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Concerns of rehab centre not ignored

The Environmental Protection Department would like to respond to the letter by Angelique Tam, executive director of the Society for the Aid and Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers – Sarda – (“Incinerator would disturb residents of nearby rehab centre on Shek Kwu Chau”, March 23).

Contrary to what was suggested by your correspondent, we have not disregarded the patients and staff at the rehabilitation centre on Shek Kwu Chau island.

The centre has been identified in the environmental impact assessment (EIA) study as one of the sensitive receivers that has been assessed in detail in respect of the environmental impacts and the necessary preventive and mitigation measures to protect those living or working on the island.

According to the EIA report, which is available on the department’s website, the predicted environmental impacts of the Integrated Waste Management Facilities Phase 1 project on the rehabilitation centre fully comply with all environmental criteria and standards.

Before and since the completion of the EIA study, we have engaged Sarda and the local community. We have had discussions with representatives of Sarda on several occasions and replied to them to explain the impacts of the project and the design and control measures.

We would like to assure Sarda that the project will be designed to meet stringent international standards and suitable mitigation measures will be adopted to minimise the environmental impacts.

We will adopt good practices for the control of noise emissions, including the use of quiet plant and working methods and the use of noise barriers.

Also, a community liaison group will be set up to maintain close communication with the local community during the design and implementation of the project.

We invite Sarda to join this community liaison group.

We would like to thank Sarda for its views and comments.

Elvis W. K. Au, assistant director (nature conservation and infrastructure planning), for director of environment protection

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