Contract No. HY/2011/03

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Link Road

Section between Scenic Hill and Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quarterly EM&A Report No. 26 (December 2018 to February 2019)

 

4 June 2019

 

Revision 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Main Contractor                                                                                                          Designer

 

 


 


Contents

Executive Summary

1...... Introduction. 1

1.1                          Basic Project Information. 1

1.2                          Project Organisation. 1

1.3                          Construction Programme. 1

1.4                          Construction Works Undertaken During the Reporting Period. 1

2....... EM&A Requirement 3

2.1                          Summary of EM&A Requirements. 3

2.2                          Action and Limit Levels. 4

2.3                          Event Action Plans. 5

2.4                          Mitigation Measures. 5

3....... Environmental Monitoring and Audit 0

3.1                          Implementation of Environmental Measures. 0

3.2                          Air Quality Monitoring Results. 0

3.3                          Noise Monitoring Results. 1

3.4                          Water Quality Monitoring Results. 1

3.5                          Dolphin Monitoring Results. 2

3.6                          Mudflat Monitoring Results. 13

3.7                          Solid and Liquid Waste Management Status. 26

3.8                          Environmental Licenses and Permits. 26

4....... Environmental Complaint and Non-compliance. 27

4.1                          Environmental Exceedances. 27

4.2                          Summary of Environmental Complaint, Notification of Summons and Successful Prosecution. 28

5....... Comments, Recommendations and Conclusion. 29

5.1                          Comments. 29

5.2                          Recommendations. 29

5.3                          Conclusions. 29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figures

 

Figure 1.1         Location of the Site

Figure 2.1          Environmental Monitoring Stations

Figure 2.2          Transect Line Layout in Northwest and Northeast Lantau Survey Areas

 

                           

Appendices

 

Appendix A       Environmental Management Structure

Appendix B       Construction Programme

Appendix C       Location of Works Areas

Appendix D       Event and Action Plan  

Appendix E       Implementation Schedule of Environmental Mitigation Measures

Appendix F       Site Audit Findings and Corrective Actions

Appendix G       Air Quality Monitoring Data and Graphical Plots

Appendix H       Noise Monitoring Data and Graphical Plots

Appendix I         Water Quality Monitoring Data and Graphical Plots

Appendix J        Dolphin Monitoring Results

Appendix K       Waste Flow Table

Appendix L        Summary of Environmental Licenses and Permits

Appendix M       Record of °ßNotification of Environmental Quality Limit Exceedances°® and Record of °ßNotification of Summons and Prosecutions°®

Appendix N       Cumulative Statistics on Complaints

Appendix O    Mudflat Monitoring Results

Executive Summary

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) Hong Kong Link Road (HKLR) serves to connect the HZMB Main Bridge at the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Boundary and the HZMB Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF) located at the north eastern waters of the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).

The HKLR project has been separated into two contracts.  They are Contract No. HY/2011/03 Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Link Road-Section between Scenic Hill and Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (hereafter referred to as the Contract) and Contract No. HY/2011/09 Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Link Road-Section between HKSAR Boundary and Scenic Hill.

China State Construction Engineering (Hong Kong) Ltd. was awarded by Highways Department as the Contractor to undertake the construction works of Contract No. HY/2011/03. The main works of the Contract include land tunnel at Scenic Hill, tunnel underneath Airport Road and Airport Express Line, reclamation and tunnel to the east coast of the Airport Island, at-grade road connecting to the HKBCF and highway works of the HKBCF within the Airport Island and in the vicinity of the HKLR reclamation.  The Contract is part of the HKLR Project and HKBCF Project, these projects are considered to be °ßDesignated Projects°®, under Schedule 2 of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Ordinance (Cap 499) and EIA Reports (Register No. AEIAR-144/2009 and AEIAR-145/2009) were prepared for the Project.  The current Environmental Permit (EP) EP-352/2009/D for HKLR and EP-353/2009/K for HKBCF were issued on 22 December 2014 and 11 April 2016, respectively. These documents are available through the EIA Ordinance Register. The construction phase of Contract was commenced on 17 October 2012.

BMT Hong Kong Limited has been appointed by the Contractor to implement the Environmental Monitoring & Audit (EM&A) programme for the Contract in accordance with the Updated EM&A Manual for HKLR (Version 1.0) and will be providing environmental team services to the Contract.

This is the twenty-sixth Quarterly EM&A report for the Contract which summarizes the monitoring results and audit findings of the EM&A programme during the reporting period from 1 December 2018 to 28 February 2019.

Environmental Monitoring and Audit Progress

The EM&A programme were undertaken in accordance with the Updated EM&A Manual for HKLR (Version 1.0).  A summary of the monitoring activities during this reporting period is presented as below:

Monitoring Activity

Monitoring Date

Dec 2018

Jan 2019

Feb 2019

Air Quality

1-hr TSP

5, 11, 17, 21, 27 and 31

4, 10, 16, 22 and 28

1, 4, 8, 14, 20 and 26

24-hr TSP

4, 10, 14, 20, 24 and 28

3, 9, 15, 21, 25 and 31

2, 8, 13, 19 and 25

Noise

5, 11, 19, 27 and 31

10, 16, 22 and 28

4, 14, 20 and 26

Water Quality

3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 28 and 31

2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28 and 30

1, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25 and 27

Chinese White Dolphin

3, 5, 10 and 12

2, 3, 7 and 14

1, 14, 20, 25 and 26

Mudflat Monitoring (Ecology)

1, 2, 11, 15 and 16

-

-

Mudflat Monitoring (Sedimentation rate)

1

-

-

Site Inspection

5, 12, 19 and 28

2, 9, 16 and 25

1, 4, 11 and 22

 

 

Breaches of Action and Limit Levels

A summary of environmental exceedances for this reporting period is as follows:

Environmental Monitoring

Parameters

Action Level (AL)

Limit Level (LL)

Air Quality

1-hr TSP

0

0

24-hr TSP

0

0

Noise

Leq (30 min)

0

0

Water Quality

Suspended solids level (SS)

2

0

Turbidity level

0

0

Dissolved oxygen level (DO)

0

0

Dolphin Monitoring

Quarterly Analysis (Dec 2018 to Feb 2019[KE1] )

0

1

All investigation reports for exceedances of the Contract have been submitted to ENPO/IEC for comments and/or follow up to identify whether the exceedances occurred related to other HZMB contracts.

Implementation of Mitigation Measures

Site inspections were carried out on a weekly basis to monitor the implementation of proper environmental pollution control and mitigation measures for the Project. Potential environmental impacts due to the construction activities were monitored and reviewed.

Complaint Log

There was one complaint received in relation to the environmental impacts during this reporting period.

Notifications of Summons and Prosecutions

There were no notifications of summons or prosecutions received during this reporting period.

 

Reporting Changes

This report has been developed in compliance with the reporting requirements for the subsequent EM&A reports as required by the Updated EM&A Manual for HKLR (Version 1.0). 

The proposal for the change of Action Level and Limit Level for suspended solid and turbidity was approved by EPD on 25 March 2013.

The revised Event and Action Plan for dolphin monitoring was approved by EPD on 6 May 2013.

The original monitoring station at IS(Mf)9 (Coordinate: 813273E, 818850N) was observed inside the perimeter silt curtain of Contract HY/2010/02 on 1 July 2013, as such the original impact water quality monitoring location at IS(Mf)9 was temporarily shifted outside the silt curtain.  As advised by the Contractor of HY/2010/02 in August 2013, the perimeter silt curtain was shifted to facilitate safe anchorage zone of construction barges/vessels until end of 2013 subject to construction progress.  Therefore, water quality monitoring station IS(Mf)9 was shifted to 813226E and 818708N since 1 July 2013.  According to the water quality monitoring team°¶s observation on 24 March 2014, the original monitoring location of IS(Mf)9 was no longer enclosed by the perimeter silt curtain of Contract HY/2010/02. Thus, the impact water quality monitoring works at the original monitoring location of IS(Mf)9 has been resumed since 24 March 2014.

