Hong Kong International Airport’s planned third runway is expected to worsen the air quality in the nearby areas by causing higher concentration of nitrogen dioxides, contrary to what the Hong Kong Airport Authority says, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.
In the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report unveiled last Friday, the Airport Authority said the new runway will only have a “small impact” on concentration of nitrogen dioxides in neighboring places like Tung Chung and Tuen Mun. It was based on an assumption that both Hong Kong and Guangdong will be able to successfully lower emission of air pollutants by 2031, according to the report.
However, a study by Ming Pao has found that existing reports reveal that more than 80 percent of the 113 sites around the airport have already suffered from over-standard concentration for up to 18 days each year, with Sha Lo Wan the most serious case. The standard sets the concentration limit at an average of 40 ppm per year.
Meanwhile, World Wildlife Fund Hong Kong said reclamation construction required to build the third runway will not only endanger the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, known as Chinese white dolphins or pink dolphins, but also six species of fish with great conservation value, all of which have already been listed as near extinction, and one type of rare coral.
Although the Airport Authority said in its report that building a new marine park can help ease the danger faced by the species and lure them back once construction is completed, World Wildlife Fund Hong Kong’s assistant conservation manager Samantha Lee pointed out that the park will not be built until 2023. By then, the marine environment could be so different that no one can guarantee if the species will return, she said.
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