to June 2016, as presented in the CWD Baseline Monitoring Report. The derived values of Action and Limit Levels for CWD monitoring are shown in Table 2.15. Running quarterly encounter rates STG and ANI have been determined for each month since August 2016 to compare with the derived Action/limit levels for construction phase monitoring of CWD. If persisting declines in the CWD running quarterly encounter rate values are determined month on month, an appropriate short-term response is then possible if the decline is shown to be related to 3RS construction activity.

Table 2.15:  Derived Values of Action Level and Limit Level for Chinese White Dolphin Monitoring

 

NEL, NWL, AW, WL and SWL as a Whole

Action Level(1)

Running quarterly STG < 1.86 & ANI < 9.35

Limit Level(1)

Two consecutive running quarterly (3-month) STG < 1.86 & ANI < 9.35

Notes: (1) Action Level and/or Limit Level will be triggered if both STG and ANI fall below the criteria

2.5.2      Summary of Monitoring Results

2.5.2.1         Summary of Vessel Line-transect Survey Monitoring Results

Survey Effort

During the reporting period from January 2020 to December 2020, surveys were completed in Northeast Lantau (NEL), Northwest Lantau (NWL), Airport West (AW), West Lantau (WL), and Southwest Lantau (SWL) survey areas. Although the frequencies of visiting each survey area per survey month were identical, the survey effort of different areas varied and was generally in proportion to the size of each survey area (i.e. larger survey area having longer distance of survey effort). A total of 5,388.5 km survey effort was collected in this reporting period.

Around 91.3% (4,919.7 km) of the survey effort was collected under favourable weather condition (i.e. Beaufort 0-3 and visibility of approximately 1200 m or beyond), and can be utilized in analyses of encounter rates, density and abundance.

The breakdown of the survey effort by survey areas are tabulated in Table 1 of Appendix E. Detailed record of the survey effort data is also provided in Appendix E.

Sighting Distribution

During the reporting period, a total of 166 groups consisting of 616 CWDs were sighted in NWL, AW, WL and SWL survey areas. Amongst these 166 groups of CWDs, 158 groups with 590 CWDs were sighted during on-effort surveys under favourable weather condition (Beaufort 0-3 and visibility of approximately 1200 m or beyond). Breakdown of the sightings by survey areas are tabulated in Table 2 of Appendix E.

In NWL (including AW transects), CWDs were mostly sighted in the southern part of the survey area, particularly in waters off the west of the existing Hong Kong International Airport. There were only a few scattered sightings around Lung Kwu Chau which used to be a hotspot for CWDs in past years. One sighting was recorded just outside the northern edge of the 3RS temporary works area.

In WL, CWD sightings were distributed quite evenly over the entire survey area between the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge-Hong Kong Link Road (HZMB-HKLR) and Fan Lau.

In SWL, sightings of CWDs were scattered amongst the survey area, with more sightings particularly recorded around Fan Lau.

No CWDs were recorded in NEL survey area. The sighting locations of CWDs during this reporting period are depicted in Figure 1 of Appendix E.

Encounter Rates

Two types of dolphin encounter rates were calculated based on the data collected during the reporting period. They included the number of dolphin sightings per 100 kilometers survey effort (STG) and total number of dolphins per 100 kilometers survey effort (ANI). The dolphin encounter rates were calculated by using survey data collected under favorable weather condition only (Beaufort sea state 3 or below with favorable visibility). Encounter rate provides a short to medium term frequency method for monitoring and responding appropriately to changes in CWD abundance as project works progress (referring to Section 10.5.2.3 of the EM&A Manual). The two types of encounter rates provide an overall indication of changes in CWD numbers over time in western Hong Kong waters.

During the reporting period, the overall combined STG and ANI of CWDs (from NEL, NWL, AW, WL and SWL) in 2020 were 3.21 and 11.99 respectively. Dolphin encounter rates by survey area and a summary of monthly encounter rates are presented in Table 3 and Table 4 of Appendix E respectively. Compared by area, WL had the highest encounter rates STG and ANI amongst the survey areas, followed by SWL and then AW.

The temporal trends in 2020 exhibited overall typical seasonal patterns, but with the peak monthly STG and ANI occurring in July and declining in winter and spring from January to April. Both of these two values reached their lowest in September 2020. This is a bit different from most previous years, in which the lowest encounter rates were usually recorded in wintertime. The trends of both monthly STG and ANI are presented in Figure 2 and Figure 3 of Appendix E.

Running quarterly encounter rates STG and ANI data were determined for each month for comparison with the Action/Limit levels for construction phase monitoring of CWD. Although the running quarterly ANI has continuously fallen below the Action Level from January to April 2020, the overall Action Level was not triggered in this reporting period because the running quarterly STGs of those months remained above the Action Level. The running quarterly STG and ANI from January to December 2020 are summarized in Table 4 of Appendix E. The graphical plots of running quarterly encounter rates of the current reporting year and the past reporting years are presented in Figure 2 and Figure 3 of Appendix E respectively.

Density and Abundance Estimation

Line transect analyses to estimate the density and abundance of CWDs in Hong Kong waters during the reporting period were conducted using the same basic methods as in previous analyses. The best estimate of abundance was obtained using Beaufort sea state as a co-variate, and a half-normal model with a cosine adjustment (effective strip width = 300 m). The detection function of 3RS CWD monitoring data of this reporting period is shown in Figure 4 of Appendix E and the various parameters of the 2019 estimates are shown in Table 5 of Appendix E. The overall abundance estimated for this reporting period (incorporating an entire year of data from all four seasons) was 32 CWDs (CV = 12.8%, indicating a very good level of precision <15%), which shows a notable decrease from last year. For comparison, the 2019 abundance was 40 CWDs (CV = 14.6%). As in analyses of the last reporting year in 2019, the area with the highest abundance and highest density was WL (N=20, this has been consistent over the AFCD long-term records).  NWL showed a very large drop in the numbers of dolphins (from 8 in 2019 to 1 in 2020), though SWL showed a slight increase (from 9 to 11). NEL registered an abundance of zero, which has been the case in most of the last 9 years.  Overall, while several areas showed similar numbers or even a slight increase from the previous year’s estimates, the drop in NWL numbers was very large, indicative that dolphins have moved away from this area in 2020.  This suggests that any potential recovery of dolphins in the North Lantau from the recent completion of the Hong-Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) may thus have been interrupted.  The HZMB impacts on dolphins would be expected to have been most severe between 2013-2016 (when the brunt of construction was occurring), and in fact, this time period saw a significant drop in numbers of dolphins in Hong Kong (see Jefferson 2018).

It is worth noting, however, that the 3RS EIA predicted significant impacts on CWDs (Mott MacDonald 2014), and a drop in numbers of dolphins in the area during the most intensive part of the 3RS construction phase is thus expected.  Reclamation work was intensive in 2020, with much of the 3RS landform completed by the end of the year.  There is expected to be some recovery after the main marine filling and reclamation works are completed, however, this issue will need to be examined with more data over several years, and the cumulative impacts due to the 3RS project with other concurrent projects will become clearer as works progress, and our dataset grows.

In addition to estimating year-round abundance for each of the survey areas, a seasonal analysis was also conducted (the pooled dataset from all survey areas was used, as stratifying by both survey area and season would reduce the sample sizes that result in estimates with unacceptably-low levels of precision) (refer to Table 5 of Appendix E). The spring estimate was the lowest (N=24 dolphins), which has traditionally been the case for dolphin numbers in Hong Kong. The summer estimate showed the highest numbers (N=59 dolphins), which is expected based on historical records.  The seasonal analysis shows that, as in the past, there was a marked influx of dolphins into Hong Kong during the wet season (especially in summer months).

Quantitative Grid Analysis on Habitat Use

Habitat use amongst the survey areas was examined by using quantitative grid analysis, both SPSE (no. of on-effort sightings per 100 units of survey effort) and DPSE (no. of dolphins per 100 units of survey effort) values for each 1 km2 grid were calculated in all grids amongst all survey areas for the period from January 2020 to December 2020. SPSE and DPSE of the current reporting year and the previous reporting years are depicted in Figure 5 of Appendix E.

In 2020, the decline in CWDs usage of waters around SCLKCMP in NWL continued from previous years since 2018.

The important dolphin habitats in WL survey area in 2020 are largely similar to 2019 with increased use of waters around Peaked Hill and Fan Lau; grids with high SPSE and/or DPSE value(s) in WL were near Tai O, Yi O, Peaked Hill and Fan Lau.

In SWL, the coastal waters around Fan Lau and Fan Lau Tung Wan as well as eastern waters off the Soko Islands encountered increase in CWDs usage, while the waters around Lo Kei Wan became less frequently used by CWD in 2020.

Cumulative SPSE and DPSE values were also calculated by using the 3RS CWD monitoring data since mid-Dec 2015 and are depicted in Figure 6 of Appendix E. Grids in western waters of Hong Kong with higher dolphin density are restricted to waters off West Lantau, at Tai O, Yi O, Peaked Hill and Fan Lau.

Group Size

During the reporting period from January 2020 to December 2020, group size of CWDs ranged from one to 19 dolphins, with an average of 3.71, taking into account all CWD sightings recorded. The average group sizes of NWL, AW, WL and SWL were 2.86, 3.33, 4.04 and 3.22 respectively. By four solar seasons, the average group size of CWDs was the highest in spring (4.38) but the lowest in winter (2.80). The summaries of the average group size of CWDs by survey area and by season are presented in Table 6 and Table 7 of Appendix E.

