HONG Kong and China came a step closer to agreement yesterday over measures to combat flooding from the Shenzhen River. The Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands Branch, Tony Eason, returned from a three-day Joint Hong Kong-Guangdong Environmental Protection Liaison Group meeting was happy with the progress of talks. Mr Eason said they had reached an understanding with the Chinese side that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the Shenzhen River flood-control scheme was important and should proceed. ''Clearly the municipal government in Shenzhen and the Water Resources Bureau are very concerned about that project. There was no difference in views between us,'' he said. ''We have a general understanding that we must conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment. We have undertaken to do as much as we can to get on quickly with the construction part of the project. ''We will shortly be signing the consultancy study agreement for that [assessment].'' The full EIA would take at least two years to produce a report, but Mr Eason said they would assess what could be done to speed up the construction project. A progress report on environmental protection of Deep Bay and its catchments was also discussed and endorsed during the three-day meeting. That programme would now be put in place, Mr Eason said. He said the meeting also discussed the Territorial Development Strategy Review and the proposal to develop strategies for pollution prevention and control in the Pearl River Delta. Mr Eason also visited the Shenzhen Environmental Protection Bureau. monitoring facilities and some factories operating anti-pollution measures in the area.