Transect lines 1, 2, 7, 8, 9 and 11 for dolphin monitoring have been revised due to the obstruction of the permanent structures associated with the construction works of HKLR and the southern viaduct of TM-CLKL, as well as provision of adequate buffer distance from the Airport Restricted Areas.  The EPD issued a memo and confirmed that they had no objection on the revised transect lines on 19 August 2015.

The water quality monitoring stations at IS10 (Coordinate: 812577E, 820670N) and SR5 (811489E, 820455N) are located inside Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) Approach Restricted Areas. The previously granted Vessel's Entry Permit for accessing stations IS10 and SR5 were expired on 31 December 2016. During the permit renewing process, the water quality monitoring location was shifted to IS10(N) (Coordinate: 813060E, 820540N) and SR5(N) (Coordinate: 811430E, 820978N) on 2, 4 and 6 January 2017 temporarily. The permit has been granted by Marine Department on 6 January 2017. Thus, the impact water quality monitoring works at original monitoring location of IS10 and SR5 has been resumed since 9 January 2017.

Transect lines 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 for dolphin monitoring have been revised and transect line 24 has been added due to the presence of a work zone to the north of the airport platform with intense construction activities in association with the construction of the third runway expansion for the Hong Kong International Airport. The EPD issued a memo and confirmed that they had no objection on the revised transect lines on 28 July 2017. The alternative dolphin transect lines are adopted starting from August°¶s dolphin monitoring.

A new water quality monitoring team has been employed for carrying out water quality monitoring work for the Contract starting from 23 August 2017. Due to marine work of the Expansion of Hong Kong International Airport into a Three-Runway System (3RS Project), original locations of water quality monitoring stations CS2, SR5 and IS10 are enclosed by works boundary of 3RS Project. Alternative impact water quality monitoring stations, naming as CS2(A), SR5(N) and IS10(N) was approved on 28 July 2017 and were adopted starting from 23 August 2017 to replace the original locations of water quality monitoring for the Contract.

The role and responsibilities as the ET Leader of the Contract was temporarily taken up by Mr Willie Wong instead of Ms Claudine Lee from 25 September 2017 to 31 December 2017.

The topographical condition of the water monitoring stations SR3 (Coordinate: 810525E, 816456N), SR4 (Coordinate: 814760E, 817867N), SR10A (Coordinate: 823741E, 823495N) and SR10B (Coordinate: 823686E, 823213N) cannot be accessed safely for undertaking water quality monitoring. The water quality monitoring has been temporarily conducted at alternative stations, namely SR3(N) (Coordinate 810689E, 816591N), SR4(N) (Coordinate: 814705E, 817859N) and SR10A(N) (Coordinate: 823644E, 823484N) since 1 September 2017. The water quality monitoring at station SR10B was temporarily conducted at Coordinate: 823683E, 823187N on 1, 4, 6, 8 September 2017 and has been temporarily fine-tuned to alternative station SR10B(N2) (Coordinate: 823689E, 823159N) since 11 September 2017. Proposal for permanently relocating the aforementioned stations was approved by EPD on 8 January 2018.

The works area WA5 was handed over to other party on 22 June 2013.

According to latest information received in July 2018, the works area WA7 was handed over to other party on 28 February 2018 instead of 31 January 2018.

 


1        Introduction

1.1.1      The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) Hong Kong Link Road (HKLR) serves to connect the HZMB Main Bridge at the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Boundary and the HZMB Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF) located at the north eastern waters of the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).

1.1.2      The HKLR project has been separated into two contracts. They are Contract No. HY/2011/03 Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Link Road-Section between Scenic Hill and Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (hereafter referred to as the Contract) and Contract No. HY/2011/09 Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Link Road-Section between HKSAR Boundary and Scenic Hill.

1.1.3      China State Construction Engineering (Hong Kong) Ltd. was awarded by Highways Department (HyD) as the Contractor to undertake the construction works of Contract No. HY/2011/03.  The Contract is part of the HKLR Project and HKBCF Project, these projects are considered to be °ßDesignated Projects°®, under Schedule 2 of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Ordinance (Cap 499) and EIA Reports (Register No. AEIAR-144/2009 and AEIAR-145/2009) were prepared for the Project.  The current Environmental Permit (EP) EP-352/2009/D for HKLR and EP-353/2009/K for HKBCF were issued on 22 December 2014 and 11 April 2016, respectively. These documents are available through the EIA Ordinance Register. The construction phase of Contract was commenced on 17 October 2012. The works area WA7 was handed over to other party on 31 January 2018. Figure 1.1 shows the project site boundary.

1.1.4      BMT Hong Kong Limited has been appointed by the Contractor to implement the EM&A programme for the Contract in accordance with the Updated EM&A Manual for HKLR (Version 1.0) for HKLR and will be providing environmental team services to the Contract. Ramboll Hong Kong Limited was employed by HyD as the Independent Environmental Checker (IEC) and Environmental Project Office (ENPO) for the Project. The project organization with regard to the environmental works is provided in Appendix A.

1.1.5      This is the twenty-sixth Quarterly Environmental Monitoring and Audit (EM&A) report for the Contract which summarizes the monitoring results and audit findings of the EM&A programme during the reporting period from 1 December 2018 to 28 February 2019.

1.2.1      The project organization structure and lines of communication with respect to the on-site environmental management structure with the key personnel contact names and numbers are shown in Appendix A. 

1.3                Construction Programme

1.3.1      A copy of the Contractor°¶s construction programme is provided in Appendix B. 

1.4                Construction Works Undertaken During the Reporting Period

1.4.1      A summary of the construction activities undertaken during this reporting period is shown in Table 1.1.  The Works areas of the Contract are showed in Appendix C.

Table 1.1         Construction Activities during Reporting Period

 

Description of Activities

Site Area

Dismantling/trimming of temporary 40mm stone platform for construction of seawall

Portion X

Construction of seawall

Portion X

Loading and unloading of filling materials

Portion X

Backfilling at Scenic Hill Tunnel (Cut & Cover Tunnel)

Portion X

Works for diversion

Airport Road

Establishment of site access

Airport Road/ Airport Express Line/ East Coast Road

Finishing works for Highway Operation and Maintenance Area Building

Portion X

Finishing works for Scenic Hill Tunnel West Portal Ventilation building

West Portal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


2        EM&A Requirement

2.1                Summary of EM&A Requirements

2.1.1      The EM&A programme requires environmental monitoring of air quality, noise, water quality, dolphin monitoring and mudflat monitoring as specified in the approved EM&A Manual.

2.1.2      A summary of Impact EM&A requirements is presented in Table 2.1. The locations of air quality, noise and water quality monitoring stations are shown as in Figure 2.1. The transect line layout in Northwest and Northeast Lantau Survey Areas is presented in Figure 2.2.

Table 2.1         Summary of Impact EM&A Requirements

Environmental Monitoring

Description

Monitoring Station

Frequencies

Remarks

Air Quality

1-hr TSP

AMS 5 & AMS 6

At least 3 times every 6 days

While the highest dust impact was expected.

24-hr TSP

At least once every 6 days

--

Noise

Leq (30mins),
L10
(30mins) and
L90
(30mins)

NMS 5

At least once per week

Daytime on normal weekdays (0700-1900 hrs).

Water Quality

°P    Depth

°P    Temperature

°P    Salinity

°P    Dissolved Oxygen (DO)

°P    Suspended Solids (SS)

°P    DO Saturation

°P    Turbidity

°P    pH

°P    Impact Stations:
IS5, IS(Mf)6, IS7, IS8, IS(Mf)9 & IS10(N),

°P    Control/Far Field Stations:
CS2(A) & CS(Mf)5,

°P    Sensitive Receiver Stations:
SR3(N), SR4(N), SR5(N), SR10A(N) & SR10B(N2)

Three times per week during mid-ebb and mid-flood tides (within °” 1.75 hour of the predicted time)

3

(1 m below water surface, mid-depth and 1 m above sea bed, except where the water depth is less than 6 m, in which case the mid-depth station may be omitted.  Should the water depth be less than 3 m, only the mid-depth station will be monitored).