Medium-sized CWD groups (i.e. 3 to 9 dolphins per group) accounted for around half of the sightings during the reporting period (about 48.2%). Similarly, small-sized CWD groups (i.e. 1 to 2 dolphins per group) accounted for around 46.4%. Nine sightings, which accounted for 5.4% of the sightings, were large CWD groups with 10 or more dolphins per group.

Both small and medium CWD groups were generally sighted throughout the distribution range of dolphins in NWL, WL and SWL waters. Large-sized CWD groups were mainly recorded in WL survey area and also western end of SWL survey area near Fan Lau. No large CWD group was recorded in NWL. This is consistent with the pattern in the last two to three years. The sighting distribution of CWDs with different group sizes is illustrated in Figure 7 of Appendix E.

Activities and Association with Fishing Boats

Although vessel surveys do not provide the most unbiased information on the behaviour and activities of dolphins (due to the potentially disturbing presence of the vessel itself, and also the low vantage point of small vessels), nonetheless behaviour and activity data are still useful and are being collected from the vessel surveys.

During the reporting period, a total of 32, 8, 28 and 2 groups of CWDs were observed engaging in feeding, traveling, socialising and resting/milling activities, comprising of 19.3%, 4.8%, 16.9% and 1.2% of all CWD sightings respectively. The sighting locations of CWD groups engaged in different types of activities are depicted in Figure 8 of Appendix E.

In NWL, only feeding activities were recorded and they were observed at the western waters of the existing Hong Kong International Airport. In WL, feeding activities of CWD mainly occurred in the waters of Tai O, Peaked Hill and Fan Lau. In SWL, feeding activities mostly occurred at the north and northwest sides of the Soko Islands. Considering the sample size of sighting data of different survey areas, AW had the highest percentage of feeding again in 2020 (however, it should be kept in mind that the sample size in AW was very small), followed by both WL and SWL. Significant declines in feeding activities were observed in NWL (i.e. from 28% of sightings in 2019 to 14% of sightings in 2020) and SWL (i.e. from 29% of sightings in 2019 to 19% of sightings in 2020). The feeding activities recorded in WL remained relatively steady in 2020.

Socialising activities were observed scattering from Tai O in WL to the Soko Islands in SWL with more observations recorded at Fan Lau and Fan Lau Tung Wan. The few travelling and resting/milling activities records showed no significant pattern. The percentages of different activities for each of the survey areas are shown in Table 8 of Appendix E.

A total of six sightings of CWDs were observed associating with operating fishing boats, including gill netters (two groups), purse seiners (three groups) and pair trawler (one group), accounted for 3.6% of all sightings in 2020. CWDs’ association with operating fishing boats in 2020 showed a slight rebound compared with previous years’ observable declining trend (7.2% in 2016, 6.3% in 2017, 3.7% in 2018 and 2.4% in 2019), which might be attributed by the reduction of fishing activities, particularly purse seiners’ operation in waters north off Lung Kwu Chau and in southwest Lantau waters based on our field observation during the CWD monitoring.

Observations of CWD association with operating fishing boats were scattered from the west of the existing Hong Kong International Airport in NWL, to the relatively offshore waters in WL and south to the waters between the Soko Islands and Lantau coast in SWL. Similar to 2019 records, there was no observation of CWD association with operating fishing boats recorded north off Lung Kwu Chau, an area that used to be a favourite fishing ground in past years. Although a trawling ban was implemented in December 2012, illegal trawling activities were still observed near the western and southwestern borders of Hong Kong. One group of CWDs was observed feeding in association with pair trawlers in mainland waters close to the Hong Kong border in WL. The sighting locations of CWD groups associated with operating fishing boats are depicted in Figure 9 of Appendix E.

Mother-calf / Mother-unspotted Juvenile Pairs

During the reporting period, a total of 27 sightings were observed having mother-and-unspotted calf (UC) and/or mother-and-unspotted juvenile (UJ) pairs, which accounted for about 16.3% of all sightings of 2020. The percentage was slightly higher than that of 2019 (i.e. 15.0%). For different survey areas, the percentages of sightings with mother-calf pairs in NWL (including AW), WL and SWL were 10%, 21.6% and 7.4% respectively. These percentages were calculated by dividing the number of sightings with mother-calf pairs of a survey area by the total number of sightings of that survey area. In 2020, there is an observable increase in percentage of sightings with mother-calf pairs in NWL (including AW) after the decline in 2019, i.e. from 19% in 2018 to 3.6% in 2019 and then 10% in 2020. However, it should be noted that the sample size of NWL was quite low (n = 7 in 2020) that such rebound in percentage might not represent the actual situation.  

The abovementioned 27 sightings included 10 pairs of mother-and-UC and 23 pairs of mother-and-UJ. According to the result of photo-identification, these 27 sightings consisted of one identified mother-and-UC pair and three identified mother-and-UJ pairs.

Most of the sightings with mother-calf pairs were recorded in WL between Tai O and Fan Lau. In NWL, the only sighting with mother-calf pair was recorded in western waters off the HKIA, while the sightings with the presence of mother-calf pairs in SWL occurred at Fan Lau and the western waters of the Soko Islands. The sighting distribution of mother-UC/ mother-UJ pairs is depicted in Figure 10 of Appendix E.

Photo Identification – Summary

During the reporting period, a total of 17 newly identified CWD individuals were added to the photo-identification catalogues, including two added to NL catalogue, 14 added to WL catalogue and one added to SL catalogue. Two animals, namely WLMM096 and WLMM137 were confirmed to be duplicates of identified individuals in earlier time, namely WLMM006 and WLMM038 respectively. Therefore, all records under these two duplicates were transferred to the records under WLMM006 and WLMM038, respectively.

The photo-identification database is currently having 350 identified individuals. Amongst these 350 identified individuals, 216 individuals were sighted more than once, which account for about 61.7% of the total number of the identified individuals. In these re-sightings, 21 individuals were sighted 20 times or more, five individuals were sighted 30 times or more, while one individual was sighted more than 40 times. On the other hand, there are 38.3% of the identified individuals only being sighted once.

In 2020, a total of 132 CWD individuals were identified for altogether 390 times from all sightings. Amongst these 132 CWD individuals, 23, 75 and 34 belonged to NL, WL and SL catalogues respectively. There were 80 individuals (around 60.6%) sighted more than once. Twenty-three of these 80 re-sighted individuals were sighted five times or more.

The most frequently re-sighted animal in 2020 was SLMM003 which has been sighted 16 times, followed by SLMM014, SLMM037 and WLMM114 (all being re-sighted 12 times). The most frequently re-sighted animal since the establishment of the photo-identification catalogue is SLMM014 which has been sighted 42 times, followed by SLMM003 (sighted 38 times) and SLMM010 (identified 35 times). There are few more animals including SLMM052, WLMM001 and WLMM007 that have been sighted 30 times or above.

Nine animals that were frequently using Hong Kong waters in previous years (with 10 or more re-sighting records since the commencement the monitoring in 2015) have disappeared from Hong Kong waters in 2020. These animals are NLMM002, NLMM006, NLMM010, NLMM016, NLMM018, SLMM015, SLMM017, WLMM054 and WLMM078. We could not confirmed if these animals were occurring elsewhere in mainland waters or if some of them have already passed away. Information of the photo-identification work of CWDs taking place in mainland waters by South China Sea Fisheries Research Institute (SCSFRI) is not available for our further investigation of these nine animals. On the other hand, AFCD’s anatomy information on dolphin carcasses might not be able to provide useful information for our further investigation as many of the dolphin carcasses were seriously decomposed when they were found. Since 2015, only one animal, NLMM033, was found dead with the confirmation from AFCD. It is worth noting that five out of these nine animals are dolphins from NL photo-identification catalogue. This is somehow in line with the drastic decline of CWDs’ usage in NWL in 2020. Special attention will be paid on these animals in the future photo-identification analysis to see if there are any updates of the situation.

A summary of the photo-identification of CWDs is presented in Table 9 of Appendix E.

Photo Identification – Range Use of Identified CWD individuals

SLMM003, the most frequently re-sighted animal in 2020 and also the second most frequently re-sighted animal since 2015, continued to occur frequently in WL waters. Compared with year 2019, its range use extended a bit to Fan Lau Tung Wan in SWL. The overall range use of SLMM003 since 2015 has covered Tai O to the Soko Islands.

SLMM014, the most frequently re-sighted animal since 2015, used to range from waters near Yi O in WL to the Soko Islands and Lo Kei Wan in SWL. In 2020, SLMM014 extended its range use northward to the waters off the west of the HKIA, which is the first time for it to be recorded in NWL survey area. Compared with 2019, the range use of SLMM014 in 2020 extended slightly northward in WL and eastward in SWL. It had been sighted three times more in 2020 than in 2019.

In 2020, the range use of SLMM010, the third most frequently re-sighted animal since 2015, generally shrank compared with previous reporting years. It appeared extensively from Peaked Hill in WL to Fan Lau in SWL with an exception of sighting record at the south of HKLR alignment in NWL survey area, which is SLMM010’s first record in NWL. 

The most frequently re-sighted mother-calf pair in 2020 is WLMM079 and its offspring WLMM147. The calf WLMM147 was first identified in 2019. They have been successfully identified together for eight times since 2019. The range use of this mother-calf pair covers Tai O in WL to the western waters of the Soko Islands in SWL.

The particular mother-calf pair with prolonged bonding, NLMM013 and its offspring NLMM006 (a spotted juvenile) in NWL waters which was mentioned in previous years, were not seen together in 2020 after their occasional records in the last few years (2017 to 2019). NLMM006 was not recorded while its mother, NLMM013, was only sighted once in NWL during the entire surveys in 2020.

