LNG Terminal

Stephen IP GBS JP,
Secretary for Economic Development
and Labour Bureau,
 
RE: Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Receiving Terminal and Associated
Facilities
 
As part of the Public
Consultation towards the aforementioned project, I would be grateful if the
Government would for the record consider my views and objections on this matter,
especially towards the Sokos Islands.
 
Firstly I would like to enquire about the potential
impacts to marine ecology resulting from the open loop system (a system that
draws in seawater and discharges a cocktail of antifoulant and chlorine back
into the environment).   Sterilizing millions of gallons of water in this
way must have an impact on marine life especially towards shrimp, food prey
items for the Chinese White Dolphin, fish larvae and possibly Branchiostoma
belcheri
, a species recognised of high conservation interest in the region.
The EIA states that impacts to marine ecology as a result of potential
concentrations of residual chlorine are not expected to occur.
Has CLP addressed the
closed loop system which will have negligible impacts to marine
life?
 
Secondly, as part of a feasibility study for the Chinese White
Dolphin, AFCD commissioned a report in 1997, with recommendations to consider a
way forward to designate SW Lantau (including Fan Lau and the Sokos) as a Marine
Park, during the interim (now 10 years) the site was also to be considered as a
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Where does AFCD and the rest of the
Government stand on this point? And looking towards the future what kind of
protection is afforded by the already established marine parks?  Are we to allow
large scale projects to infringe on these areas under the pretext of clearing up
our polluted skies at the expense of the marine
environment?
 
Thirdly, information from the Port Surveys of 1989-91 and 1996-97
commissioned by AFCD provide the best source of existing information about
fisheries resources.  The Sokos Islands were identified as
being part of a nursery area for commercial fisheries
resources that encompasses a large stretch of Hong Kong southern waters
extending between South Lantau and southern portion of Lamma Island waters. 
This area has been identified as a nursery particularly for Oratosquilla
species as well as Sciaenid and Squilla fry.  As is Hong Kong
fisheries are severely under threat from ‘such’ projects that destroy prime
nursery areas.  This type of impact is another good example of this country’s
coastal destruction which also includes ‘atypical’ neglect towards the marine
environment, aka Disnelyland, the Airport, Tseung Kwan O, ad
nauseam
.
 
Fourthly,
as part of Planning Departments ‘Landscape Value Mapping of Hong Kong Report’ it
appears that other development projects in southern Lantau have been mooted and
discussed including retail and tourism-related uses.  How will these co-exist
with an LNG terminal? It also quotes that ‘f
urther offshore, the coastal waters are
open and exposed, punctuated only by occasional vessels or by small island
landscapes which, when in groups – such as the Sokos or Po Toi Islands – form
striking remote sea landscapes’.  To encourage tourism in the area I suggest we
keep it that way.
 

 

I hope the Government is
committed on Black Point as the site for the LNG terminal and that the final
design changes incorporate
 significant
measures thus
reducing those ecological impacts classed as minor to a negligible level.
 
Sincerely,

 

Charles Frew, MSc

 

 

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