The Environmental Protection Department would like to respond to the letter from R. E. J. Bunker ("Incinerator will raise risk of collisions, April 11").
Contrary to what your correspondent stated, there will not be any exponential rise in barge movements or any significant increase in the risk of vessel collision due to the development of the integrated waste management facility on an artificial island near Shek Kwu Chau.
At present, municipal solid waste is compacted at existing refuse transfer stations on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon into enclosed containers and transported by large specialised container vessels to the landfills. The same mode of clean and efficient operation will be adopted for delivering containerised waste to this waste management facility and only three to four waste delivery trips will be made daily.
Furthermore, the impact on marine traffic in the vicinity of Shek Kwu Chau and Cheung Chau area due to the facility's marine traffic has been assessed in detail in the marine traffic impact assessment study. It shows that since the waste delivery traffic generated from the facility is very light, and that the delivery route actually runs east and south of Cheung Chau without passing the Adamasta Channel or overlapping with the busy route for fast ferries to Macau and Cheung Chau, there will be negligible impact on marine traffic.
We have 20 years of experience in proper delivery of containerised waste by sea. The specialised container vessels used are equipped with an advanced radar navigation system to ensure safety at sea.
We can assure the public that our marine transportation operation will continue to comply strictly with all safety and marine traffic control measures recommended by the Marine Department and Hong Kong shipping ordinances. The integrated waste management facility will be designed, constructed and operated to meet stringent international standards.
Elvis W. K. Au, assistant director of environmental protection (nature conservation and infrastructure planning)