Special attention has continued to be given to SLMM028 since its severe injury happened in 2018. In 2020, SLMM028 was sighted four times in NWL, WL and SWL and the range use was more or less similar to that before its injury. This shows a good sign of successful recovery from its serious injury. 

The sighting locations of SLMM003, SLMM014, SLMM010, WLMM079, WLMM147 and SLMM028 are depicted in location maps under Figure 11 of Appendix E, which provide the indicative distribution range use of representative individuals recorded for the 3RS CWD monitoring.

Photo Identification – Cross-area Movement

Amongst the 80 individuals that were re-sighted more than once in 2020, 41 individuals showed cross-area movement between survey areas. This accounted for about 31.1% of all 132 identified animals. Amongst these 41 animals, five animals (12.2%) were re-sighted in both NWL (including AW) and WL, 30 animals (73.2%) were recorded in both WL and SWL, while three animals (7.3%) were recorded in both NWL (including AW) and SWL. Another three animals (7.3%) namely SLMM010, SLMM014 and SLMM028 were recorded occurring in all three main survey areas (WL, SWL and NWL) in 2020.

Despite the fact that a number of identified CWD individuals were re-sighted in different survey areas, 39 (around 48.8%) out of those 80 animals re-sighted at least twice in 2020 were observed in one survey area only but not crossing between survey areas.

Photo Identification – Residency Pattern

The residency patterns of the identified dolphin individuals have been examined for the first time under this monitoring programme. For residency pattern analysis, both seasonal and annual occurrence patterns of identified CWD individuals with 15 or more re-sighting records (since the established of the photo-identification database) were carefully examined. “Residents” are defined as individual dolphins that were regularly sighted in Hong Kong for at least three consecutive years, while “Visitors” are individuals that were intermittently sighted during the past years since the establishment of the photo-id database. Seasonal occurrence patterns were examined to distinguish individuals that occurred year-round (i.e. individual dolphins sighted in all four seasons in at least one of the last two years) or seasonally (i.e. individual dolphins that occurred only in certain seasons of the year).

Photo-identification records of 44 dolphin individuals that have at least 15 re-sightings since the establishment of the database were examined. There are 16 and 27 individuals being identified as year-round residents and seasonal residents respectively. Only one out of these 44 individuals is considered as a visitor to Hong Kong waters. However, it should be noted that the low number of dolphins being classified as visitors at present is mainly because of difficulty for visitor dolphins to meet the minimum requirement of at least 15 re-sightings with their intermittent sighting records. The details of the residency pattern of these 44 animals are shown in Appendix E. Note that this analysis is highly preliminary, and although it does indicate that many of the dolphins using HK waters are residents of some sort, more data are needed to get a better picture of the use of the area by visitors.

2.5.2.2         Summary of Land-based Theodolite Tracking Monitoring Results

Survey Effort

In this reporting period, land-based surveys commenced on 8 January 2020, and concluded on 28 December 2020. A total of 24 days and 144 hours of land-based theodolite survey effort were accomplished, including 12 days and 72 hours from LKC and 12 days and 72 hours from SC (Table 10 of Appendix E for summary). A total of 21 CWD groups were tracked from land, for a total of 2.55 hours, all from the LKC station (Table 10, Figure 12 Appendix E). While most initial CWD sightings were within 2.4 km of the LKC tracking station, sightings were as far out as 3.4 km, north of the station. The number of CWD groups sighted from LKC per survey hour was 0.29, compared to 0.33 in 2019, both less than one-half of that observed in 2018 (0.77 groups per survey hour) and 2017 (0.89 groups per survey hour). No CWDs were observed from SC.

After the raw data were filtered, only 6 CWD group tracks off LKC fit criteria for analyses due to the majority of CWD group tracks too short in duration (< 10 minutes) to include. From the tracks that fit criteria, only 10 10-minute short-track segments could be extracted for potential analyses. Based on this information, sample sizes were simply too low for appropriate statistical analyses, and therefore the present data is summarized to show potential trends. Due to low sample size, all data were used to summarize diurnal, annual, and group size patterns and behavioural state activity. Filtered standardized short-track segments were used to summarize movement patterns.

Time of Day

The diurnal pattern of CWDs was calculated by dividing the total tracking time of CWD groups (prior to filtering short-track data) by the total effort per hour block, and depicted in Figure 13 of Appendix E. Off LKC, the highest proportion of CWD tracking time per hour of effort was recorded in the morning during the 0900 hour block (11%), whilst the lowest percentages were recorded in the afternoon after the 1200 hour block when almost no CWDs were observed. Indeed, the proportion of CWD tracking time per hour of effort during the 0900 hour block accounted for slightly over one-half of total CWD tracking time.

Time of Year

CWDs were observed from LKC during January, February, April, August, October, November, and December as depicted in Figure 14 of Appendix E. No groups were recorded during five months in 2020, including March, May, June, July, and September. Based on solar season in 2020, CWDs were observed most often during the winter (57%), and least often during the summer (9.5%). Similarly in 2019, CWDs were observed more than expected, based on even distribution, during the winter season. In 2020, CWDs were observed most often during the dry season (71%) and least often during the wet season (29%). The same pattern was observed in 2018; however, in 2019 there was not a statistical difference based on oceanographic season.

Group Size

The mean group size of CWD off LKC prior to filtering tracks was 1.8±0.9, ranging from singletons to a maximum group size of four dolphins (Table 11 of Appendix E). This finding is similar to group size in 2019 prior to filtering data (1.9±1.2, range 1-6), but less than group size in 2018 prior to filtering data (2.6±1.5, range 1-8). Based on solar season, the mean CWD group size in descending order was 2.0±1.0 in autumn, 2.0±1.4 in spring, 1.7±0.8 in winter, and 1.5±0.7 in summer. Based on oceanographic season, the mean CWD group size was 1.8±1.2 during the wet season and 1.7±0.8 during the dry season.

Based on proximity to the SCLKCMP boundary, the mean CWD group size was 1.8±0.8 inside the marine park, 1.6±0.7 outside the marine park, and 2.5±2.1 when crossing the marine park. The sighting distribution of CWDs relative to group sizes within the SCLKCMP, crossing the SCLKCMP boundary and outside the SCLKCMP are represented in Figure 15, Figure 16 and Figure 17 of Appendix E respectively. No vessels were within 500m of CWD focal groups.

Behavioural State

The unknown behavioural category (54%, n = 101) was excluded from the following summary of behavioural states. CWDs were recorded foraging (68%), travelling (29%), and socialising (2%) of theodolite tracking time (Figure 18 of Appendix E). Resting behaviour was not recorded off LKC in 2020. This is different from that recorded in 2019 with travelling (50%), foraging (37%), resting (8%) and socializing (6%).

Within the boundary of the SCLKCMP, observed CWD behavioural states included foraging (79%, n = 50) and travelling (21%, n = 13) (Figure 19 of Appendix E). Outside of the SCLKCMP, observed CWD behavioural states included travelling only (100%, n = 7). There was a large number of ‘unknown’ classifications (n = 33) for CWD behavioural states outside of the marine park boundary, farther from the theodolite station, which may reflect a sighting bias. CWDs crossing the SCLKCMP boundary were recorded foraging (53%, n = 8), travelling (33%, n = 5), and socialising (13%, n = 2).

Dolphin Movement Patterns and Vessel Activity

Plots of vessels, including high-speed ferries, and CWDs show overlap in habitat off LKC throughout the year (Figure 20 of Appendix E).

Off LKC in 2020, 182 vessels were recorded during theodolite tracking surveys. Only eight vessels were recorded during dates and times that overlapped with CWD tracking sessions, none of which were within 500m of dolphins (based on filtered short-track segments).

Summary of findings for 2020:

    Overall, the combination of reduced effort and low CWD sighting rate in 2020 provided few samples and the inability to conduct robust statistical analyses. As stated below, while low numbers in 2020 make most statistical analysis not possible, it is nevertheless obvious that off LKC there was a strong decrease of CWD from earlier years.

    The number of CWD groups sighted from LKC per survey hour was 0.29, compared to 0.33 in 2019, both less than one-half of that observed in 2018 (0.77 groups per survey hour) and 2017 (0.89 groups per survey hour).

    CWDs were observed most often during the 0900 morning hour block and almost no CWDs were observed after noon.

    The highest percentages of CWDs were observed during winter season, similar to 2019. The past two years differ from 2018 when the peak percentage of CWDs were observed during the spring and autumn, with a lower percentage observed in the winter.

    CWDs were recorded most often during the dry season, with a peak in winter (January). No CWDs were observed during 4 of the 6 wet season months.

    Maximum CWD group size in 2020 was 4 individuals, compared to 2019 with a maximum of 6 individuals, and 2018 with a maximum of 8 individuals.

    Overall, waters off Lung Kwu Chau continue to be habitat used primarily for foraging and also for travelling. Socialising was observed infrequently, whilst resting behaviour was not recorded in 2020.

    Most CWD groups were observed within the SCLKCMP; however, this trend may reflect a sighting bias wherein single CWDs may be more difficult to locate farther from the survey platform.

    Foraging and travelling were observed within the SCLKCMP boundary; foraging, travelling and socialising were observed by CWDs crossing the SCLKCMP boundary; and only travelling was observed outside of the SCLKCMP boundary.

    Vessels were not recorded within 500m of CWD groups, which may be due to low sample size or reflect potential CWD avoidance of vessels off LKC.

    There were no sightings of CWDs off Sha Chau during land-based theodolite work in 2020.

