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China - Second Xinjiang Highway Project : environmental impact assessment (Vol. 5) (Английский)

This report presents an environmental assessment of the Second Xinjiang Highway Project, currently under construction in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. The 273km extension of the highway is intended to aid in strengthening the capacity for the exchange of goods and in promoting further economic development in the region. The project has impacts of varying degrees on many aspects of the physical, ecological and social environments within the region, as well as on the standard of living of the resident population. Identified as having the worst potential impact on the environment as a result of the construction is the increased level of noise. The functionality of farmland irrigation systems, cultivation of crops, and productivity of husbandry follow in expected severity of consequences suffered. In addition, inhabitants of the region will have to be resettled. To a lesser degree, public health, air quality, surface water quality, the safety of wild animals and the sanctity of forests will be at risk. There also exists the possibility of erosion of the soil, leakage of hazardous substances into the ground, and damage to cultural and historic relics. Overall land quality and rare animal species, however, are expected to experience no negative consequences and tourism, industry and the social economy are projected to benefit greatly from the completion of the project. An environmental management plan (EMP) has been developed to combat the potential environmental effects of the project. The EMP recommends as measures of mitigation that the project avoid the following: disturbing existing and planned infrastructures, constructing through areas with sensitive hydrogeologic conditions, cutting irrigation networks, occupying farmland, resettling inhabitants, and disturbing cultural relics and historic sites.

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