City can’t cope with more visitors disrupting our daily lives, says former Observatory chief
Lam Chiu-ying, former Observatory director and advisor to C.Y. Leung, has called into question the “need for a third runway and the scope of the environmental impact study proposed,” calling the project unsustainable.
He says Hong Kong simply does not have the capacity to handle more visitors and that there is no incentive to expand the airport if we want to avoid disrupting Hong Kong residents’ lives.
Although the third runway is predicted to create long term benefits of HK$900 billion, Lam believes it should not be built as it will “trigger a string of negative chain reactions in the daily lives of Hongkongers.”
He also doubts that the Airport Authority would properly consider the project’s environmental impact. The construction of the runway would require the reclamation of 650 hectares of sea, which Lam says will degrade water quality between Tuen Mun and Lantau.
Lam made these comments on his personal blog just a few days before the Monday deadline for public comments on the runway project profile, which outlines the potential impact of the runway’s construction and is the first step in the required environmental impact assessment study process.
Following the project profile, the Environmental Protection Department will release a study brief which will detail “guidelines on the scope and technical requirements of the study.”
The EPD has already received 140 submissions since it posted the project profile on 29 May.
In their submission, Friends of the Earth demand that the profile include studies of air pollutants, including nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter, and critique the omission of potential health effects of increased traffic on Tung Chung’s residents.
Clean Air Network agrees, with campaign manager Erica Chan saying, “Many important issues are not explored in depth in this profile, and that gives us a great deal of concern.”
Lam urges the public to speak up about their concerns.
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