2.5.2.3         Summary of Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) Results

Dolphin Detection Rates Per Day

From 8 January 2020 to 14 January 2021, there were eight deployment periods of Ecological Acoustic Recorder (EAR) at position A5 for PAM (with the coordinates of 22° 20.299’ N, 113° 53.871’ E). During this period (Deployments 1 through 8), dolphins were detected at site A5 in a total of 196 of 106,051 files (0.18% of files), as summarized in Table 12 of Appendix E. Dolphins were detected on 83 of 370 days (22% of days) with recording effort (Figure 21 of Appendix E). On days with dolphins detected, the mean percentage of files with detections per day was 0.8%, and the maximum percentage of files with dolphin detections was 4.2%, on 09 Jan 2021. On 42 of 83 days with dolphin detections (51%), only one file containing dolphin signals was detected, and on the other 41 days, two or more files containing dolphin signals were detected. Clicks were the predominant type of dolphin signal detected (n = 195 of 196 detections, or 99%). Whistles were only detected once throughout the monitoring period, on 23 Feb 2020.

Dolphin detection rates were greatest in the winter and spring, and decreased in summer, with no dolphin detections for a span of two months from mid-July to mid-September. Detection rates remained relatively low through the autumn (Figure 21 of Appendix E). During winter through spring of 2020 (Deployments 1 to 3), dolphins were detected on more than 30% of recording days, and in 0.22–0.33% of files (Table 12 of Appendix E). In early summer (Deployment 4), dolphins were detected on 16% of recording days and in 0.06% of files, and in late summer (Deployment 5), no dolphins were detected. In autumn (Deployments 6 and 7), dolphins were detected on 6–7% of recording days and in 0.02–0.03% of files. During early winter 2020–2021 (Deployment 8), dolphin detection rates began to increase again, with detections on 48% of recording days and in 0.57% of files. The overall metrics for dolphin occurrence during this reporting period represent a decrease in detection rates compared to previously reported values from monitoring at site A5 in 2019 (Table 13 of Appendix E). However, the increase in detection rates during deployment 8 of 2020 (extending into early 2021) is comparable with the increase in winter occurrence in previous years.

Dolphin Diel Pattern

Dolphin detection rates at A5 from 08 Jan 2020 to 14 Jan 2021 were greater overall at night than during daytime, with a peak in detections in the hour 2300 and remaining high from 0000-0500 (as indicated in Figure 22 of Appendix E). The higher night-time detection rate observed during this monitoring period is similar to the diel pattern in dolphin detections observed throughout Hong Kong waters, with higher numbers of detections during night-time and fewest detections at midday (Munger et al. 2016). In winter, peak detection hours were from 2100-0400; there was also a midday peak in detections during the 1200 hour, which has not been observed in previous years (Figure 23 of Appendix E). In spring, peak detection hours were 2000 and 0500, and there were few to no detections during the daylight hours of 0800-1700. Dolphin detection rates were low in summer and autumn and no diel trend was observable.

Sound Pressure Levels Per Day

Ambient noise levels (referred to as sound pressure levels or SPL) received at the EAR were calculated for each recording within the full effective frequency bandwidth (~0 to 32 kHz), as well as octave bands of 0-2 kHz, 2-4 kHz, 4-8 kHz, 8-16 kHz, and 16-32 kHz. In 2020, mean daily sound pressure level over the full bandwidth ranged from 109 dB to 120 dB, with a mean of 116 dB rms re 1 µPa (Figure 24 of Appendix E). Mean daily sound pressure levels in all frequency bands were lowest during the winter deployments. Mean SPL in the lowest frequency band (0-2 kHz) increased from 112 dB during winter to 116 dB during spring and was slightly lower at 114 dB in summer. The maximum SPL in the low frequency band (0-2 kHz) was 118 dB and was reached in spring (April to May), but was also near this value in early January 2020. There was a temporary drop in SPL by approximately 5 dB in the 0-2 kHz band during the last week of January 2020, with a minimum SPL of 104 dB around 26 January, but mean values resumed by mid-February. In the mid- and high-frequency bands (above 2 kHz), SPL increased steadily throughout the spring and summer and reached a maximum in August 2020 of approximately 8 dB greater than winter and early spring levels. SPL then decreased in all bands from August through December, with the largest decrease of 10-12 dB in the frequency bands above 2 kHz.

Daily mean sound pressure levels in the 16-32 kHz band, in which energy from CWD clicks occurs, ranged from 96 to 105 dB, with the minimum in winter and maximum in late summer (Figure 24 of Appendix E). The greater SPL in summer coincided with the low acoustic detection rates of CWD, and it is possible that the higher noise levels reduced the probability of dolphin detection during this period. Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin click and whistle frequencies are above 16 kHz and below 10 kHz, respectively (Sims et al. 2012). However, the extent to which ambient received sound levels influenced detectability of dolphin signals was not quantified for this data set.

Diel Sound Pressure Level

Mean sound pressure levels plotted by hour indicated a daily peak during the hour 2000, which was mainly due to the contribution from the 0-2 kHz frequency band (Figure 25 of Appendix E). This daily peak was most pronounced in spring (March-April-May) and gradually subsided through summer, autumn, and winter, and also shifted one hour later each season (1800 in spring, 1900 in autumn, and 2000 in autumn, and 1800 again in winter (Figure 26 of Appendix E). The seasonally shifting evening peak is similar to the diel pattern of sound pressure levels reported during previous Hong Kong PAM efforts (Munger et al. 2016), and is hypothesized to be related to a local fish chorus, probably dominated by croakers (family Sciaenidae). Overall, daily noise levels decreased throughout the night-time hours of 0000 to 0600 and were lowest at 0600, and increased by 3-6 dB during the daytime, likely due to the contribution of anthropogenic traffic and activity during daytime as well as the fish chorus in late afternoon hours (Figure 25 of Appendix E). Sound pressure levels in the 16-32 kHz band remained relatively flat and constant (within 2 dB) throughout most hours of the day, although SPL in this band increased by 2-4 dB during the evening peak in hours 1800-1900, depending on season.

2.5.3      Discussions on CWD Monitoring Results

CWD monitoring by vessel surveys has been conducted as required during the construction phase. Supplementary surveys including land-based theodolite tracking and underwater acoustic monitoring have provided additional information (such as habitat use of CWD during day and night) for facilitating a review of the effectiveness of mitigation measures proposed and any need for adaptive management measures. In addition to interpreting monitoring data in relation to identifying any project impacts, the interpretation of data from all three monitoring types can also assist in examining the kinds of issues that need to be considered for management and conservation of CWD in Hong Kong.

2.5.3.1         Vessel Line-transect Survey and Photo-identification

From the CWD vessel-based monitoring data, the estimate of overall abundance for 2020 was 32 dolphins, which is significantly lower than the year before, with a CV of 12.8% (which indicates a very good level of precision). It is not surprising to see that the estimate of total dolphin numbers in Hong Kong was lower than the previous year’s estimate (40 dolphins in 2019, CV = 14.6%), and a change from one year to the next should never be taken as an indication of long-term trends. Although CWD estimates in Hong Kong increased somewhat from 2016 to 2018 (Jefferson 2018; 3RS Annual EM&A Report 2018), Hong Kong waters have been showing an overall declining trend in dolphin numbers over the last decade (see Jefferson 2018), and the 3RS EIA predicted shifting of dolphins away to waters outside Hong Kong and a significant effect on numbers in Hong Kong during intensive periods of construction (EIA Report Section 13.9.2). There was seawall construction and increased marine filling in the 3RS works area and marine construction work for other concurrent projects, for example reclamation works for the Tung Chung New Town Extension underway during 2020 in North Lantau waters. This is likely to be the phase of construction that has the most impact on dolphins, and works of similar intensity will continue for at least another year.  Also, as marine fill activity has progressed, more of the shallow seabed that was once dolphin habitat is converted to land, which is no longer available habitat. This latter fact has been taken into account in the line transect analysis, with the total area of the NWL area being reduced to account for this loss of potential habitat.

Within NWL waters, dolphins have recently been mostly found around the Castle Peak and Lung Kwu Chau areas. However, in 2020 only six dolphin sightings were made (in favourable weather conditions) in NWL, indicating that dolphins have largely moved away from this area in 2020. The seasonal analysis showed that during summer, dolphin numbers are still reasonably high in Hong Kong waters.  The 2020 seasonal range is 24 to 59 dolphins. The spring estimate was the lowest (24 dolphins), while the summer estimate was the highest (59 dolphins), and this indicates that, despite the overall reduction in the average number of dolphins using Hong Kong waters in recent years, there are about 60 dolphins still present in Hong Kong in the summer months. The main concern is that dolphin numbers in NWL have decreased quite significantly in the recent couple of years.  Some good news may be that in WL and SWL dolphin numbers have remained similar to those in 2019 or have even increased. Past decreases suggested that construction activities in other area of western Hong Kong waters (which, besides the 3RS works, includes IWMF works at Shek Kwu Chau) and other factors that are affecting dolphins north of Lantau Island may also be affecting their use of the waters south and west of Lantau island. The potential for cumulative and far-ranging impacts from projects in specific areas are not well understood, and should be investigated in future monitoring efforts (including both those in relation to this project, and other studies outside the 3RS monitoring effort). This would be a particularly acute concern for the West Lantau area, which is known to represent the highest-density area for CWDs and although not directly impacted by marine construction in the past few years, the area has nonetheless shown evidence of a decrease in CWD numbers.