Dolphin

Line-transect Methods

Northeast Lantau survey area and Northwest Lantau survey area

Twice per month

--

Mudflat

Horseshoe crabs, seagrass beds, intertidal soft shore communities, sedimentation rates and water quality

San Tau and Tung Chung Bay

Once every 3 months

--

 

2.2.1      Table 2.2 presents the Action and Limit Levels for the 1-hour TSP, 24-hour TSP and noise level.

Table 2.2        Action and Limit Levels for 1-hour TSP, 24-hour TSP and Noise

Environmental Monitoring

Parameters

Monitoring Station

Action Level

Limit Level

Air Quality

1-hr TSP

AMS 5

352 µg/m3

500 µg/m3

AMS 6

360 µg/m3

24-hr TSP

AMS 5

164 µg/m3

260 µg/m3

AMS 6

173 µg/m3

Noise

Leq (30 min)

NMS 5

When one documented complaint is received

75 dB(A)

 

2.2.2      The Action and Limit Levels for water quality monitoring are given as in Table 2.3.

Table 2.3        Action and Limit Levels for Water Quality

Parameter (unit)

Water Depth

Action Level

Limit Level

Dissolved Oxygen (mg/L)

Surface and Middle

5.0

4.2 except 5 for Fish Culture Zone

Bottom

4.7

3.6

Turbidity (NTU)

Depth average

27.5 or 120% of upstream control station°¶s turbidity at the same tide of the same day;

The action level has been amended to °ß27.5 and 120% of upstream control station°¶s turbidity at the same tide of the same day°® since 25 March 2013.

47.0 or 130% of turbidity at the upstream control station at the same tide of same day;

The limit level has been amended to °ß47.0 and 130% of turbidity at the upstream control station at the same tide of same day°® since 25 March 2013.

Suspended Solid (SS) (mg/L)

Depth average

23.5 or 120% of upstream control station°¶s SS at the same tide of the same day;

The action level has been amended to °ß23.5 and 120% of upstream control station°¶s SS at the same tide of the same day°® since 25 March 2013.

34.4 or 130% of SS at the upstream control station at the same tide of same day and 10mg/L for Water Services Department Seawater Intakes;

The limit level has been amended to °ß34.4 and 130% of SS at the upstream control station at the same tide of same day and 10mg/L for Water Services Department Seawater Intakes°® since 25 March 2013

Notes:

                (1)    Depth-averaged is calculated by taking the arithmetic means of reading of all three depths.

                (2)    For DO, non-compliance of the water quality limit occurs when monitoring result is lower that the limit.

                (3)    For SS & turbidity non-compliance of the water quality limits occur when monitoring result is higher than the limits.

                (4)     The change to the Action and limit Levels for Water Quality Monitoring for the EM&A works was approved by EPD on 25 March 2013. Therefore, the amended Action and Limit Levels are applied for the water monitoring results obtained on and after 25 March 2013.


 

2.2.3      The Action and Limit Levels for dolphin monitoring are shown in Tables 2.4 and 2.5.

Table 2.4         Action and Limit Level for Dolphin Impact Monitoring

 

North Lantau Social Cluster

NEL

NWL

Action Level

STG < 70% of baseline &
ANI < 70% of baseline

STG < 70% of baseline &
ANI < 70% of baseline

Limit Level

STG < 40% of baseline &
ANI < 40% of baseline

Remarks:

                 (1)        STG means quarterly average encounter rate of number of dolphin sightings.

                 (2)        ANI means quarterly average encounter rate of total number of dolphins.

                 (3)        For North Lantau Social Cluster, AL will be triggered if either NEL or NWL fall below the criteria; LL will be triggered if both NEL and NWL fall below the criteria.

 

Table 2.5         Derived Value of Action Level (AL) and Limit Level (LL)

 

North Lantau Social Cluster

NEL

NWL

Action Level

STG < 4.2 & ANI < 15.5

STG < 6.9 & ANI < 31.3

Limit Level

(STG < 2.4 & ANI < 8.9) and (STG < 3.9 & ANI < 17.9)

Remarks:

                 (1)        STG means quarterly average encounter rate of number of dolphin sightings.

                 (2)        ANI means quarterly average encounter rate of total number of dolphins.

                 (3)        For North Lantau Social Cluster, AL will be triggered if either NEL or NWL fall below the criteria; LL will be triggered if both NEL and NWL fall below the criteria.

2.3                Event Action Plans

2.3.1      The Event Actions Plans for air quality, noise, water quality and dolphin monitoring are annexed in Appendix D.

2.4                Mitigation Measures

2.4.1      Environmental mitigation measures for the contract were recommended in the approved EIA Report.  Appendix E lists the recommended mitigation measures and the implementation status. 


3        Environmental Monitoring and Audit

3.1                Implementation of Environmental Measures

3.1.1      In response to the site audit findings, the Contractor have rectified all observations identified in environmental site inspections undertaken during the reporting period. Details of site audit findings and the corrective actions during the reporting period are presented in Appendix F.

3.1.2      A summary of the Implementation Schedule of Environmental Mitigation Measures (EMIS) is presented in Appendix E. 

3.1.3      Regular marine travel route for marine vessels were implemented properly in accordance to the submitted plan and relevant records were kept properly.

3.1.4      Dolphin Watching Plan was implemented during the reporting period. No dolphins inside the silt curtain were observed. The relevant records were kept properly. 

3.1.5      IEC informed ET and SOR through email on 25 February 2019 that two excavators working in the vicinity of shoreline interfacing with open waters at the southern end of Portion X of which one's with its bucket being immersed in the open waters without silt curtain being enclosed were observed at around 2:00 p.m. on 25 February 2019.

3.1.6      According to Contractor°¶s information, pure rock materials which were deposited on the existing seawall were retrieved using an excavator on 25 February 2019. As bucket of the excavator was immersed into the water, the work may relate to marine work. Silty water was not observed, according to the photos provided by IEC through email on 25 February 2019. It is noted that there are no exceedances for in-situ water data (dissolved oxygen, turbidity and suspended solid level) at stations IS5 and IS(Mf)6 which are the nearest monitoring stations for the concerned work area.  During ET°¶s site inspection on 1 March 2019, silt curtains was placed around the concerned area. The Contractor was reminded to maintain silt curtains properly and enclose the concerned work area using silt curtains to avoid potential water quality impact.

3.2.1      The monitoring results for 1-hour TSP and 24-hour TSP are summarized in Tables 3.1 and 3.2 respectively. Detailed impact air quality monitoring results and relevant graphical plots are presented in Appendix G.

Table 3.1        Summary of 1-hour TSP Monitoring Results Obtained During the Reporting Period

Reporting Period

Monitoring

Station

Average (mg/m3)

Range (mg/m3)

Action Level (mg/m3)

Limit Level (mg/m3)

Dec 2018

AMS5

71

42 °V 109

352

500

AMS6

66

37 °V 93

360

Jan 2019

AMS5

73

49 °V 141

352

AMS6

122

47 °V 300

360

Feb 2019

AMS5

67

40 °V 104

352

AMS6

59

39 °V 95

360

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 3.2        Summary of 24-hour TSP Monitoring Results Obtained During the Reporting Period

Reporting Period

Monitoring

Station

Average (mg/m3)

Range (mg/m3)

Action Level (mg/m3)

Limit Level (mg/m3)

Dec 2018

AMS5

53

36 °V 83

164

260

AMS6

62

41 °V 83

173

Jan 2019

AMS5

69

49 °V 94

164

AMS6

81

56 °V 110

173

Feb 2019

AMS5

53

31 °V 77

164

AMS6

56

29 °V 84

173

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.2.2      No Action and Limit Level exceedances of 1-hr TSP and 24-hr TSP were recorded at AMS5 and AMS6 during the reporting period.

