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Harbour Area Treatment Scheme environmental monitoring, Hong Kong

We were independent environmental checker for stage 2A of Hong Kong's Harbour Area Treatment Scheme, overseeing the environmental monitoring and audit programme for the Hong Kong Drainage Services Department.

The Harbour Area Treatment Scheme (HATS) stage 2A - designed to further improve water quality in Victoria Harbour - involved construction of a tunnel network carrying sewage from the northern and western shores of Hong Kong Island to Stonecutters Island for chemically enhanced primary treatment and disinfection.

Our task as Independent Environmental Checker (IEC) was to confirm that environmental impacts relating to air quality, noise, and water quality from the project construction were not adversely impacting on the surrounding environment. We worked with the Drainage Services Department, the Resident Site Staff, the Engineer’s Representative, the Contractor and their Environmental Team to oversee the implementation of an environmental monitoring and audit programme to characterise and confirm environmental performance of the project.

Challenges and solutions

Working on constrained sites where noisy and potentially dust generating activities were adjacent to sensitive residential and commercial development made day to day compliance with environmental requirements a challenge.

As the Drainage Services Department's IEC, we reviewed the implementation performance of the environmental monitoring and auditing programme by the environmental team, audited the status of all proposed mitigation measures and oversaw cumulative environmental impacts relating to other concurrent, non-HATS, projects.

Value and benefits

Our role of Independent Environmental Checker was crucial in confirming that work was being carried out in compliance with environmental permitting requirements. By using experienced environmental professionals on the project all parties could be confident that the project would proceed without delay or public relations issues relating to environmental impact.

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