In earlier years, concerns had been expressed by some interested stakeholders that dolphin numbers in NWL may have decreased specifically due to potential negative impacts from the re-routing of high-speed ferries (HSFs) to the Speed Control Zone (SCZ) north of Lung Kwu Chau.  The analysis covering the entire first year post-SCZ (2016) provided an estimated abundance of 15 dolphins for NWL (refer to the 2016 annual report). The estimate for 2017 for the same area was 14 dolphins. The 2018 estimate was substantially higher at 22 dolphins. Therefore, the drop in 2019 to 8 dolphins is not likely due to the effects of the SCZ, which has been in operation for several years, but is more likely due to relatively more construction works for the 3RS and concurrent activities (such as changes in overall vessel traffic) in NL waters, or due to other unknown reasons. This belief is further bolstered by the fact that daily HSF trips were down substantially to single-digit from late March to December 2020 (refer to Section 2.7 and Table 2.23), due to COVID-19 impacts, and yet CWD numbers continued to decrease.  Long-term CWD monitoring data that are being collected during the course of this Project will help to identify any specific impacts resulting from overall changes in vessel traffic.

In terms of the concern expressed in the 3RS EIA about the potential impacts on the travel corridor/area between both the project and SCLKCMP, and between CWD hotspots in NWL, NEL and WL, and the recently raised concern on the effectiveness of implementing the SkyPier HSF route diversion in alleviating the impacts on CWD travelling areas, the increased CWD sightings from vessel surveys in NEL area during 2018 indicated that a slight rebound in the use of these travel areas by CWD had occurred, however this increase has not continued in 2019 and 2020. HZMB impacts were likely most severe during the period from 2013 to 2016 when construction works were ongoing (a period which saw an overall decline in CWD numbers in Hong Kong – Jefferson 2018), and the increase in CWD numbers seen in 2018 may have been the initial stages of recovery from that period of more intensive HZMB construction impacts. It is likely that the 3RS construction works and other concurrent activities in NL waters in 2019/2020 may have caused dolphins to again move away from these areas as predicted in the EIA (Section 13.9.2), It is noted that history suggests that when construction is completed, a rebound in numbers can again be expected (Jefferson 2018). Data since 2018 indicates that the traveling areas are still being used, although at a lower level. It should also be kept in mind that dolphins tend to move through these areas relatively quickly and do not generally spend as much time milling as they do in the main feeding/socializing areas, which may further reduce the chance of dolphin sightings.

Regarding the results of photo-identification work, a total number of 132 CWD individuals were identified altogether 390 times from all sightings in 2020, with 80 individuals (around 60.6%) sighted more than once. Forty-one individuals (around 51.3%) of the 80 re-sighted animals showed cross-area movement between different survey areas. Unlike the previous year, three animals were recorded occurring in all three main survey areas (WL, SWL and NWL, including AW) in 2020. Regarding the re-sighted CWDs, the mother-and-spotted juvenile pair NLMM006 and NLMM013 was not observed in 2020, though the mother was seen without the juvenile. SLMM003, which has been a frequently-observed dolphin for several years, was the most commonly sighted individual in 2020, being especially common in WL waters. Despite the overall drop in numbers, several other dolphins were frequently observed in Hong Kong waters in 2020.  

2.5.3.2         Land-based Theodolite Tracking

During 12 days and 72 hours of theodolite surveys at the station on LKC in 2020, a total of 21 CWD groups were tracked, and only 6 groups fit criteria for movement pattern summary due to most tracks being less than 10 minutes in duration. Due to low sample sizes, we were unable to conduct robust statistical analyses. While there are not enough data for robust statistical analyses of behaviours of CWD relative to group sizes, presence of vessels, etc., it is clear that habitat use off LKC has decreased in the past two years. We summarize the present data to show the apparent present situation and potential trends. During 12 days and 72 hours of theodolite surveys off SC in 2020, no dolphins were observed or tracked, similar to 2019 and 2018.

The sighting rate off LKC in 2020 was 0.29 per survey hour, similar to 2019 but less than one-half the sighting rate in 2018 and 2017.  This survey finding is in line with the vessel surveys over the past several years for this general area and may be due to ongoing 3RS Project and other concurrent project construction activities in NL waters. The observed decline may also have been due to other unknown factors, for example relating to the decline of fishing activity identified by monitoring teams here, or from other marine traffic activities not associated with 3RS construction works. In particular, decreased activity of pair and hang trawlers in Hong Kong since the trawl ban took effect may have resulted in decreased use of Hong Kong waters by CWDs, as a significant number of individual dolphins previously used to be attracted to fishing activities to assist in their foraging (see Jefferson 2000 and Chilvers et al. 2003).

In 2020, dolphins were sighted as far as 3.4 km from the LKC station. Survey data shows that the heaviest use of waters north of the SCLKCMP by CWDs was in the first several hours of morning surveys, with a peak in sightings during the 0900 hour block and almost no sightings after noon. CWDs were tracked primarily during the winter season and the dry season, but were not observed in March, May, June, July, or September in 2020. Maximum CWD group size was 4 dolphins, fewer than that in 2019 with a maximum of 6 dolphins, and 2018 with a maximum of 8 dolphins.

Overall, waters off Lung Kwu Chau continue to be habitat used primarily for foraging, observed within the SCLKCMP boundary and CWDs crossing the boundary, and also for travelling. Socialising was observed infrequently and resting behaviour was not recorded in 2020. Only travelling was recorded outside of the SCLKCMP boundary. Vessels were not recorded within 500m of CWD groups, which may be due to low sample size or reflect potential CWD avoidance of vessels off LKC. Small sample sizes in and outside the speed control zone, with most sightings and tracks within the SCLKCMP, may be due to the animals using NL waters generally avoiding this area perhaps due to disturbance from ongoing marine traffic activities. It is hoped that dolphins will return to this formerly CWD "hotspot" area north of the SCLKCMP as most of the 3RS marine activities wind down in the next several years, and monitoring in this important area will continue for the duration of the land formation related construction works. 

2.5.3.3         Passive Acoustic Monitoring

The PAM data continue to provide useful information, especially on patterns of dolphin vocalization at night, which has previously been unavailable to us and could not be recorded during the land-based survey conducted during daytime at south of Sha Chau. The diurnal detection of clicks showed a consistent pattern of higher levels in late evening and at night compared with the day, which may be indicative of increased use of echolocation by dolphins during hours of darkness. 

The PAM data provide evidence that dolphins are using the area around south of Sha Chau throughout most of the year. In 2020, dolphins were present with especially high incidence in winter (Jan-Feb), and less so in other seasons, with no acoustic detections from mid-July to mid-September. The per-file detection rates were also highest in winter; taken together, these metrics suggest that dolphins use the area more frequently and intensively in winter than in other seasons. The lack of detections for two months in summer has not been documented before; prior years with monitoring effort resulted in dolphin detections each month. This lack of detections may represent a reduction or absence of dolphin usage, but it could also be related to high ambient noise levels during summer that reduced the detectability of dolphin signals. The lack of detections during summer and probable reduction of dolphin presence is corroborated by the low observations by land-based theodolite tracking at daytime.

Dolphins were detected more frequently during night-time hours than during the day, and this may be related to increased nocturnal foraging behaviour. This has been a general trend throughout PAM monitoring in most parts of Hong Kong. It is also possible that at least a portion of this diel trend is related to dolphins utilizing this area more intensively at night than in daytime, because of decreased industrial activity at night. There was also a midday peak in dolphin vocalizations (hour 1200), which has not been observed before. These midday detections are probably more of a coincidence and do not represent a general shift in dolphin use patterns, as about half of the detections (5 of 12) were the result of dolphins in the area for one hour during one particular winter day

The PAM in 2020 represents a slight decline in dolphin detection rates since the previous year, which is also reflected by land-based and vessel-based observations that indicate a potential decrease in dolphin habitat use. However, the seasonal and diel detection patterns observed in 2020 suggest that dolphins continue to use the area especially in winter, and then primarily at night and in conditions when visual observation is not feasible. Analysis of the most recent (December 2020 to mid-January 2021) deployment suggests that dolphin acoustic activity began to increase again during early winter, but continued PAM is needed to assess whether this trend will continue and result in comparable dolphin occurrence to that detected in previous years.

Overall, the ambient noise at the PAM station in 2020 was slightly lower than the previous year. This may reflect a reduction in human activity (such as ferry vessel traffic) due to COVID-19.     

2.5.4      Conclusions of CWD Monitoring Results

With reference to the aims of construction phase CWD monitoring described in the EM&A Manual, the key findings of CWD monitoring in 2020 are summarised as follows.

Effects on the Potential Shift in CWD Travelling Areas and Habitat Use

The latest monitoring data indicate decreased use of some areas within Hong Kong waters in 2020, as compared to the previous year.  The main area of decreased use was Northwest Lantau, which showed a significant reduction. As expected and predicted in the 3RS EIA, dolphins likely shifted their activities away from the 3RS construction activities as well as increasing marine works for the Tung Chung New Town Extension project in 2019 and 2020. Nevertheless, they still used Hong Kong’s western waters (primarily SWL and WL) for important ecological activities like feeding and resting, despite the disturbance. The main issue now is how much recovery there will be when the marine construction activities end in this area, and future monitoring efforts beyond the construction phase will help to address this.