3.2.3      Record of notification of environmental quality limit exceedances are provided in Appendix M.

3.3                Noise Monitoring Results

3.3.1      The monitoring results for construction noise are summarized in Table 3.3 and the monitoring results and relevant graphical plots for this reporting period are provided in Appendix H.

Table 3.3 Summary of Construction Noise Monitoring Results Obtained During the Reporting Period

Reporting period

Monitoring Station

Average Leq (30 mins), dB(A)*

Range of Leq (30 mins), dB(A)*

Action Level

Limit Level Leq (30 mins), dB(A)

Dec 2018

NMS5

62

59 °V 65

When one documented complaint is received

75

Jan 2019

58

57 °V 59

Feb 2019

59

57 °V 64

*A correction factor of +3dB(A) from free field to facade measurement was included. 

3.3.2      No Action/Limit Level exceedances for noise were recorded during daytime on normal weekdays of the reporting period. 

3.3.3      Major noise sources during the noise monitoring included construction activities of the Contract and nearby traffic noise and insect noise.

3.4.1      Impact water quality monitoring was conducted at all designated monitoring stations during the reporting period. Impact water quality monitoring results and relevant graphical plots are provided in Appendix I.

 

3.4.2      No Action and Limit Level exceedances of turbidity level and dissolved oxygen were recorded during reporting period. No Limit Level exceedance of suspended solids were recorded during the reporting period.

3.4.3      2 Action Level exceedances of suspended solids level were recorded during the reporting period. The exceedances of suspended solids level recorded during reporting period was considered to be attributed to other external factors such as sea condition, rather than the contract works. The exceedances were considered as non-contract related. Record of °ßNotification of Environmental Quality Limit Exceedances°® is provided in Appendix M.

3.4.4      Water quality impact sources during the water quality monitoring were the construction activities of the Contract, nearby construction activities by other parties and nearby operating vessels by other parties.

Data Analysis

3.5.1      Distribution Analysis °V The line-transect survey data was integrated with the Geographic Information System (GIS) in order to visualize and interpret different spatial and temporal patterns of dolphin distribution using sighting positions.  Location data of dolphin groups were plotted on map layers of Hong Kong using a desktop GIS (ArcView© 3.1) to examine their distribution patterns in details. The dataset was also stratified into different subsets to examine distribution patterns of dolphin groups with different categories of group sizes, young calves and activities.

3.5.2      Encounter rate analysis °V Encounter rates of Chinese white dolphins (number of on-effort sightings per 100 km of survey effort, and total number of dolphins sighted on-effort per 100 km of survey effort) were calculated in NEL and NWL survey areas in relation to the amount of survey effort conducted during each month of monitoring survey.  Dolphin encounter rates were calculated in two ways for comparisons with the HZMB baseline monitoring results as well as to AFCD long-term marine mammal monitoring results. 

3.5.3      Firstly, for the comparison with the HZMB baseline monitoring results, the encounter rates were calculated using primary survey effort alone, and only data collected under Beaufort 3 or below condition would be used for encounter rate analysis.  The average encounter rate of sightings (STG) and average encounter rate of dolphins (ANI) were deduced based on the encounter rates from six events during the present quarter (i.e. six sets of line-transect surveys in North Lantau), which was also compared with the one deduced from the six events during the baseline period (i.e. six sets of line-transect surveys in North Lantau). 

3.5.4      Secondly, the encounter rates were calculated using both primary and secondary survey effort collected under Beaufort 3 or below condition as in AFCD long-term monitoring study.  The encounter rate of sightings and dolphins were deduced by dividing the total number of on-effort sightings (STG) and total number of dolphins (ANI) by the amount of survey effort for the present quarterly period.

3.5.5      Quantitative grid analysis on habitat use °V To conduct quantitative grid analysis of habitat use, positions of on-effort sightings of Chinese White Dolphins collected during the quarterly impact phase monitoring period were plotted onto 1-km2 grids among NWL and NEL survey areas on GIS.  Sighting densities (number of on-effort sightings per km2) and dolphin densities (total number of dolphins from on-effort sightings per km2) were then calculated for each 1 km by 1 km grid with the aid of GIS.  Sighting density grids and dolphin density grids were then further normalized with the amount of survey effort conducted within each grid.  The total amount of survey effort spent on each grid was calculated by examining the survey coverage on each line-transect survey to determine how many times the grid was surveyed during the study period.  For example, when the survey boat traversed through a specific grid 50 times, 50 units of survey effort were counted for that grid.  With the amount of survey effort calculated for each grid, the sighting density and dolphin density of each grid were then normalized (i.e. divided by the unit of survey effort). 

3.5.6      The newly-derived unit for sighting density was termed SPSE, representing the number of on-effort sightings per 100 units of survey effort.  In addition, the derived unit for actual dolphin density was termed DPSE, representing the number of dolphins per 100 units of survey effort.  Among the 1-km2 grids that were partially covered by land, the percentage of sea area was calculated using GIS tools, and their SPSE and DPSE values were adjusted accordingly.  The following formulae were used to estimate SPSE and DPSE in each 1-km2 grid within the study area:

SPSE = ((S / E) x 100) / SA%

DPSE = ((D / E) x 100) / SA%

 

where       S = total number of on-effort sightings

D = total number of dolphins from on-effort sightings

E = total number of units of survey effort

SA% = percentage of sea area

3.5.7      Behavioural analysis °V When dolphins were sighted during vessel surveys, their behaviour was observed.  Different activities were categorized (i.e. feeding, milling/resting, traveling, socializing) and recorded on sighting datasheets.  This data was then input into a separate database with sighting information, which can be used to determine the distribution of behavioural data with a desktop GIS.  Distribution of sightings of dolphins engaged in different activities and behaviours would then be plotted on GIS and carefully examined to identify important areas for different activities of the dolphins. 

3.5.8      Ranging pattern analysis °V Location data of individual dolphins that occurred during the 3-month baseline monitoring period were obtained from the dolphin sighting database and photo-identification catalogue.  To deduce home ranges for individual dolphins using the fixed kernel methods, the program Animal Movement Analyst Extension, was loaded as an extension with ArcView© 3.1 along with another extension Spatial Analyst 2.0.  Using the fixed kernel method, the program calculated kernel density estimates based on all sighting positions, and provided an active interface to display kernel density plots.  The kernel estimator then calculated and displayed the overall ranging area at 95% UD level.

Summary of Survey Effort and Dolphin Sightings(updated)

3.5.9      During the period of December 2018 to February 2019, six sets of systematic line-transect vessel surveys were conducted to cover all transect lines in NWL and NEL survey areas twice per month.

3.5.10    From these surveys, a total of 801.74 km of survey effort was collected, with 94.7% of the total survey effort being conducted under favourable weather conditions (i.e. Beaufort Sea State 3 or below with good visibility).  Among the two areas, 302.10 km and 499.64 km of survey effort were conducted in NEL and NWL survey areas respectively. 

3.5.11    The total survey effort conducted on primary lines was 579.99 km, while the effort on secondary lines was 221.75 km.  Survey effort conducted on both primary and secondary lines were considered as on-effort survey data.  A summary table of the survey effort is shown in Appendix J.

3.5.12    During the six sets of monitoring surveys conducted between December 2018 and February 2019, 12 groups of 38 Chinese White Dolphins were sighted, with the summary table of dolphin sightings shown in Annex II of Appendix J. Ten of the 12 dolphin sightings were made during on-effort search, with eight of the ten on-effort dolphin sightings being made on primary lines. 

