Environmentalists were angry yesterday after learning just six months will be given to assess the impact of Disneyland on its surroundings. The Government announced reclamation work for the theme park at Penny's Bay would start in May. 'It means the Government has made up its mind not to carry out a comprehensive assessment,' said Plato Yip Kwong-to, assistant director of Friends of the Earth and a member of the Advisory Council of the Environment. 'Environmental-impact assessment is a science. No one is allowed to impose a deadline on it,' he said, criticising the Government for pushing the council to co-operate with it on the project. Conservancy Association director Albert Lai Kwong-tak described Disneyland as a project that could bypass procedures, and urged advisory council members to resign in protest. 'We are very disappointed by the Government's decision. It treats the advisory council as a rubber stamp,' he said. In the announcement seeking a reclamation contractor, the Civil Engineering Department said: 'Work for the contract is expected to commence in May 2000 and will take about 32 months to complete.' The Government invited contractors to apply for the reclamation contract, which will be worth not less than $200 million. The announcement suggests some steps normally included in environmental impact assessments will be missing. Mr Yip believes at least one year is needed for a thorough assessment on a project of this scale. He said: 'A four-season survey in all phases of the Disney project must be done. 'How can [the Government] know summer habitats when the work starts in May?' Mr Yip cited the example of the West Rail, pointing out that a four-season environmental study had been carried out before construction began. 'It is necessary to survey impacts on surroundings as well as to find out the solution, or at least to minimise the impact, whenever the project affects green areas,' he said. The Civil Engineering Department, which is responsible for conducting the assessment, has submitted a project brief to the advisory council. The environmental study's findings need to be endorsed by the advisory council before work can proceed. The project brief does not mention assessing the impact of extra sewage on North Lantau waters. Nor is any mention made of studying the impact of the volatile organic compounds and heavy metals Disney fireworks will release every night.