Effectiveness of the HSF Speed and Routing Restrictions to the CWDs

As detailed above, we now have five years of data from the period since the SCZ was implemented, and the information available from both the vessel-based and land-based monitoring indicates that dolphin use of the NWL area has fluctuated from year to year (ranging from 1 to 22 dolphins), with a period of initial increase after the SCZ was put into effect. Due to COVID-19 effects, 2020 was a year of significantly decreased ferry activity in general, including in the SCZ area, and yet there was still a reduction in the use of NWL this year. Therefore, the evidence suggests that the SCZ is not impacting dolphin use of this area, and at the same time, is likely reducing the chances of dolphins being hit by vessels traveling at high speed.

Waters around Lung Kwu Chau have traditionally been a significant year-round habitat, especially for foraging, though 2020 saw a very large decline in use of this area by CWD. There is no evidence that the observed decline in dolphin use of the HSF SCZ around Lung Kwu Chau is due to ferries being re-routed to that area with slower speeds at the end of 2015.  The recent (2019-2020) decline in numbers of dolphins in NWL area is not considered to be linked to ferry re-routings and the SCZ.

Trends in Long Term Monitoring Data

From vessel surveys conducted in 2020, CWD use of Hong Kong waters appears to be down significantly from 2019. West Lantau waters are still being used as the most important habitat in Hong Kong as has been the case since CWD monitoring in Hong Kong first started in 1995/1996.  It is estimated that 32 dolphins (on average) were found within Hong Kong waters in 2020, which is down from 40 dolphins last year (2019).  Seasonally, the CWD number within Hong Kong ranged from about 24 to 59 in 2020. There continues to be no evidence that the implementation of the SkyPier SCZ is having any negative impacts on dolphin use of the NWL area. In fact, daily SkyPier HSF trips at were down substantially in 2020 due to COVID-19 (refer to Section 2.7 and Table 2.23), thus there was no substantive new data on CWDs tracked near HSFs over the monitoring period. Diverted SkyPier HSFs with speed control measures in place appear to be reducing risks to CWDs using the narrowing waters between south of SCLKCMP and the airport north, and at the same time do not appear to be resulting in apparent negative impacts on CWDs along the diverted route.

While land-based observations and theodolite tracking do not present overall estimates of numbers of dolphins, the 2020 data from LKC are similar to 2019 data, which shows a reduction in CWD groups sighted and tracked compared to 2018 and 2017. This indicates a lower use of this area by CWDs, perhaps indicative of the increasing construction and other marine traffic activities in the NL waters as discussed earlier. It is possible, as mentioned in Section 2.5.3, that the data from the past three years (before 2019) represent a partial rebound of dolphin use of waters north of Lantau Island due to cessation of the intensive HZMB construction activities of 2013-2016 (see also Jefferson 2018). In 2020, continuing from 2019, the ongoing 3RS Project marine construction activities reduced dolphin use in North Lantau waters in the way that was predicted in the 3RS EIA (Section 13.9.2).

It is important to remember that dolphins shift around within their habitat from year to year, due to both natural and anthropogenic factors.  Thus, evidence of a decrease or increase in numbers from one year to the next should not necessarily be taken as indication of an overall population decline or recovery.  Dolphins live for many decades and thus long-term monitoring using consistent methods is needed over an extended period of time in order to evaluate the true conservation status of the CWD population and how its use of Hong Kong waters is being affected.

The CWD construction phase monitoring data so far appear to be generally consistent with findings of the ecological assessments completed during the 3RS EIA, which predicted significant negative impacts during construction, including from the physical loss of habitat due to the reclamation (EIA Report Section 13.9.1).  No unexpected ecological impacts on CWDs have been identified, though the reduction in the number of dolphins using NWL in 2020 was marked. Construction practices have been modified to avoid negative impacts on dolphins, as much as is feasible. However, it should be noted that dolphins shifting away from NL and nearby waters is to be expected during 3RS construction works, such as increasingly intensive seawall construction and marine filling activities, as has occurred in 2020, and this is broadly in line with EIA predictions. 

In the 3RS EIA and as reported in the last two Annual EM&A Reports, it was predicted that dolphins would shift away from portions of their home range that are experiencing intense human activities and that appears to have been the case in 2020 as seawall works and marine filling activities have intensified. These impacts are anthropogenic disturbances and therefore are of conservation concern; however, they are temporary and reversible and previous studies have supported that dolphin numbers can be expected to recover over the long-term, after completion of works (assuming that the habitat is properly protected and still of adequate quality).  Monitoring for the 3RS will continue during 2021 and beyond, with the goal being to determine the extent of remaining project impacts, to facilitate a review of the effectiveness of proposed mitigation measures and to determine any need for adaptive management measures. Future monitoring will also evaluate any recovery that occurs in the future.   

With the physical loss of some habitats through 3RS reclamation, it is unknown if we can expect a full recovery in CWD numbers to those found in the past, but at least stabilization of the abundance of Hong Kong CWDs is desirable for the long-term health of this population.  As dolphin numbers in Hong Kong appear to be going down in 2020, diligent monitoring should continue. At this stage of 3RS construction, all recommended mitigations have been implemented and although impacts are occurring, these are likely to be temporary and within previously predicted patterns. Once marine construction is completed, and the proposed marine park in North Lantau comes into effect, the situation should improve. The effectiveness of the mitigation measures will be kept under review over the next few years as CWD monitoring continues.

Long Term Conservation and Management Suggestions

In terms of the long-term conservation and management of the CWD population and specifically that portion that uses Hong Kong waters, it is very desirable for numbers to stabilise once marine construction completes, as the evidence suggests both that dolphins are using Hong Kong waters less intensively and that the overall population is declining (see Huang et al. 2012; Jefferson 2018). A major goal for management authorities should be to establish effective measures including, but not limited to, protection of critical feeding and breeding habitat, as well as important travel routes. Most importantly, the area along the entire west coast of Lantau Island has consistently been used as prime habitat by CWDs for the past several decades, but unfortunately numbers there have declined recently. This region has been confirmed by the current 3RS Project monitoring effort to remain as the most important habitat for dolphins in Hong Kong, based on densities of CWD use. The formation of protected habitat for the CWD in this area should be seen as a high priority for the future of CWD in Hong Kong. If it is used properly, the knowledge learned from the 3RS project, as well as the funding support and attention given the CWD from this project, can be very helpful for management authorities in achieving the important long-term goal of stabilizing the CWD population, and ensuring its long-term survival.

2.5.5      Site Audit for CWD-related Mitigation Measures

During the reporting period, silt curtains were in place by the contractors for marine filling works, and dolphin observers were deployed by contractors in accordance with the Marine Mammal Watching Plan. Teams of at least two dolphin observers were deployed by contractors for continuous monitoring of the Dolphin Exclusion Zone (DEZ) for DCM works, seawall construction and bored piling for approach lights in accordance with the DEZ Plan. Training for the dolphin observers on the implementation of MMWP and DEZ monitoring was provided by the ET prior to the aforementioned works, with the training records kept by the ET. From the contractors’ MMWP observation records, no dolphin or other marine mammals were observed within or around the silt curtains during the reporting period. As for DEZ monitoring records, no dolphin or other marine mammals were observed within the DEZs in this reporting period. These contractors’ records were audited by the ET during site inspection.

Audits of acoustic decoupling for construction vessels were carried out during weekly site inspection and summarised in Section 2.6. Summary of audits of SkyPier High Speed Ferries route diversion and speed control and construction vessel management are presented in Section 2.8 and Section 2.9 respectively.

2.6      Environmental Site Inspection

Site inspections of the construction works were carried out on a weekly basis to monitor the implementation of proper environmental pollution control and mitigation measures for the Project. Bi-weekly site inspections were also conducted by the IEC. Besides, ad-hoc site inspections were conducted by ET and IEC if environmental problems were identified, or subsequent to receipt of an environmental complaint, or as part of the investigation work. These site inspections provided a direct means to reinforce the specified environmental protection requirements and pollution control measures in construction sites.

During site inspections, environmental situation, status of implementation of pollution control and mitigation measures were observed both within the site area as well as outside the project sites which was likely to be affected, directly or indirectly, by the site activities. Environmental documents and site records, including waste disposal record, maintenance record of environmental equipment, and relevant environmental permit and licences, were also checked on site. Observations were recorded in the site inspection checklist and passed to the contractor together with the appropriate recommended mitigation measures where necessary in order to advise contractors on environmental improvement, awareness and on-site enhancement measures. The observations were made with reference to the following information during the site inspections:

·         The EIA and EM&A requirements;

·         Relevant environmental protection laws, guidelines, and practice notes;

·         The EP conditions and other submissions under the EP;

·         Monitoring results of EM&A programme;

·         Works progress and programme;

·         Proposal of individual works;

·         Contract specifications on environmental protection; and

·         Previous site inspection results.

Good site practices were observed in site inspections during the reporting period. The ET participated in environmental drills organized by the contractor as observer, including chemical spill drills and silt curtain deployment drills. Advices were given when necessary to ensure the construction workforce were familiar with relevant procedures, and to maintain good environmental performance on site. After each spill response drills, the spill response procedures stated in the Project’s Spill Response Plan were reviewed and no update of relevant procedures and measures was required. No report of spill incident was recorded by the contractors in the reporting period.

Environmental briefings on EP and EM&A requirements were also provided to the new contracts by ET. Regular toolbox talks on environmental issues were organized for the construction workforce by the contractors to ensure understanding and proper implementation of environmental protection and pollution control mitigation measures.

Summary of implementation status of the environmental mitigation measures for the construction phase of the Project during the reporting period is provided in Appendix C.

2.6.1      Landscape and Visual Mitigation Measures

Implementation of applicable landscape and visual mitigation measures (reference to the environmental protection measures CM1 – CM10 in Appendix C) was monitored in accordance with the Manual. All measures undertaken by both the contractor and the landscape contractor during the construction phase and first year of the operation phase are audited by a landscape architect, as a member of the ET, on a regular basis to ensure compliance with the intended aims of the measures.