3.5.13    In addition, all dolphin groups were sighted in NWL, and no dolphin was sighted at all in NEL.  In fact, since August 2014, only two sightings of two lone dolphins were made in NEL during HKLR03 monitoring surveys. 

Distribution

3.5.14    Distribution of dolphin sightings made during HKLR03 monitoring surveys conducted from December 2018 to February 2019 is shown in Figure 1 of Appendix J.  These sightings were all scattered at the western portion of the North Lantau region, with no particular concentration (Figure 1 of Appendix J). 

3.5.15    As consistently recorded in previous monitoring quarters, the dolphins were completely absent from the central and eastern portions of North Lantau waters (Figure 1 of Appendix J).  Moreover, all dolphin sightings were located far away from the HKLR03 and HKBCF reclamation sites as well as along the alignment of Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link (TMCLKL) (Figure 1 of Appendix J). However, two dolphin groups were sighted near the HKLR09 alignment to the west of Shum Wat.

3.5.16    Sighting distribution of dolphins during the present impact phase monitoring period (December 2018-February 2019) was drastically different from the one during the baseline monitoring period (Figure 1 of Appendix J).  In the present quarter, dolphins have disappeared from the NEL region, which was in stark contrast to their frequent occurrences around the Brothers Islands, near Shum Shui Kok and in the vicinity of HKBCF reclamation site during the baseline period (Figure 1 of Appendix J).  The nearly complete abandonment of NEL region by the dolphins has been consistently recorded in the past 23 quarters of HKLR03 monitoring, which has resulted in zero to extremely low dolphin encounter rates in this area.

3.5.17    In NWL survey area, dolphin occurrence was also drastically different between the baseline and impact phase periods.  During the present impact monitoring period, dolphins were seldom sighted here, and their distribution was restricted to the western portion of the North Lantau region, which was in stark contrast to their frequent occurrences throughout the area during the baseline period (Figure 1 of Appendix J). 

3.5.18    Another comparison in dolphin distribution was made between the six quarterly periods of winter months in 2013-19.  Among the six winter periods, dolphins were regularly sighted in NWL waters in 2013-14, but such usage was dramatically reduced in the five subsequent winter periods (Figure 2 of Appendix J). 

Encounter Rate

3.5.19    During the present three-month study period, the encounter rates of Chinese White Dolphins deduced from the survey effort and on-effort sighting data from the primary transect lines under favourable conditions (Beaufort 3 or below) for each set of the surveys in NEL and NWL are shown in Table 3.4. The average encounter rates deduced from the six sets of surveys were also compared with the ones deduced from the baseline monitoring period (September °V November 2011) (Table 3.5).

3.5.20    To facilitate the comparison with the AFCD long-term monitoring results, the encounter rates were also calculated for the present quarter using both primary and secondary survey effort.  The encounter rates of sightings (STG) and dolphins (ANI) in NWL were 2.15 sightings and 7.11 dolphins per 100 km of survey effort respectively, while the encounter rates of sightings (STG) and dolphins (ANI) in NEL were both nil for this quarter .

Table 3.4         Dolphin Encounter Rates (Sightings Per 100 km of Survey Effort) During Reporting Period (December 2018 °V February 2019) 

Survey Area

Dolphin Monitoring

Encounter rate (STG)
(no. of on-effort dolphin sightings per 100 km of survey effort)

Encounter rate (ANI)
(no. of dolphins from all on-effort sightings per 100 km of surve
y effort)

Primary Lines Only

Primary Lines Only

Northeast  Lantau

Set 1 (3 & 5 Dec 2018)

0.00

0.00

Set 2 (10 & 12 Dec 2018)

0.00

0.00

Set 3 (2 & 3 Jan 2019)

0.00

0.00

Set 4 (7 & 14 Jan 2019)

0.00

0.00

Set 5 (1 & 14 Feb 2019)

0.00

0.00

Set 6 (20, 25 & 26 Feb 2019)

0.00

0.00

Northwest Lantau

Set 1 (3 & 5 Dec 2018)

3.95

11.86

Set 2 (10 & 12 Dec 2018)

0.00

0.00

Set 3 (2 & 3 Jan 2019)

3.32

14.94

Set 4 (7 & 14 Jan 2019)

0.00

0.00

Set 5 (1 & 14 Feb 2019)

3.86

7.72

Set 6 (20, 25 & 26 Feb 2019)

3.29

13.16

 

Table 3.5         Comparison of average dolphin encounter rates from impact monitoring period (December 2018 °V February 2019) and baseline monitoring period (September °V November 2011)

Survey Area

Encounter rate (STG)
(no. of on-effort dolphin sightings per 100 km of survey effort)

Encounter rate (ANI)
(no. of dolphins from all on-effort sightings per 100 km of survey effort)

Reporting Period

Baseline Monitoring Period

Reporting Period

Baseline Monitoring Period

Northeast Lantau

0.0

6.00 °” 5.05

0.0

22.19 °” 26.81

Northwest Lantau

2.40 °” 1.88

9.85 °” 5.85

7.95 °” 6.60

44.66 °” 29.85

Notes:
1) The encounter rates deduced from the baseline monitoring period have been recalculated based only on the survey effort and on-effort sighting data made along the primary transect lines under favourable conditions.

2) °” denotes the standard deviation of the average encounter rates.

 

3.5.21    In NEL, the average dolphin encounter rates (both STG and ANI) in the present three-month impact monitoring period were both zero with no on-effort sighting being made, and such extremely low occurrence of dolphins in NEL have been consistently recorded in the past 23 quarters of HKLR03 monitoring (Table 3.6). This is a serious concern as the dolphin occurrence in NEL in the past few years (0.0-1.0 for ER(STG) and 0.0-3.9 for ER(ANI)) have remained exceptionally low when compared to the baseline period (Table 3.6). Dolphins have been virtually absent from NEL waters since August 2014, with only two lone dolphins sighted there on two separate occasions despite consistent and intensive survey effort being conducted in this survey area.

Table 3.6         Comparison of Average Dolphin Encounter Rates in Northeast Lantau Survey Area from All Quarters of Impact Monitoring Period and Baseline Monitoring Period (Sep °V Nov 2011)

Monitoring Period

Encounter rate (STG)
(no. of on-effort dolphin sightings per 100 km of survey effort)

Encounter rate (ANI)
(no. of dolphins from all on-effort sightings per 100 km of survey effort)

September-November 2011 (Baseline)

6.00 °” 5.05

22.19 °” 26.81

December 2012-February 2013 (Impact)

3.14 °” 3.21*

6.33 °” 8.64*

March-May 2013 (Impact)

0.42 °” 1.03

0.42 °” 1.03

June-August 2013 (Impact)

0.88 °” 1.36

3.91 °” 8.36

September-November 2013 (Impact)

1.01 °” 1.59

3.77 °” 6.49

December 2013-February 2014 (Impact)

0.45 °” 1.10*

1.34 °” 3.29*

March-May 2014 (Impact)

0.00

0.00

June-August 2014 (Impact)

0.42 °” 1.04

1.69 °” 4.15

September-November 2014 (Impact)

0.00

0.00

December 2014-February 2015 (Impact)

0.00*

0.00*

March-May 2015 (Impact)

0.00

0.00

June-August 2015 (Impact)

0.44 °” 1.08

0.44 °” 1.08

September-November 2015 (Impact)

0.00

0.00

December 2015-February 2016 (Impact)

0.00*

0.00*

March-May 2016 (Impact)

0.00

0.00

June-August 2016 (Impact)

0.00

0.00

September-November 2016 (Impact)

0.00

0.00

December 2016-February 2017 (Impact)

0.00*

0.00*

March-May 2017 (Impact)

0.00

0.00

June-August 2017 (Impact)

0.00

0.00

September-November 2017 (Impact)

0.00

0.00

December 2017-February 2018 (Impact)

0.00*

0.00*

March-May 2018 (Impact)

0.00

0.00

June-August 2018 (Impact)

0.00

0.00

September-November 2018 (Impact)

0.00

0.00

December 2018-February 2019 (Impact)

0.00*

0.00*

Notes:
1) The encounter rates deduced from the baseline monitoring period have been recalculated based only on survey effort and on-effort sighting data made along the primary transect lines under favourable conditions.

