Govt greenlights San Tin environmental study - RTHK
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Govt greenlights San Tin environmental study

2024-05-17 HKT 15:04
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  • Govt greenlights San Tin environmental study
The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) on Friday said it has given conditional approval to the environmental study into a plan to turn fish ponds in the northern New Territories into a technology hub.

The department's director, Samuel Chui, said the environmental impact assessment on the San Tin Technopole project took into account a large number of ecological survey findings, and officials did not receive any feedback concerning issues the report did not cover.

"The report is scientific, professional and comprehensive. And it doesn't underestimate the ecological value of the area being studied," he told reporters.

Chui added that amendments to the report submitted by the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD), such as birds' names and photos as well as a draft plan to create habitats for animals, did not affect the effectiveness of the study.

He said conditions for the approval include that the CEDD has to submit detailed designs for the project and that it must refrain from filling in fish ponds in the area before creating a new one in a conservation park.

Chui said the CEDD also needs to set up a panel, consisting of green group members and government representatives, to monitor the development's impact on the environment.

"The committee will work together to give the best environmental protection," he said. "Just like this time, we have heard many proposals and we will discuss and find the best way to protect the environment and also to conserve the species and the ecology in the area."

Chui said the CEDD is taking measures to protect Eurasian Otters, a species of conservation importance. The animals were recorded back in 2019, but were not found during a recent ecological survey.

He said the department is adopting suggestions from green groups on building passages for the otters, as well as improving the design of buildings so birds will not crash into them.

The Development Bureau, for its part, welcomed the approval, saying it provides a solid foundation for the government to proceed with the next stage of the town planning process and commence the project as scheduled.

Govt greenlights San Tin environmental study