Agreement No. CE 23/2012 (EP)

Environmental Monitoring and Audit
for Contaminated Mud Pits to the South of The Brothers and at East Sha Chau (2012-2017) - Investigation

55th MONTHLY PROGRESS REPORT FOR March 2017

1.1                         Background

1.1.1                      Since early 1990s, contaminated sediment ([1]) arising from various construction works (e.g. dredging and reclamation projects) in Hong Kong has been disposed of at a series of seabed pits at East of Sha Chau (ESC).  In late 2008, a review indicated that the existing and planned facilities at ESC would not be able to meet the disposal demand after 2012.  In order to meet this demand, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSARG) decided to implement a new contained aquatic disposal (CAD) ([2]) facility at the South of The Brothers (SB CMPs) which had been under consideration for a number of years.

1.1.2                      The environmental acceptability of the construction and operation of the Project had been confirmed by findings of the associated Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study completed in 2005 under Agreement No. CE 12/2002(EP) ([3]).  The Director of Environmental Protection (DEP) approved this EIA report under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (Cap. 499) (EIAO) in September 2005 (EIA Register No.: AEIAR-089/2005).

1.1.3                      In accordance with the EIA recommendation, prior to commencement of construction works for the SB CMPs, the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) undertook a detailed review and update of the EIA findings for the SB site ([4]).  Findings of the EIA review undertaken in 2009/ 2010 confirmed that the construction and operation of the SB site had been predicted to be environmentally acceptable.

 

1.1.4                      Environmental Permits (EPs) (EP-312/2008/A and EP-427/2011/A) were issued by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) to the CEDD, the Permit Holder, on 28 November 2008 for ESC CMP V and on 23 December 2011 for SB CMPs, respectively.  Under the requirements of the EPs, an Environmental Monitoring and Audit (EM&A) programme as set out in the EM&A Manuals ([5]) ([6]) is required to be implemented for the CMPs.

1.1.5                      The present EM&A programme under Agreement No. CE 23/2012 (EP) covers the dredging, disposal and capping operations of the SB CMPs as well as ESC CMPs.  Detailed works schedule for ESC CMPs and SB CMPs is shown in Figure 1.1.  In March 2017, the following works were being undertaken:

·      Disposal of contaminated mud at ESC CMP Vd.

Figure 1.1      Works Schedule for ESC CMPs and SB CMPs

1.2                         Reporting Period

1.2.1                     This 55th Monthly Progress Report covers the EM&A activities for the reporting month of March 2017.

1.3                          Details of Sampling and Laboratory Testing Activities

1.3.1                      The following monitoring activities have been undertaken for ESC CMPs in March 2017:

·      Water Column Profiling of ESC CMP Vd was undertaken on 16 March 2017; and

·      Pit Specific Sediment Chemistry of ESC CMP Vd was undertaken on 17 March 2017.

1.3.2                      No monitoring activities were scheduled to be undertaken for SB CMPs in March 2017.

1.4                         Details of Outstanding Sampling and/or Analysis

1.4.1                      No outstanding sampling and analysis remained for March 2017.

1.5                          Brief Discussion of the Monitoring Results for ESC CMPs

1.5.1                                                      Brief discussion of the monitoring results of the following activities for ESC CMPs is presented in this 55th Monthly Progress Report:

·                                                                Water Column Profiling of ESC CMP Vd in March 2017;

·                                                                Pit Specific Sediment Chemistry of ESC CMP Vd in January, February and March 2017; and

·                                                                Cumulative Impact Sediment Chemistry of ESC CMPs in February 2017.

1.5.2                      Water Column Profiling of ESC CMP Vd – March 2017

1.5.3                      Water Column Profiling was undertaken at a total of two sampling stations (Upstream and Downstream stations) on 16 March 2017.  The monitoring results have been assessed for compliance with the Water Quality Objectives (WQOs) set by Environmental Protection Department (EPD).  This consists of a review of the EPD routine water quality monitoring data for the dry season period (November to March) of 2006 - 2015 from stations in the Northwestern Water Control Zone (WCZ), where the ESC CMPs are located ([7]).  For Salinity, the averaged value obtained from the Reference (Upstream) station was used for the basis as the WQO.  Levels of Dissolved Oxygen (DO) and Turbidity were also assessed for compliance with the Action and Limit Levels (see Table B1 of Annex B for details). 

In-situ Measurements

1.5.4                      Analyses of results for March 2017 indicated that levels of DO and pH complied with the WQOs at both Downstream and Upstream stations (Table B2 of Annex B).  In addition, DO and Turbidity at all stations complied with the Action and Limit Levels (Tables B1 and B2 of Annex B).

Laboratory Measurements for Suspended Solids (SS)

1.5.5                      Analyses of results for March 2017 indicated that the SS levels complied with the WQO and the Action and Limit Levels at Downstream station (Tables B1 and B2 of Annex B).  SS levels at Upstream station were higher than the WQO, however the SS levels at Upstream station complied with the Action and Limit Levels. 

1.5.6                      Overall, the monitoring results indicated that the mud disposal operation at ESC CMP Vd did not appear to cause any deterioration in water quality during this reporting period.