2) °” denotes the standard deviation of the average encounter rates.

3) The encounter rates in winter months were in blue and marked with asterisk.

 

3.5.22    On the other hand, the average dolphin encounter rates (STG and ANI) in NWL during the present impact phase monitoring period (reductions of 75.6% and 82.2% respectively) were only small fractions of the ones recorded during the three-month baseline period, indicating a dramatic decline in dolphin usage of this survey area as well during the present impact phase period (Table 3.7).

 

Table 3.7         Comparison of Average Dolphin Encounter Rates in Northwest Lantau Survey Area from All Quarters of Impact Monitoring Period and Baseline Monitoring Period (Sep °V Nov 2011)

Monitoring Period

Encounter rate (STG)            (no. of on-effort dolphin sightings per 100 km of survey effort)

Encounter rate (ANI)              (no. of dolphins from all on-effort sightings per 100 km of survey effort)

September-November 2011 (Baseline)

9.85 °” 5.85

44.66 °” 29.85

December 2012-February 2013 (Impact)

8.36 °” 5.03*

35.90 °” 23.10*

March-May 2013 (Impact)

7.75 °” 3.96

24.23 °” 18.05

June-August 2013 (Impact)

6.56 °” 3.68

27.00 °” 18.71

September-November 2013 (Impact)

8.04 °” 1.10

32.48 °” 26.51

December 2013-February 2014 (Impact)

8.21 °” 2.21*

32.58 °” 11.21*

March-May 2014 (Impact)

6.51 °” 3.34

19.14 °” 7.19

June-August 2014 (Impact)

4.74 °” 3.84

17.52 °” 15.12

September-November 2014 (Impact)

5.10 °” 4.40

20.52 °” 15.10

December 2014-February 2015 (Impact)

2.91 °” 2.69*

11.27 °” 15.19*

March-May 2015 (Impact)

0.47 °” 0.73

2.36 °” 4.07

June-August 2015 (Impact)

2.53 °” 3.20

9.21 °” 11.57

September-November 2015 (Impact)

3.94 °” 1.57

21.05 °” 17.19

December 2015-February 2016 (Impact)

2.64 °” 1.52*

10.98 °” 3.81*

March-May 2016 (Impact)

0.98 °” 1.10

4.78 °” 6.85

June-August 2016 (Impact)

1.72 °” 2.17

7.48 °” 10.98

September-November 2016 (Impact)

2.86 °” 1.98

10.89 °” 10.98

December 2016-February 2017 (Impact)

3.80 °” 3.79*

14.52 °” 17.21*

March-May 2017 (Impact)

0.93 °” 1.03

5.25 °” 9.53

June-August 2017 (Impact)

2.20 °” 2.88

6.58 °” 8.12

September-November 2017 (Impact)

3.12 °” 1.91

10.35 °” 9.66

December 2017-February 2018 (Impact)

4.75 °” 2.26*

15.73 °” 15.94*

March-May 2018 (Impact)

2.88 °” 4.81

11.12 °” 22.46

 

June-August 2018 (Impact)

1.16 °” 1.39

2.87 °” 3.32

 

September-November 2018 (Impact)

1.51 °” 2.25

2.70 °” 3.78

 

December 2018-February 2019 (Impact)

2.40 °” 1.88*

7.95 °” 6.60*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

1) The encounter rates deduced from the baseline monitoring period have been recalculated based only on survey effort and on-effort sighting data made along the primary transect lines under favourable conditions.

2) °” denotes the standard deviation of the average encounter rates.

3) The encounter rates in winter months were in blue and marked with asterisk.

 

3.5.23    Notably, when comparing the seven quarterly periods in winter months since 2013-14, the quarterly encounter rates in the winter of 2018-19 dropped to the lowest among all winter periods during the HKLR03 construction phase.  The dramatic drop in dolphin occurrence should raise serious concerns, and such temporal trend should be closely monitored in the upcoming monitoring quarters as the construction activities of HZMB works will soon be completed in coming months.

3.5.24    A two-way ANOVA with repeated measures and unequal sample size was conducted to examine whether there were any significant differences in the average encounter rates between the baseline and impact monitoring periods. The two variables that were examined included the two periods (baseline and impact phases) and two locations (NEL and NWL).    

3.5.25    For the comparison between the baseline period and the present quarter (25th quarter of the impact phase being assessed), the p-values for the differences in average dolphin encounter rates of STG and ANI were 0.0041 and 0.0221 respectively.  If the alpha value is set at 0.05, significant differences were detected between the baseline and present quarters in both the average dolphin encounter rates of STG and ANI.

3.5.26    For the comparison between the baseline period and the cumulative quarters in impact phase (i.e. the first 25 quarters of the impact phase being assessed), the p-values for the differences in average dolphin encounter rates of STG and ANI were 0.000000 and 0.000000 respectively.  Even if the alpha value is set at 0.00001, significant differences were still detected in both the average dolphin encounter rates of STG and ANI (i.e. between the two periods and the locations).

3.5.27    As indicated in both dolphin distribution patterns and encounter rates, dolphin usage has been significantly reduced in both NEL and NWL survey areas during the present quarterly period when compared to the baseline period, and such low occurrence of dolphins has also been consistently documented in previous quarters of the past five years throughout the HZMB construction. 

3.5.28    The significant decline in dolphin usage of North Lantau region raises serious concern, as the timing of the decline in dolphin usage in North Lantau waters coincided well with the construction schedule of the HZMB-related projects (Hung 2018).  Apparently there has been no sign of recovery of dolphin usage, even though almost all marine works associated with the HZMB construction have been completed, and the Brothers Marine Park has been established in late 2016 as a compensation measure for the permanent habitat loss in association with the HKBCF reclamation works.

Group Size

3.5.29    Group size of Chinese White Dolphins ranged from one to seven individuals per group in North Lantau region during December 2018 to February 2019.  The average dolphin group sizes from these three months were compared with the ones deduced from the baseline period in September to November 2011, as shown in Table 3.8.


 

Table 3.8         Comparison of Average Dolphin Group Sizes between Reporting Period (Dec 2018 °V Feb 2019) and Baseline Monitoring Period (Sep °V Nov 2011)

Survey Area

Average Dolphin Group Size

Reporting Period

Baseline Monitoring Period

Overall

3.17 °” 1.80 (n = 12)

3.72 °” 3.13 (n = 66)

Northeast Lantau

---

3.18 °” 2.16 (n = 17)

Northwest Lantau

3.17 °” 1.80 (n = 12)

3.92 °” 3.40 (n = 49)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:

1)     °” denotes the standard deviation of the average group size.

 

3.5.30    The average dolphin group size in NWL waters during December 2018 to February 2019 was lower than the one recorded during the three-month baseline period, but it should be noted that the sample size of 12 dolphin groups in the present quarter was only a small fraction of the sample size of 66 dolphin groups sighted during the baseline period (Table 3.8).

3.5.31    Notably, with the exception of three medium-sized groups with 5-7 animals, the other nine dolphin groups were small with 1-4 individuals per group only (Annex II of Appendix J).

3.5.32    Distribution of the larger dolphin groups with five animals or more per group during the present monitoring quarter is shown in (Figure 3 of Appendix J), with comparison to the one recorded during baseline period.  The three medium-sized groups were located at the mouth of Deep Bay, near Lung Kwu Tan and between Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau respectively.  This was drastically different from the baseline period, when the larger dolphin groups were frequently and evenly distributed in NWL waters, with a few also being sighted in NEL waters (Figure 3 of Appendix J).