Site inspection and audit are undertaken as necessary in the construction and operation phase in accordance with the Monitoring Programme for Landscape and Visual as shown in Table 2.16. In case of non-conformity, specific recommendations will be made and actions will be proposed in accordance with the Event and Action Plan as shown in Table 2.17. No non-conformity was recorded during the reporting period.

Table 2.16: Monitoring Programme for Landscape and Visual

Stage

Monitoring Task

Monitoring Report

Form of Approval

Frequency

Detailed Design

Checking of design works against the recommendations of the landscape and visual impact assessments within the EIA shall be undertaken during detailed design and tender stage, to ensure that they fulfil the intention of the mitigation measures. Any changes to the design, including design changes on site shall also be checked.

Report by AAHK / PM confirming that the design conforms to requirements of EP.

Approved by Client

At the end of the Detailed Design Phase

Construction

Checking of the contractor’s operations during the construction period.

Report on Contractor's compliance, by ET

Counter signature of report by IEC

Weekly

Establishment Works

Checking of the planting works during the twelve-month Establishment Period after completion of each batch of transplanting works.

Report on Contractor's compliance, by ET

Counter signature of report by IEC

Every two months

Long Term Management (10 year)

Monitoring of the long-term management of the planting works in the period up to 10 years after completion of each batch of transplanting works.

Report on

Compliance by ET or Maintenance Agency as appropriate

Counter signature of report by Management Agency

Annually

 

Table 2.17: Event and Action Plan for Landscape and Visual

Event Action Level

Action

 

ET

IEC

AAHK / PM

Contractor

Design Check

Check final design conforms to the requirements of EP and prepare report.

Check report.

Recommend remedial design if necessary.

Undertake remedial design if necessary.

 

Non-conformity on one occasion

Identify source.

Inform IEC and AAHK / PM.

Discuss remedial actions with IEC, AAHK / PM and Contractor.

Monitor remedial actions until rectification has been completed.

Check report.

Check Contractor’s working method.

Discuss with ET and Contractor on possible remedial measures.

Advise AAHK / PM on effectiveness of proposed remedial measures.

Check implementation of remedial measures.

Notify Contractor.

Ensure remedial measures are properly implemented.

Amend working methods to prevent recurrence of non-conformity.

Rectify damage and undertake additional action necessary.

Repeated Non-conformity

Identify source.

Inform IEC and AAHK / PM.

Increase monitoring frequency.

Discuss remedial actions with IEC, AAHK / PM and Contractor.

Monitor remedial actions until rectification has been completed.

If non-conformity stops, cease additional monitoring.

Check monitoring report.

Check Contractor’s working method.

Discuss with ET and Contractor on possible remedial measures.

Advise AAHK / PM on effectiveness of proposed remedial measures.

Supervise implementation of remedial measures.

Notify Contractor.

Ensure remedial measures area properly implemented.

Amend working methods to prevent recurrence of non-conformity.

Rectify damage and undertake additional action necessary.

The implementation status of the environmental protection measures is summarised below in Table 2.18. For trees which were managed by the Project during the reporting period, relevant measures have been implemented by Contracts 3302, 3503, 3602 and 3801. Contracts 3508 and 3802 would begin to undertake tree management measures subject to the handover of site area (Contract 3508: Q2 2021 (tentative); Contract 3802: to be confirmed). Those trees which were within the Project boundary yet to be taken care by existing 3RS Contractors during the reporting period were managed by AAHK.

Table 2.18: Landscape and Visual – Construction Phase Audit Summary

Landscape and Visual Mitigation Measures during Construction

Implementation Status

Implementation Status

Relevant Contract(s) in the Reporting Period

CM1- The construction area and contractor’s temporary works areas shall be minimised to avoid impacts on adjacent landscape.

The implementation of mitigation measures were checked by ET during weekly site inspection and clarified by the Contractors during the monthly Environmental Management Meetings.  Implementation of the measures CM5, CM6 and CM7 by Contractors was observed.

3RS Project contracts

CM2 – Reduction of construction period to practical minimum.

CM3 – Phasing of the construction stage to reduce visual impacts during the construction phase.

CM4 – Construction traffic (land and sea) including construction plants, construction vessels and barges shall be kept to a practical minimum.

CM5 – Erection of decorative mesh screens or construction hoardings around works areas in visually unobtrusive colours.

CM6 – Avoidance of excessive height and bulk of site buildings and structures

CM7 – Control of night-time lighting by hooding all lights and through minimisation of night working periods

CM8 – All existing trees shall be carefully protected during construction.  Detailed Tree Protection Specification shall be provided in the Contract Specification. Under this specification, the Contractor shall be required to submit, for approval, a detailed working method statement for the protection of trees prior to undertaking any works adjacent to all retained trees, including trees in contractor’s works areas

Tree Protection Specifications have been provided in the relevant Contract Specifications respectively for implementation by the Contractors under the Project.

 

The Contractors’ performance on the implementation of the trees maintenance and protection measures were observed and checked by the ET weekly during construction period.

3302, 3503, 3602, 3801

 

3508, 3802

(To be implemented)

CM9 – Trees unavoidably affected by the works shall be transplanted where practical.  A detailed Tree Transplanting Specification shall be provided in the Contract Specification, if applicable. Sufficient time for necessary tree root and crown preparation periods shall be allowed in the project programme

Tree Transplanting Specifications have been provided in the relevant Contract Specifications respectively for implementation by the Contractors under the Project where trees will unavoidably be affected by the construction works. 

 

The Contractors were required to submit Method Statements for tree transplanting prior to the transplanting works. Tree inspections were conducted by ET to check the tree transplanting works implemented by the Contractors on site.

 

The Contractors’ performance on the implementation of trees maintenance and protection measures on transplanted trees were observed and checked by the ET bi-monthly during the 12-month establishment period after the completion of each batch of transplanting works.

 

Long term management of the transplanted trees were currently monitored by ET annually.  

3503, 3801

 

3508, 3802

(To be implemented)

CM 10 – Land formation works shall be followed with advanced hydroseeding around taxiways and runways as soon as practical

To be implemented around taxiways and runways as soon as practicable.

To be implemented

The 3RS Project is a mega project covering a number of detailed design contracts and many construction works contracts in different design and construction stages. Works areas would be taken up by different 3RS works contracts in stages with the commencement of construction, and the landscape and visual elements of these contract of the 3RS Project also designed and implemented at various stages of the Project.

Broad-brush tree survey and assessment were undertaken for the entire 3RS Project during EIA stage. After that, detailed design consultants had conducted more detailed tree surveys and assessments so that the landscape and visual elements were refined and aligned with their respective design areas. With the award of specific 3RS construction works contracts, the respective contractors would conduct their own detailed tree survey and assessment as necessary, to confirm the tree status at the time of their possession of the site. The tree survey and assessment from the respective contractors were taken as the baseline of that particular piece of works area before being affected by 3RS Project. Some of the tree group areas as identified in approved EIA report were affected by 3RS construction works as of 2020. Environmental monitoring and audit work which included the auditing of contractor’s work in landscape and visual aspects such as tree preservation, protection and transplantation was implemented in accordance with the updated construction programme and the relevant requirements of the EP and the Updated EM&A Manual.

Based on the findings from the detailed tree survey and assessment by respective contractors, the details of trees to be affected within the respective contract areas were incorporated in the approved Landscape and Visual Plan (LVP) in which the tree inventory are based on August 2020 tree records. The total number of retained trees, transplanted trees and to-be-transplanted trees under the management of Project are summarized in Table 2.19. The tree schedule updated as of end 2020 is shown in Appendix G.

Table 2.19: Summary of the Number of Retained, Transplanted and To-be-transplanted Trees as of December 2020

Existing

 

 

 

Contract

Retain (nos.)

Transplanted (nos.)

To-be-transplanted

(nos.)

Establishment Period

Long Term Management Period

3302

9

0

0

0

3503

19

9

0

0

3602

2

0

0

0

3801

88

0

5

0

Sub-total

118

9

5

0

Provisional

 

 

 

Contract

Retain (nos.)

Transplanted (nos.)

To-be-transplanted (nos.)

3508(1)

155

0

22

Sub-total

155

0

22

Grand Total

273

14

22

Note:

Actual tree number is subject to confirmation after the completion of initial tree survey conducted by the Contractor.

Table 2.20 lists the affected tree ID together with the reasons for change of tree status between the approved LVP and the tree schedule as of end 2020.

The total number of retained trees of the Project as of end 2020 was 118. Compared to 165 nos. of retained trees for existing works contracts reported in Annex G of the approved LVP, the change in number was due to the following reasons:

·         1 no. of tree in 3801/13 was damaged and removed due to adverse weather from typhoon Higos in August 2020 (-1 no.);

·         1 no. of tree near North Airport Interchange was damaged due to adverse weather from typhoon Sinlaku in August 2020, and subsequently removed by the Contractor (-1 no.);

·         4 nos. of trees near North Airport Interchange were collapsed due to damage by typhoon Mangkhut in September 2018, and subsequently removed by the Contractor (-4 nos.);

·         A land parcel with 14 nos of retained trees was acquired by the government for construction of emergency hospital to handle COVID19 pandemic at Asia World-Expo, and was no longer managed by the Project (-14 nos);

·         Contractor’s initial tree survey covered some areas which recently confirmed not to be works areas and therefore excluded from the Project area. Trees located in those areas were removed from the retained tree list under the Project (-30 nos.); and

·         ET and contractor’s recent on-site inspections confirmed that the status of 3 nos. of trees near the Airport North Interchange should be retained trees (+3 nos.).

