Guidelines on assessing roadside noise pollution and installing noise barriers

The request was partially successful.

Dear Mr Lai,

Thanks for your reply to my earlier request https://accessinfo.hk/en/request/noise_b.... I will contact the Highways Department for the information. In the meantime, I wonder if the EPD is involved in installing noise barriers. Considering the Guidelines On Design of Noise Barriers https://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/envir...
here are the questions for the EPD to answer under the Code on Access to Information
1. What criteria does the department apply to assess the noise pollution level of an area affected by road traffic?
2. What guidelines, if any, does the department issue to help assess the need for noise pollution control including the noise caused by road traffic?
3. What guidelines, if any, does the department issue to help decide if noise barriers should be installed?
3. Who are the target audience of the Guidelines On Design of Noise Barriers?
4. In what ways does the department ensure the guidelines are followed by public and private entitites?
5. How does the EPD share the work/ decision-making responsbilities with other departments such as Highways Department when it comes to controlling roadside noise and installing noise barriers?
6. Regarding the issues raised above, please refer me to relevant documents/reports.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Yours sincerely
Simon Wang

環境保護署

This is an auto-email for acknowledgement, please do NOT reply.
Thank you for your email dated 2021/05/12.We shall process it, where
appropriate, as soon as possible. For further enquiry, please address to
[Environmental Protection Department request email]
(This is a computer generated auto-reply)

這是一封用於確認的自動電子郵件,請不要回覆。
謝謝你 2021/05/12 的電郵。我們會盡快處理。如有其他查詢,請電郵
[Environmental Protection Department request email]
﹝這是由電腦系統發出的覆函﹞

Environmental Protection Department
環境保護署

Simon Wang加入了一個備註。(

The following info can be found in the EPD website but it refers to a policy endorsed and adopted by the government in Nov 2000 https://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/envir...
A host of questions could be asked based on the info here
Let's ask more questions after hearing from EPD

Problems & Solutions
Redressing Noise by Engineering Measures

The Executive Council endorsed in November 2000 the policy to address the noise impacts from existing roads. The policy has two strands: to retrofit barriers on existing roads and to re-surface local roads with low-noise material.

Retrofitting Barriers

Some 40 road sections with noise exceeding 70 dB(A) have been identified as technically feasible for retrofitting noise barriers and have been included in the public works programme for implementation. The technical criteria for retrofitting include requirements that the barrier does not obstruct emergency access or fire-fighting; that it does not undermine road safety or impede pedestrian and vehicular movements; and that there be adequate space and structural capability (applicable to flyovers) for supporting the barrier or enclosure. Retrofitting noise barriers on 17 road sections have been completed. Follow-up action for noise barriers along other road sections are in progress. Upon the completion of all projects, over 30000 flats will have noise levels lowered by one to over 20 decibels and the majority of the beneficiaries along the roads will have noise lowered to below the 70 dB(A) limit.

Resurfacing Local Roads

Low-noise road surfacing materials can reduce noise by up to 3 dB(A) and 72 local road sections have been deemed suitable for the surfaces. In addition, in view of the improvement of the durability of the low noise road surface materials, 26 more local roads beyond the original engineering criteria have also been included in the trial programme. It is expected that the whole resurfacing programme will benefit about 60000 flats upon resurfacing of all the candidate roads.

環境保護署

Dear Mr Wang,

Thank you for your email dated 12.05.2021.  Further to the auto-reply, we
would like to inform you that we are processing your request and may need
a few more days to come back to you.

Regards,
Jason Lai
Environmental Protection Department

顯示引用部分

環境保護署

Dear Simon,

I refer to your email of 12 May 2021 requesting for Information via the
Code of Access to Information. Below please find the information in
relation to your questions raised with numbering 1 to 6.

Information in relation to questions 1, 2 and 3 recapped below:
1. What criteria does the department apply to assess the noise pollution
level of an area affected by road traffic?
2. What guidelines, if any, does the department issue to help assess the
need for noise pollution control including the noise caused by road
traffic?
3. What guidelines, if any, does the department issue to help decide if
noise barriers should be installed?

Noise standards for planning purposes are stipulated in The Hong Kong
Planning Standards and Guidelines (HKPSG) Chapter 9 Table 4.1 and in Annex
5 of the Technical Memorandum on Environmental Impact Assessment Process
issued under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Ordinance for
designated projects.

[1]https://www.pland.gov.hk/pland_en/tech_d...
 (Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines Chapter 9)
[2]https://www.epd.gov.hk/eia/english/legis... (Technical
Memorandum on Environmental Impact Assessment Process)

The following policy papers outline Hong Kong's policy in addressing road
traffic noise on existing roads and on new roads.

[3]https://www.legco.gov.hk/yr00-01/english...
(LegCo EA Panel - Measures to Address Noise Impact of Existing Roads)
[4]https://www.legco.gov.hk/yr02-03/english...
(LegCo EA Panel & Transport Panel - Policy on Mitigating Road Traffic
Noise)

Information in relation to question 3 recapped below:
3. Who are the target audience of the Guidelines On Design of Noise
Barriers?

The target audience of the Guidelines On Design of Noise Barriers are
parties involving in design of roadside noise barriers, such as barrier
design engineers, highway engineers, architects, landscape architects,
environmental consultants, road planners, etc.

Information in relation to question 4 recapped below:
4. In what ways does the department ensure the guidelines are followed by
public and private entities?  

Government departments or private entities responsible for the road works
are obliged to comply the requirements stipulated in the Technical
Memorandum on Environmental Impact Assessment Process, the EIA Ordinance
and the relevant published guidelines.

Information in relation to your question 5 recapped below:
5. How does the EPD share the work/ decision-making responsibilities with
other departments such as Highways Department when it comes to controlling
roadside noise and installing noise barriers?  

New expressway, trunk road, primary distributor road, district distributor
road or an existing road with major extensions or improvements are
designated projects under the EIA Ordinance. Project proponents such as
the Highway Department and the Civil Engineering and Development
Department would have to implement noise mitigation measures as necessary
in their designated projects including noise barriers in order to comply
with the statutory requirements of the EIA Ordinance. Regarding road
traffic noise from existing roads, please refer to the above mentioned
policy papers.

In relation to your question 6, links are provided above for your access
of the relevant information from the websites.

Thank you for your concern on the environment.

Yours sincerely,
Isaac CHAN
For Director of Environmental Protection

References

Visible links
1. https://www.pland.gov.hk/pland_en/tech_d...
2. https://www.epd.gov.hk/eia/english/legis...
3. https://www.legco.gov.hk/yr00-01/english...
4. https://www.legco.gov.hk/yr02-03/english...