Habitat Use

3.5.33    From December 2018 to February 2019, only nine grids in North Lantau waters recorded dolphin occurrences. The grids with moderately high dolphin densities were located near Lung Kwu Tan, between Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau, as well as to the north of the airport adjacent to the third runway expansion reclamation work site (Figures 4a and 4b of Appendix J).  In contrast, the rest of the grids only recorded low to moderate DPSE values. 

3.5.34    Notably, all grids near HKLR03/HKBCF reclamation sites as well as HKLR09/TMCLKL alignments did not record any presence of dolphins at all during on-effort search in the present quarterly period (Figures 4a and 4b of Appendix J).

3.5.35    It should be emphasized that the amount of survey effort collected in each grid during the three-month period was fairly low (6-12 units of survey effort for most grids), and therefore the habitat use pattern derived from the three-month dataset should be treated with caution.  A more complete picture of dolphin habitat use pattern should be examined when more survey effort for each grid is collected throughout the impact phase monitoring programme.

3.5.36    When compared with the habitat use patterns during the baseline period, dolphin usage in NEL and NWL has drastically diminished in both areas during the present impact monitoring period (Figure 5 of Appendix J). During the baseline period, many grids between Siu Mo To and Shum Shui Kok in NEL recorded moderately high to high dolphin densities, which was in stark contrast to the complete absence of dolphins there during the present impact phase period (Figure 5 of Appendix J).

3.5.37    The density patterns were also drastically different in NWL between the baseline and impact phase monitoring periods, with high dolphin usage recorded throughout the area during the baseline period, especially around Sha Chau, near Black Point, to the west of the airport, as well as between Pillar Point and airport platform.  In contrast, only several grids with moderate to high dolphin densities were scattered in the western portion of North Lantau waters during the present impact phase period (Figure 5 of Appendix J).

Mother-calf Pairs

3.5.38    During the present quarterly period, only one unspotted juvenile was sighted with its mother in the North Lantau region, and that was also the only young calf being sighted in the past two years of HKLR03 monitoring.  The unspotted juvenile was spotted with its mother (WL145, a known individual from the photo-identification catalogue) at the southwest corner of NWL survey area, or adjacent to the HKLR09 alignment (Figure 6 of Appendix J).

3.5.39    The rare occurrence of young calves in the present quarter as well as in recent years was very different from their regular occurrence in North Lantau waters during the baseline period (Figure 6 of Appendix J).  This should be of a serious concern, and the occurrence of young calves in North Lantau waters should be closely monitored in the upcoming quarters.

 

Activities and Associations with Fishing Boats

3.5.40    Two of the 12 dolphin groups were engaged in feeding activities, while none of them was engaged in socializing, traveling or milling/resting activity during the three-month study period.

3.5.41    The percentage of sightings associated with feeding activities (16.7%) was higher than the one recorded during the baseline period (11.6%).  However, it should be noted the sample size on the total number of dolphin sightings during the present quarter (12 dolphin groups) was only a small fraction of the one during the baseline period (66 dolphin groups).

3.5.42    Distribution of dolphins engaged in various activities during the present impact phase period and the baseline period is shown in Figure 7 of Appendix J. The two dolphin groups engaged in feeding activities were sighted to the north of the airport platform and adjacent to the HKLR09 alignment respectively during the present quarterly period, which was very different from the baseline period when various dolphin activities occurred throughout the North Lantau region  (Figure 7 of Appendix J).

3.5.43    Notably, none of the 12 dolphin groups was found to be associated with any operating fishing vessel during the present impact phase period.

Summary Photo-identification works

3.5.44    From December 2018 to February 2019, about 1,200 digital photographs of Chinese White Dolphins were taken during the impact phase monitoring surveys for the photo-identification work.

3.5.45    In total, 16 individuals sighted 31 times altogether were identified (see summary table in Appendix III and photographs of identified individuals in Appendix III of Appendix J and photographs of identified individuals in Appendix IV of Appendix J).  All of these re-sightings were made in NWL.  Five of the 16 individuals (i.e. CH34, NL123, NL136, NL182 and NL202) were re-sighted 3-4 times, while the other individuals were re-sighted only once or twice during the three-month monitoring period (Annex III of Appendix J).

3.5.46    Notably, only one of these individuals (NL259) was also sighted in WL waters during the HKLR09 monitoring surveys under the same three-month period.

Individual range use

3.5.47    Ranging patterns of the 16 individuals identified during the three-month study period were determined by fixed kernel method, and are shown in Annex V of Appendix J.

3.5.48    All identified dolphins sighted in the present quarter were utilizing NWL waters only, but have completely avoided NEL waters where many of them have utilized as their core areas in the past (Annex V of Appendix J). This is in contrary to the extensive movements between NEL and NWL survey areas observed in the earlier impact monitoring quarters as well as the baseline period.

3.5.49    On the other hand, in contrary to previous monitoring quarters, only one of the 16 individuals (NL259) have extended their range use to WL waters during the same winter quarter of 2018-19, while four individuals (i.e. WL98, WL243, WL273 and WL281) that consistently utilized WL waters in the past have extended their range use to NWL waters during the present quarter.

3.5.50    In the upcoming quarters, individual range use and movements should be continuously monitored to examine whether there has been any consistent shifts of individual home ranges from North Lantau to West or Southwest Lantau (and vice versa), as such shift could possibly be related to the HZMB-related construction works.

Action Level / Limit Level Exceedance

3.5.51    There was one Limit Level exceedance of dolphin monitoring for the quarterly monitoring data (between December 2018 °V February 2019). According to the contractor°¶s information, the marine activities undertaken for HKLR03 during the quarter of December 2018 °V February  2019 included seawall construction.

3.5.52    There is no evidence showing the current LL non-compliance directly related to the construction works of HKLR03 (where the amounts of working vessels for HKLR03 have been decreasing), although the generally increased amount of vessel traffic in NEL during the impact phase has been partly contributed by HKLR03 works since October 2012. It should also be noted that work area under HKLR03 (adjoining the Airport Island) situates in waters which has rarely been used by dolphins in the past, and the working vessels under HKLR03 have been travelling from source to destination in accordance with the Marine Travel Route to minimize impacts on Chinese White Dolphin (CWD). In addition, the contractor will implement proactive mitigation measures such as avoiding anchoring at Marine Department°¶s designated anchorage site °V Sham Shui Kok Anchorage (near Brothers Island) as far as practicable. 

3.5.53    According to Monitoring of Chinese White Dolphins in Southwest Lantau Waters °V Fourth Quarterly Report (December 2015 to February 2016) which is available on ENPO°¶s website, with their primary ranges centered in North and West Lantau waters, some individuals showed apparent range shifts or extensions to Southwest Lantau waters in 2015-16.  For example, three individual dolphins (NL120, WL46 and WL221) indicated obvious shifts in their range use from NWL to West Lantau (WL) and Southwest Lantau (SWL) waters. Moreover, many individuals (e.g. NL212, NL260, WL200, SL55, WL232, WL237 and WL265) have extended their ranges from WL waters to SWL waters.  It remains to be seen whether some of these individuals have permanently shifted their ranges away from their primary ranges in North Lantau or begin to spend more times in SWL waters as part of their ranges. 

3.5.54    ENPO updated that the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Authority (HZMBA) for the Mainland section of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) has commenced an interim survey on fisheries resources and CWD in the Mainland waters. ENPO presented the preliminary findings of the HZMBA interim survey on CWD sighting and photo-identification works which provide solid evidence that some CWD that were previously more often sighted in HK waters have expanded their ranges into the Mainland waters, and some with reduced usage in HK waters. These preliminary data were mentioned in Monitoring of Chinese White Dolphins in Southwest Lantau Waters °V Fourth Quarterly Report (December 2015 to February 2016) which is available on ENPO°¶s website.