1.5.7                      Pit Specific Sediment Chemistry of ESC CMP Vd – January, February and March 2017

1.5.8                                                      Monitoring locations for Pit Specific Sediment Chemistry for ESC CMP Vd are shown in Figure 1.2.  A total of six (6) monitoring stations were sampled in January, February and March 2017. 

1.5.9                                                      The concentrations of all inorganic contaminants were lower than the Lower Chemical Exceedance Level (LCEL) at all stations in February and March 2017 (Figures 1, 2, 5, 6, 8 and 9 of Annex C). 

1.5.10                                                   For organic contaminants, the concentrations of Total Organic Carbon (TOC) were similar amongst the stations in January, February and March 2017 (Figures 3, 7 and 10 of Annex C).  The concentrations of tributyltin (TBT) were similar amongst the stations in January and March 2017 (Figures 4 and 7 of Annex C) whilst the concentrations of TBT were below the limit of reporting at all stations in February 2017.  Low and High Molecular Weight Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Total Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), Total dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) and 4,4’-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) concentrations were below the limit of reporting at all stations in January, February and March 2017.

1.5.11                                                   Overall, there is no evidence indicating any unacceptable environmental impacts to sediment quality as a result of the contaminated mud disposal operations at ESC CMP Vd in January, February and March 2017.  Statistical analysis will be undertaken and presented in the corresponding quarterly report to investigate whether there are any unacceptable impacts in the area caused by the contaminated mud disposal. 

1.5.12                   Cumulative Impact Sediment Chemistry of ESC CMPs – February 2017

1.5.13                                                   Monitoring locations for Cumulative Impact Sediment Chemistry for ESC CMPs are shown in Figure 1.3.  A total of nine (9) monitoring stations were sampled in February 2017. 

1.5.14                   Analyses of results for the Cumulative Impact Sediment Chemistry Monitoring indicated that the concentrations of all inorganic contaminants were below the LCEL in February 2017 (Figures 12 and 13 of Annex C).

1.5.15                   For organic contaminants, concentrations of TOC were observed to be similar amongst all stations (Figure 14 of Annex C).  Concentrations of TBT were recorded to be higher at Ma Wan station (Figure 15 of Annex C).  Low and High Molecular Weight PAHs, PCBs, DDT and DDE concentrations were recorded below the limit of reporting at all stations.

1.5.16                   Overall, there is no evidence indicating any unacceptable environmental impacts to sediment quality as a result of the contaminated mud disposal operations at ESC CMP Vd in February 2017.  Statistical analysis will be undertaken and presented in the corresponding quarterly report to investigate whether there are any unacceptable impacts in the area caused by the contaminated mud disposal.

1.6                         Activities Scheduled for the Next Month

1.6.1                     The following monitoring activities will be conducted in the next monthly period of April 2017 for ESC CMPs (see Annex A for the sampling schedule):

·      Water Column Profiling of ESC CMP Vd;

·      Routine Water Quality Monitoring of ESC CMPs; and

·      Pit Specific Sediment Chemistry of ESC CMP Vd.

1.6.2                     No monitoring activities are scheduled in the next monthly period of April 2017 for SB CMPs.

1.6.3                      The monitoring activities starting in April 2017 will be reported under a new consultancy Agreement No. CE 63/2016 (EP) Environmental Monitoring and Audit for Disposal Facility to the East of Sha Chau (2017-2020) – Investigation.

1.7                         Study Programme

1.7.1                      A summary of the Study programme is presented in Annex D.

 


([1])       According to the Management Framework of Dredged/ Excavated Sediment of ETWB TC(W) No. 34/2002, contaminated sediment in general shall mean those sediment requiring Type 2 Confined Marine Disposal as determined according to this TC(W).

([2])        CAD options may involve use of excavated borrow pits, or may involve purpose-built excavated pits.  CAD sites are those which involve filling a seabed pit with contaminated mud and capping it with uncontaminated material such that the original seabed level is restored and the contaminated material is isolated from the surrounding marine environment.7

([3])       Detailed Site Selection Study for a Proposed Contaminated Mud Disposal Facility within the Airport East/ East of Sha Chau Area (Agreement No. CE 12/2002(EP))

([4])       Under the CEDD study Contaminated Sediment Disposal Facility to the South of The Brothers (Agreement No. FM 2/2009)

([5])           ERM (2012) Environmental Monitoring and Audit (EM&A) Manual. Final First Review.  Environmental Monitoring and Audit for Contaminated Mud Pits to the South of the Brothers and at East Sha Chau (2012-2017) Investigation.  Agreement No. CE 23/2012(EP). Submitted to EPD in November 2012.

([6])          ERM (2010) Environmental Monitoring and Audit (EM&A) Manual. Final Second Review.  Environmental Monitoring and Audit for Contaminated Mud Pit at Sha Chau (2009-2013) Investigation.  Agreement No. CE 4/2009(EP). Submitted to EPD in November 2010.

([7])        http://epic.epd.gov.hk/EPICRIVER/marine/?lang=en