A total of eight trees under Contractor 3503 (i.e. T812, T814, T815, T829, T830, T831, T835 and T838) were transplanted during the reporting period. Therefore, the cumulative total number of transplanted trees of the Project has been increased from 6 from the previous reporting period to 14.

Table 2.20: Summary of the Tree Status Changes between the LVP and end 2020

Tree ID(s)

Contract

 

Recommendations in LVP

Status as of end 2020

Remarks

Impacts to Total Tree Number

CT1385, CT1386, CT1412, CT1466

3801

Retain

Removed

4 nos. trees were uprooted by typhoon Mangkhut in Sep 2018. As the health conditions were deteriorated and would cause adverse impacts to the retained trees in close vicinity, they were removed in late 2020.

Retain:

-4 nos.

CT1410

3801

Retain

Removed

1 no. tree was removed in Sep 2020 due to damage by typhoon Sinlaku in Aug 2020.

Retain:

-1 no.

CT1863

3801

Retain

Removed

1 no. tree was removed due to damage by typhoon Higos in Aug 2020.

Retain:

-1 no.

CT1, CT3, CT4, CT5, CT6, CT7, CT8, CT10, CT25, CT26, CT1792, CT1793, CT1797, CT1802

3801

 

Retain

Not within 3RS works area

14 nos. trees were confirmed not locate within 3RS works area. Those trees were removed as the land was acquired by the government for construction of temporary emergency hospital to handle COVID-19 pandemic in early Sep 2020.

Retain:

-14 nos.

CT1889, CT1890, CT1892, CT1894, CT1897, CT1898, CT1899, CT1900, CT1901, CT1902, CT1904, CT1905, CT1906, CT1907, CT1908, CT1909, CT1910, CT1911, CT1912, CT1913, CT1914, CT1936, CT1937, CT1939, CT1940, CT1941, CT1942, CT1945, CT1946, CT1947

3801

Retain

Not within 3RS works area

30 nos. trees were confirmed not locate within 3RS works area.

Retain:

-30 nos.

CT1384

3801

Removed

Retain

The status of 1 no. tree was updated to retain during site inspection in Sep 2020.

Retain:

+1 no.

CT1407

3801

Fell

Retain

The status of 1 no. tree was updated to retain during site inspection in Dec 2020.

Retain:

+1 no.

CT1462

3801

Fell

Retain

The status of 1 no. tree was updated to retain during site inspection in Sep 2020.

Retain:

+1 no.

The summary of transplanted trees updated in the reporting period is shown in Table 2.21. Photos of the transplanted trees are presented in Table 2.22 and the locations of newly transplanted trees during the reporting period are presented in Figure 2.6.

Table 2.21: Summary of the Transplanted Trees in the Reporting Period

Tree ID

Transplant Date

Management Stage

Management Agency

Remarks

CT276

3 May 2018

Establishment period

4 May 2018 – May 2019

Contract 3801

NA

Long Term Management period

Jun 2019 – May 2028

Southern Landside Petrol Filling Station

CT1253

4 May 2018

Establishment period

5 May 2018 – May 2019

Contract 3801

Long Term Management period

Jun 2019 – May 2028

Southern Landside Petrol Filling Station

T836

13 Dec 2019

Establishment period

14 Dec 2019 – Jan 2021

Contract 3503

NA

 

CT1194

4 May 2018

Establishment period

5 May 2018 – May 2019

Contract 3801

NA

Long Term Management period

Jun 2019 – May 2028

Southern Landside Petrol Filling Station

Uprooted and collapsed due to Typhoon Higos on 18 August 2020. Tree removal was conducted as recommended by tree specialist of the contractor of Southern Landside Petrol Filing Station.

CT1794

3 May 2018

Establishment period

4 May 2018 – May 2019

Contract 3801

NA

Long Term Management period

Jun 2019 – May 2028

AsiaWorld-Expo

The tree within the land parcel was acquired by the government for construction of emergency hospital to handle COVID19 pandemic at AsiaWorld-Expo. The tree was felled in late 2020.

CT1795

3 May 2018

Establishment period

4 May 2018 – May 2019

Contract 3801

NA

Long Term Management period

Jun 2019 – May 2028

AsiaWorld-Expo

The tree within the land parcel was acquired by the government for construction of emergency hospital to handle COVID19 pandemic at AsiaWorld-Expo. The tree was felled in late 2020.

Newly Transplanted Trees during the Reporting Period

T812

21 Dec 2020

Establishment period

22 Dec 2020 – Dec 2021

Contract 3503

Original Location:

Airport South Interchange

 

Recipient Site:

Chun Wan Road Interchange (Scenic Road)

T814

20 Dec 2020

Establishment period

21 Dec 2020 – Dec 2021

Contract 3503

Original Location:

Airport South Interchange

 

Recipient Site:

Chek Lap Kok South Road (Scenic Road) Interchange

T815

15 Dec 2020

Establishment period

16 Dec 2020 – Dec 2021

Contract 3503

Original Location:

Airport South Interchange

 

Recipient Site:

Chun Wan Road Interchange (Scenic Road)

T829

18 Dec 2020

Establishment period

19 Dec 2020 – Dec 2021

Contract 3503

T830

14 Dec 2020

Establishment period

15 Dec 2020 – Dec 2021

Contract 3503

Original Location:

Airport South Interchange

 

Recipient Site:

Chun Yue Road Interchange

T831

19 Dec 2020

Establishment period

20 Dec 2020 – Dec 2021

Contract 3503

Original Location:

Airport South Interchange

 

Recipient Site:

Chun Wan Road Interchange (Scenic Road)

T835, T838

22 Jan 2020

Establishment period

23 Jan 2020 – Jan 2021

Contract 3503

Original Location:

Airport South Interchange

 

Recipient Site:

Chun Wan Road Interchange (Scenic Road)

 

Table 2.22: Photos of the Existing Transplanted Trees in the Reporting Period

Under 12-month Establishment Period:

 

 

 

T836

 

Newly Transplanted Trees during the Reporting Period

T812

T814

T815

T829

T830

T831

 

T835

T838

 

 

Under 10-year Long-term Management:

CT276

CT1253

2.7      Audit of the SkyPier High Speed Ferries

The Marine Travel Routes and Management Plan for High Speed Ferries of SkyPier (the SkyPier Plan) was submitted to the Advisory Council on the Environment (ACE) for comment and subsequently submitted to and approved by EPD in November 2015 under EP Condition 2.10. The approved SkyPier Plan is available on the dedicated website of the Project. In the SkyPier Plan, AAHK has committed to implementing the mitigation measure of requiring HSFs of SkyPier travelling between HKIA and Zhuhai / Macau to start diverting the route with associated speed control across the area, i.e. SCZ, with high CWD abundance. The route diversion and speed restriction at the SCZ have been implemented since 28 December 2015. The IEC has also performed audit on the compliance of the requirements as part of the EM&A programme. The latest summary of key audit findings in the reporting period is presented in Table 2.23.

According to the approved SkyPier Plan, dolphin habitat index has been reviewed in the reporting period based on findings of the AFCD’s marine mammals monitoring report 2018-19 and historical dolphin density records. Grids for dolphin hotspot remained largely unchanged, thus the HSF route diversion arrangement remained unchanged. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SkyPier HSF services between Macau and HKIA SkyPier was suspended from 4 February 2020 and all other SkyPier HSF services was subsequently suspended from 25 March 2020 until further notice. Limited special ferry services between Macau and HKIA SkyPier were arranged from 17 June 2020 to 16 July 2020 as well as in late November 2020 and were audited in the reporting period. Besides, limited HSF services from another destination, which does not require the use of the diverted route, were also provided starting from 28 October 2020.

In total, 826 ferry movements between HKIA SkyPier and Zhuhai / Macau were audited in the reporting period. The daily movements of all SkyPier HSFs in the reporting period, including those not using the diverted route, ranged between 0 and 94, which falls within the maximum daily cap number of 125. The annual daily average of all SkyPier HSF movements in the reporting period was 13, which falls within the annual daily average cap of 99 SkyPier HSF movements. 

All 826 audited ferry movements travelled through the SCZ with average speeds at or below 15 knots, which complied with the SkyPier Plan. No route deviation case was recorded for all audited ferry movements in the reporting period.

Insufficient AIS data were received from some HSFs during the reporting period. After investigation, it was found that the data were missing due to interference effect of AIS signal as reported by the ferry operators after checking the condition of the AIS transponders. In such cases, vessel captains were requested to provide radar track photos to indicate that the vessels entered the SCZ through the gate access points and without speeding in the SCZ. The ferry operators’ explanations were accepted.

Table 2.23:  Summary of Key Audit Findings against the SkyPier Plan

Requirements in the SkyPier Plan

Jan-20

Feb-20

Mar-20

Apr-20

May-20

Jun-20

Jul-20

Aug-20

Sep-20

Oct-20

Nov-20

Dec-20

Total number of ferry movements recorded and audited for HSF to/from Zhuhai and Macau

511

149

44

0

0

56

64

0

0

0

2

0

Use diverted route and enter / leave SCZ through Gate Access Points

511

149

44

0

0

56

64

0

0

0

2

0

No. of SkyPier HSFs in compliance with Average Speed within 15 knots in SCZ

511

149

44

0

0

56

64

0

0

0

2

0

Range of Daily Movement (including all SkyPier HSFs)

74-94

30-65

8-20

0

0-2