3.5.55    A two-way ANOVA with repeated measures and unequal sample size was conducted to examine whether there were any significant differences in the average encounter rates between the baseline and impact monitoring periods.  The two variables that were examined included the two periods (baseline and impact phases) and two locations (NEL and NWL). 

3.5.56    For the comparison between the baseline period and the present quarter (25th quarter of the impact phase being assessed), the p-values for the differences in average dolphin encounter rates of STG and ANI were 0.0041 and 0.0221 respectively.  If the alpha value is set at 0.05, significant differences were detected between the baseline and present quarters in both the average dolphin encounter rates of STG and ANI.

3.5.57    For comparison between the baseline period and the cumulative quarters in impact phase (i.e. first 25 quarters of the impact phase being assessed), the p-values for the differences in average dolphin encounter rates of STG and ANI were 0.000000 and 0.000000 respectively.  Even if the alpha value is set at 0.00001, significant differences were still detected in both the average dolphin encounter rates of STG and ANI (i.e. between the two periods and the locations).

3.5.58    The AFCD monitoring data during December 2018 to February 2019 has been reviewed by the dolphin specialist. During the same quarter, no dolphin was sighted from 83.03 km of survey effort on primary lines in NEL, while only four groups of 14 dolphins were sighted from 127.29 km of survey effort on primary lines in NWL. This review has confirmed that the low occurrence of dolphins reported by the HKLR03 monitoring surveys in winter 2018-19 in NEL and NWL survey area is accurate.

3.5.59    All dolphin protective measures are fully and properly implemented in accordance with the EM&A Manual. According to the Regular Marine Travel Route Plan, the travelling speed of vessels must not exceed 5 knots when crossing the edge of the Brothers Marine Park. The Contractor will continue to provide training for skippers to ensure that their working vessels travel from source to destination to minimize impacts on Chinese White Dolphin and avoid anchoring at Marine Department°¶s designated anchorage site - Sham Shui Kok Anchorage (near Brothers Island) as far as practicable. Also, it is recommended to complete the marine works of the Contract as soon as possible so as to reduce the overall duration of impacts and allow the dolphins population to recover as early as possible.

3.5.60    It was concluded that the HZMB works is one of the contributing factors affecting the dolphins. It was also concluded the contribution of impacts due to the HZMB works as a whole (or individual marine contracts) cannot be quantified nor separate from the other stress factors.

3.5.61    The dolphin specialists of the projects confirmed that the CWD sighting around the North of Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park (SCLKCMP) has significantly decreased, and it was likely related to the re-routing of high speed ferry (HSF) from Skypier.

3.5.62    ET will keep reviewing the implementation status of the dolphin related mitigation measures and remind the contractor to implement the relevant measures.

3.5.63    It was recommended that the marine works of HZMB projects should be completed as soon as possible so as to reduce the overall duration of impacts and allow the dolphins population to recover as early as possible.

3.5.64    It was also recommended that the marine works footprint (e.g., reduce the size of peripheral silt curtain) and vessels for the marine works should be reduced as much as possible, and vessels idling / mooring in other part of the North Lantau shall be avoided whenever possible.

3.5.65    HyD updated that the draft map of the proposed Brothers Marine Park (BMP) was gazetted in February 2016. ENPO updated that the BMP was approved by the Chief Executive in the Executive Council in August 2016. The ETs were reminded to update the BMP boundary in the Regular Marine Travel Route (RMTR) Plan. The BMP was designated on 30 December 2016. It was suggested that the protection measures (e.g. speed limit control) for the approved BMP shall be brought forward so as to provide a better habitat for dolphin recovery. It was noted that under the latest RMTR Plan, the contractors have committed to reduce the vessel speed in BMP.

3.5.66    The marine travel route will shift along the edge of the Brothers Marine Park as much as practical under the RMTR Plan. It was noted that even though marine vessels may moor within the mooring site of BMP, commercial activities including loading / unloading / transshipment are not allowed except a permit is obtained. The HZMB works vessels were recommended to avoid the BMP.

3.5.67    It was noted that starting from January 2016, HSF from the SkyPier will be re-routed north to the northern edged of the Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park which currently has the highest density of CWD in the NWL. While the HSF will reduce speed to 15 knots, the associated disturbance may still affect CWD in the area. It was implied that the CWDs in the area shall be closely followed.

3.5.68    There was a discussion on exploring possible further mitigation measures, for example, controlling the underwater noise. It was noted that the EIA reports for the projects suggested several mitigation measures, all of which have been implemented.

3.6                Mudflat Monitoring Results

Sedimentation Rate Monitoring

3.6.1      The baseline sedimentation rate monitoring was in September 2012 and impact sedimentation rate monitoring was undertaken on 1 December 2018. The mudflat surface levels at the four established monitoring stations and the corresponding XYZ HK1980 GRID coordinates are presented in Table 3.9 and Table 3.10.

Table 3.9         Measured Mudflat Surface Level Results

Baseline Monitoring
(September 2012)

Impact Monitoring
(
December 2018)

Monitoring Station

Easting
(m)

Northing (m)

Surface Level
(mPD)

Easting
(m)

Northing (m)

Surface Level

(mPD)

S1

810291.160

816678.727

0.950

810291.177

816678.732

1.120

S2

810958.272

815831.531

0.864

810958.261

815831.516

0.974

S3

810716.585

815953.308

1.341

810716.572

815953.312

1.476

S4

811221.433

816151.381

0.931

811221.425

816151.415

1.121

 

Table 3.10       Comparison of Measurement  

Comparison of measurement

Remarks and Recommendation

Monitoring Station

Easting
(m)

Northing (m)

Surface Level
(mPD)

S1

0.017

0.005

0.170

Level continuously increased

S2

-0.011

-0.015

0.110

Level continuously increased

S3

-0.013

0.004

0.135

Level continuously increased

S4

-0.008

0.034

0.190

Level continuously increased

 

3.6.2      This measurement result was generally and relatively higher than the baseline measurement at S1, S2, S3 and S4. The mudflat level is continuously increased.

 

 

Water Quality Monitoring

3.6.3      The mudflat monitoring covered water quality monitoring data. Reference was made to the water quality monitoring data of the representative water quality monitoring station (i.e. SR3(N)) as in the EM&A Manual.  The water quality monitoring location (SR3(N)) is shown in Figure 2.1. 

3.6.4      Impact water quality monitoring in San Tau (monitoring station SR3(N)) was conducted in December 2018. The monitoring parameters included dissolved oxygen (DO), turbidity and suspended solids (SS).

3.6.5      The Impact monitoring result for SR3(N) were extracted and summarised in Table 3.11:

Table 3.11 Impact Water Quality Monitoring Results (Depth Average)

Date

Mid Ebb Tide

Mid Flood Tide

DO (mg/L)

Turbidity (NTU)

SS (mg/L)

DO (mg/L)

Turbidity (NTU)

SS (mg/L)

03-Dec-2018

6.8

4.4

7.1

6.7

11.8

13.2

05-Dec-2018

6.8

4.0

5.9

6.8

11.4

15.3

07-Dec-2018

6.7

3.4

6.4

6.9

2.3

6.4

10-Dec-2018

7.2

3.6

5.7

6.6

5.2

11.0

12-Dec-2018

7.1

5.5

9.1

7.5

7.3

12.3

14-Dec-2018

6.7

2.6

5.0

7.4

5.7

10.4

17-Dec-2018

7.6

2.1

3.0

7.2

2.4

4.2

19-Dec-2018

7.4

3.4

4.4

7.2

3.9

7.0

21-Dec-2018

7.1

2.6

5.8

6.7

4.2

7.4

24-Dec-2018

7.2

4.8

8.6

7.3

3.6

6.4

26-Dec-2018

6.7

5.7

7.5

6.9

3.7

7.5